It’s now three preseason friendlies without a win for Bayern Munich as Julian Nagelsmann’s men fell 2-0 to Adi Hütter’s Borussia Monchengladbach at the Allianz Arena thanks to goals from Hannes Wolf and Michael (59’) Wentzel (76’).
Much like the first two friendlies against FC Koln and AFC Ajax, Nagelsmann made a plethora of changes midway through the second half after fielding a starting eleven of Ron Thorben-Hoffmann, Bouna Sarr, Tanguy Nianzou, Dayot Upamecano, Omar Richards, Michael Cuisance, Torben Rhein, Josip Stanisic, Joshua Zirkzee, Malik Tillman and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.
Serge Gnabry was one of a bevvy of second half subs, clocking his first minutes since returning from his post-Euro 2020 holiday after his excursions with the German national team. He came on for Choupo-Moting in the 60th minute and actually scored a goal that was disallowed in the 86th minute, just 10 minutes after ‘Gladbach had gone ahead 2-0. He had made his presence felt quickly after coming on. He almost had a brilliant give and go with Jamie Lawrence in the 66th minute after the defender had played him a cleverly disguised pass in ‘Gladbach’s area and had started the play in the 73rd minute when Nemanja Motika had sent in a dangerous looking cross towards the back post that just evaded a touch from Gabriel Vidovic.
Speaking after the match, Gnabry said that it was good to play in front of fans again and that Bayern, as a whole, will be able to iron out the kinks before the competitive season starts (FCBayern). “Playing again after a few weeks without soccer and then in front of fans was fun. Of course it’s a bit bumpy at the beginning, but I think that will come in the next few weeks. It was a good game, we ran the ball and created chances. Credit to the young players as well, they played bravely. Of course, when the other guys come back, we’ll try to flip the switch as soon as possible,” he said.
Bouna Sarr started at right-back and clocked a total of 60 minutes before Nagelsmann changed all of his outfield players bar Hoffmann. He’s clearly not number one in Nagelsmann’s pecking order, but as the manager himself had alluded to, he felt the defending in the first half was better than it had been vs. Koln and Ajax.
Sarr said he felt like the defensive shape was really good until they eventually conceded in the second half. “The performance in the first half was good. The result is not good, of course, but in preparation the most important thing is to work on yourself athletically, to get in the game and be ready for the upcoming cup match. I think we were compact until the goal against. Details then decided the game,” the defender explained.