Bayern Munich continued their unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season with a statement, 4-1 win at RB Leipzig. Goals from Robert Lewandowski (penalty), Jamal Musiala, Leroy Sane, and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting secured the massive three points for Julian Nagelsmann’s side in what was a massive boost of confidence ahead of the Barcelona clash in the Champions League next week. Konrad Laimer’s wonder strike in the 58th minute that Manuel Neuer had little to no chance of saving was nothing more than a consolation for Die Roten Bullen.
While it was a crucial win for Bayern against one of their main contenders for the Bundesliga title, Thomas Muller said after the match that Bayern shouldn’t get ahead of themselves in that regard (Tz). He also said he was quite pleased with how the internationals performed after a grueling, physically demanding international break. “The title race is already still long, but the claim is certainly not to squander a lead of seven points against a direct competitor yet. It was also not foreseeable how the national players come back, that was also a very intense load,” the Raumdeuter explained.
Musiala stole the show once again for Bayern, this time after an impressive international break with Die Mannschaft. He came on just before the halftime interval for the injured (back, precautionary) Serge Gnabry and made the difference in the second half with his goal in the 47th minute and assist to Sane in the 54th minute. Muller struggled to hold back his praise for Musiala after yet another incredibly influential performance off of the bench. “I’m just the placeholder today. He was the magician of the game. The special thing is that, in addition to his talent, he also has a great character and he has self-confidence, but he doesn’t walk through the dressing room with his nose up. If he continues like this, he’s not just an addition but a reinforcement. He’s also eager to learn. He doesn’t ask me now how to play a player. I’d rather ask him that,” he said.
Coming into the season, Borussia Dortmund and Leipzig were odds on favorites to challenge Bayern for the Bundesliga title, but Leipzig has struggles so far under new manager Jesse Marsch. While they always possess a threat, Bayern will certainly be facing a different beast in the Champions League next week when they travel to the Catalans in Spain to take on Barcelona, who are now without Lionel Messi. Barcelona currently occupy the 5th spot in La Liga and their matchup that was scheduled for this weekend against Sevilla has been postponed to a later date to accommodate players that participated in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying during the international break.
While Barcelona will have been far better rested as a whole than Bayern, Muller said he couldn’t really judge the side they beat so prolifically two seasons ago in Lisbon.
“I can’t judge Barca at all yet. So without Messi. But maybe they don’t miss either. I do, because it’s always fun to play against him. But they are a surprise package,” he assessed.