The Bayern of old was back on display
Bayern Munich at their best are such a joy to watch. Yes, the team wasn’t at their absolute best today, but this came very close. Rampant from the get go, dominating possession and passages of play and controlling the tempo, this team looked well oiled. The formation that started the game is most probably Bayern’s best 11 currently (which could change when Lucas and Pavard return) and put in a magnificent shift in the first half. The second half was just as good, if not better, with the defense, midfield,and attack in sync.
Phonziala is a really good pairing
A new duo is taking over the left flank, and it seems like they are here to stay. Alphonso Davies and Jamal Musiala were both incredible today. Musiala’s chemistry with Davies is reminiscent of the chemistry between Ribery and Alaba, with the duo using their insane pace, trickery, and sublime dribbling to terrorize the Hertha backline all game. Davies had yet another productive outing, driving forward along the flank and making great overlapping runs.
Musiala (aka Messiala) was a sight to behold. He is definitely doing more than enough to keep the fire going under Bayern’s other wingers, and yet again brought his A game. His pre-assist for Bayern’s first was out of this world, and he scored Bayern’s third with a shoulder dip feint and a cut inside to send a powerful shot from distance. I saw Franck Ribéry in him that instant, and couldn’t help but feel that Musiala is the most apt player in the Bayern squad to be Ribéry’s heir. The future is bright for Bayern, and Jamal Musiala is generational.
What? A clean sheet?
As unbelievable as that sounds, yes, Bayern managed to keep a Bundesliga clean sheet for the first time this season. The Bayern we’ve seen the past 2 years has always focused on scoring to almost an obsession, and this has led to the team conceding frequently. That was expected to change this season with Nagelsmann taking over, since his Leipzig side seldom conceded goals. However, Bayern started the season quite shakily, conceding 4 in the first 3 games, not a lot to be optimistic about.
This game has certainly changed that considerably. The defense was stellar, and Niklas Süle did not put a foot wrong. Davies tracked back often to help out, and was great at his defensive duties, while Upamecano and Stanisic were very solid. Nianzou was introduced in the second half and looked rusty to begin with, but matured into the game with time and even chipped in with a stellar assist for Lewandowski’s 3rd. Overall, very solid from the defense, and Bayern conceding fewer while scoring high could go miles in fulfilling the club’s treble aspirations.
Robert Lewandowski has another regular outing
Just another hat-trick. Just another performance where he created loads of chances. Just another performance where he was involved in every goal. Lewandowski, the world’s best player for some time now (3 seasons at the very least) showed UEFA and France Football just what they’re missing with an outing to remember. A top notch hat-trick, 5 key chances created and involvement in some beautiful passing sequences, including an outstanding dummy that led to Bayern’s first highlight the performance of a player who has simply been untouchable for some time now.
I am at a loss for superlatives. Bayern will win everything there is to win if Lewandowski is firing away like this, and there’s nothing you can do to stop him.
Midfield decent, but still not there yet
Joshua Kimmich’s contract extension was exhilarating news for Bayern fans around the world. While we are desperately waiting for Leon Goretzka’s extension to be announced, this game comes as much needed encouragement, since both midfielders were in better sync and controlled proceedings quite well. However, the lapses in passing and ball progression were still there, and Bayern’s midfield pairing hasn’t quite found its rhythm yet. It may take a bit longer, but today’s signs were very positive.
Bayern’s successes this season will largely depend on this duo, and we can only hope this brings them closer to their form in the previous season.
Is Nagels-ball finally here?
I have always been a huge admirer of Nagelsmann’s footballing philosophy and tactics, and he really put on a show before the international break today. There were concerns over how things might go as the season progressed, but this game has done a lot to dispel all that. This Bayern side generated tons of chances today; more chances than I’ve seen Bayern generate in a long time. In fact, probably as long back as Bayern’s first leg against PSG in the UCL QFs last season.
Dominant, beautiful passing and insane chance creation characterized the high-octane, smart pressing style Bayern adopted this game. Yes, the attack and the defense clicked really well, but it also seemed like the tactics have started to settle in. The players are implementing “Nagels-ball”, and it looks really good. Let us hope this is just the beginning of a really long spell of top notch football under Nagelsmann.