Initial reactions and observations
- After that shock loss to Gladbach, Bayern Munich needed to answer in style and they did. Great game from the team, even if the defense looked shaky at times.
- Robert Lewandowski is just a monster. 300 goals for him in the Bundesliga now — he can surely break Gerd Muller’s record if he gets a contract extension.
- Both Thomas Muller and Leroy Sane got two assists today. These two love being providers, but it would be nice if they could score more often too.
- Benjamin Pavard is a better CB than he is a RB.
- Manuel Neuer really had to work for his clean sheet. Good to see that he’s still sharp after returning from Covid.
- Serge Gnabry’s form remains a worry. This was yet another mediocre performance from him. That contract extension is looking a lot less justified.
Full time: Bayern Munich easily dispatch Koln 4-0.
74’ — GOAL! Lewandowski gets a hat-trick! 4-0 now. 300 goals for him.
62’ — GOAL! Lewandowski makes it 3-0 thanks to a great pass by Sane.
60’ — Sub: Leroy Sane is on for Musiala.
45’ — The second half is underway!
Halftime observations and analysis
- Excellent first half from Bayern Munich, even with the couple of nervy moments near the end. Neuer is lucky to come out of it with a clean sheet, and let’s hope it lasts.
- VAR has been a godsend for Bayern today. Poor refereeing by the officials. This is why video assist is a good idea.
- Thomas Muller has been bossing the entire game. He’s well on his way to breaking his assist record in the league, which he only set a couple seasons ago.
- Marcel Sabitzer looks much more competent as a LB when playing with Musiala on the wing.
- Joshua Kimmich’s defending has left a lot to be desired.
Halftime: Bayern lead 2-0.
31’ — Thought it was a goal, but Uth turned out to be offside. Bayern needs to be more careful.
24’ — GOAL! Tolisso makes it 2-0! Incredible goal!
9’ — GOAL! An excellent interception by Tolisso leads to a rapid counter which ends with Thomas Muller assisting Robert Lewandowski. VAR awards it after being initially flagged offside.
Kickoff: We’re underway in Cologne!
One hour until kickoff: We have lineups! Looks like Nagelsmann has opted for Sabitzer at left-back again today. Bayern Munich will need a much better performance from him compared to Gladbach. Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski start up top as expected, while Serge Gnabry is on the wing.
New year, new problems. With Bayern Munich still unable to field a full squad, this is not a good time to be visiting FC Koln. Coach Steffen Baumgart has his team riding high on three consecutive wins in the league, and they already gave Bayern an incredibly tough time in the Hinrunde.
Julian Nagelsmann has a few players back compared to last week, which definitely helps. While Alphonso Davies has been ruled out due to myocarditis and most of the newly returned players remain unfit, Manuel Neuer is set to replace Sven Ulreich in goal. Meanwhile, many of the first teamers are still available, like Serge Gnabry, Thomas Muller, and Robert Lewandowski.
Borussia Dortmund showed last week that they’re not giving up this title without a fight. Bayern need all three points against Koln to keep a safe cushion at the top of the table. Can Nagelsmann earn his wins with a depleted sqaud?
It’s Bayern time.
While you’re waiting for the game, why not check out our preview podcast? Listen to it below or at this link.
Location: RheinEnergieSTADION, Cologne, Germany
Time: 3:30 pm local time, 9:30 am EST
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