Julian Nagelsmann began his competitive reign as Bayern Munich by sharing a point with Adi Hutter and Borussia Monchengladbach by virtue of a 1-1 draw at Borussia Park to open the 2021/2022 Bundesliga season.
Goals from Alassane Plea and Robert Lewandowski rounded out the scoring for both sides in what was a thoroughly entertaining match for the neutral spectator with fans back in attendance for the first time in North Rhine-Westphalia since the beginning of last March.
With all things considered, namely the amount of injuries to first team players for Bayern, Nagelsmann can’t be too unhappy coming away from Borussia Park with a point. Both sides had their fair share of mistakes, working out the rust from preseason, but both sides also expressed themselves quite well in spurts. Speaking after the match, Nagelsmann highlighted how Gladbach were the better team in the opening stages of the match and that it took his side a while to grow into proceedings, especially after going 1-0 down inside of the opening 10 minutes (Tz). “It was a game that was interesting for the spectators. It was disjointed at the beginning, we lost the ball and fell behind. The last twenty minutes were very strong and we scored. The first quarter of an hour of the second half were also strong, we could have scored two goals there,” he explained.
Nagelsmann was also critical in Bayern’s positioning on the counter when they would lose possession. A prime example of this was Plea’s goal. Alphonso Davies was dispossessed, and Joshua Kimmich was just a half step behind Lars Stindl, who beat Dayot Upamecano to the through ball. Once Stindl got his touch, Plea was well ahead of Josip Stanisic and had a 1v1 chance against Manuel Neuer, which he took full advantage of. “The positioning must be better, so that we stand better in getting back. If we have a little more time now, it will certainly be better,” Nagelsmann stressed.
In the 81st minute, there was a nervy moment when Marcus Thuram appeared to be brought down in the box, by Upamecano, but there was no call. Of course, in the moment, the majority of attendees inside Borussia Park where whistling and baying for a penalty to be called, but Nagelsmann felt that didn’t make the situation any easier for the referees, who already have video assistance at their disposal. “I think when we have referees and video evidence, it’s already fair. Then, of course, the spectators also make noise and reinforce the subjective feeling. I think without spectators you discuss less in such scenes,” he said.
Of course, Gladbach did have more than one claim for a penalty throughout the match, but nothing was given, and perhaps was a bit of a let-off for Bayern.