This game, particularly the second half, was not an easy one for fans. Bayern Munich eventually came out on top, handing Julian Nagelsmann his first Bundesliga victory as coach of the Bavarians. Here are the observations:
Jamal Musiala is the winger Bayern needs
Fans have been calling for Bayern’s very own Bambi to start; he has been left on the bench so far but Nagelsmann had enough of Bayern’s right wing in the first half today; he took out both Tanguy Nianzou and Leroy Sané in the first half. Musiala changed sides and played all over the pitch, fighting for every ball, showing how he is the best winger Bayern has right now and set up Robert Lewandowski for a much needed opener.
Serge Gnabry comes good
Gnabry seemed improved against Borussia Dortmund in midweek; today, he added the goals on top of the effort, scoring two out of his team’s three goals including an incredible winner. Having Nagelsmann as coach can only help his confidence as he learned how to become a more effective all-round player at Hoffenheim. I believe Gnabry will have a very good season; the signs are there and today’s goals may the first pair of a fruitful campaign.
A lot of the old....
The interchanging of players across midfield is not new, including that of Thomas Müller who roams all over midfield and continues to be highly effective. Neither is the vulnerability at the back. Josip Stanisic had a tougher time when he pushed forward today. Jonas Hector’s cross was excellent and there wasn’t too much he could have done to stop the ball from coming in but I wonder if he could have tracked back better. Dayot Upamecano could have defended better for one of Köln’s goals but there is no getting away from the fact that both were excellent finishes. Both Anthony Modeste and Mark Uth are experienced players after all who know how to finish.
At the center of the park, Bayern is still finding their rhythm, partially down to Leon Goretzka who is in the right places, has the right ideas, but just isn’t executing well just yet this season.
.....mixed with the new
It’s not quite a back three; it’s a hybrid between a three and four with Alphonso Davies furthest up. The center-back on Davies’ side was Niklas Süle, the more experienced of the two and the one with pace to cover in case Davies cannot. It works and it doesn’t. I am not quite convinced this hybrid style will work but we will see what happens moving forward.
Robert Lewandowski is found deeper and more on the wings than under Hansi Flick. He could always play deeper but it feels now as if it is part of his role until the team finds their rhythm; in the second half, when service from Musiala was coming, he returned more to his conventional role.
That’s it from me! Let us know your thoughts below and thank you as always for reading!