Bayern Munich, in an usual and expected fashion, beat FC Barcelona 3-0, and not even for the first time in recent years. Shutting the Catalonians off seems to be a specialty of the Bavarians, who have done the same for three years in a row so far. Sending Barça off to Europa League, here are some of the talking points of Bayern’s stylish win at Spotify Camp Nou.
A mixed bag of good and bad decisions
Bayern lately have had ‘commanding’ games with all sorts of scorelines — 2-0, 3-0, 4-0, and so on. What really has been the deciding factor in these games for the Bavarians have been some common features such as excellent defending and fantastic build-up play. During the first leg at the Allianz Arena, Julian Nagelsmann’s side managed a 2-0 win while looking far from perfect. This game, they put their good defending to use to maintain control and win the game. While Bayern doesn’t mind ‘risky’ situations, it would perhaps be unnecessary to land themselves in so many of those.
Another aspect is Bayern’s inability to kill games, or finish them off. Tonight, Barça was a mess and such a move would not have been necessary but figuring out a way to lull the tempo of the game smoothly would massively help Bayern.
Passing remains an interesting aspect of Bayern’s game.
If the team keeps passing this badly, they might need beginner level lessons.
Goal-scoring and goal-assisting perfection
It was Sadio Mané who opened up the scoring within ten minutes of being on the pitch, with due credit to Serge Gnabry for the assist. Mané easily outpowered the helpless Héctor Bellerín as he put one past Marc-Andre ter Stegan. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting continues to be the reliable target man for Bayern, as he made it 2-0 with a slick and powerful shot at 31’. This is where Gnabry comes into play — the German international was providing yet again, with a neat cross that Choupo made good use of. Finally towards the end of the game, as Barcelona’s already-poor defense crumbled into dust, Benjamin Pavard made reason #3 for Barça fans all over the world to have an even worse day, and our ever-reliable Gnabry made it a hat-trick of assists. Throughout the game, it was Gnabry, with a flurry of crosses and shots that really ran things at the attack department.
P.S: A moment of silence for Serge — there was that offside at the 55’ mark!
No Lewandowski? No Problem.
Neither Choupo, or Mané are one-to-one replacements for Lewandowski and the case of Mathys Tel is far too early to determine. As every Bayern player, member and staff stated post-Lewandowski’s departure, the only way to truly replace him would be a team effort where every player makes an effort to contribute to goalscoring. This has been the case since the start of this season with Bayern’s newfound fluidity in attack that has been absolute treat to witness.
As far as this game is concerned, it is note-worthy that Barcelona’s poor defense cost them the game. With all due credit for Bayern for having played such fantastic football, they were easily the better side even if they hadn’t put that much effort in. On top of this, they walked out of the pitch not having registered a single shot on target. Perhaps, things don’t just have to work out after purchasing Robert Lewandowski...
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