Bayern Munich have finally gone on top of the Bundesliga table with a 6-2 victory over Mainz 05, although Union Berlin have a game in hand. Six different goal scorers from the Bavarians proved too much for Mainz whose goals were preventable. Let’s look at the pressing points in today’s game.
The renaissance of Serge Gnabry
Serge Gnabry is slowly rediscovering his form after a long period of inconsistency. Ever since the start of the 2020/21 season, Gnabry has blown hot and cold in the games that he played in and has drawn the ire of fans. Gnabry, however, is getting back to his old ways after assisting all three goals against FC Barcelona in the Champions League and opening the scoring today whilst finally learning how to pass a ball. The return of 2019/20 Gnabry is much welcomed and much needed and could help Bayern navigate the tough stretch of upcoming games.
Finishing is not there yet
Once again, Bayern could have had more goals had they converted their chances better. Bayern may have scored six, but the opportunities that they passed up on was mildly irritating. Bayern have had 24 shots the whole game, 18 of which either went wide or hit the woodwork. Although scoring six against someone like Mainz who have given Bayern a tough time sounds great, it can still be better because better finishing will do wonders against better teams. Such is the case in the Champions League where the next team Bayern gets in the Round of 16 is going to be much better than their groupmates or even Bundesliga teams so lax finishing simply won’t do.
Bundesliga officiating has been terrible this year
It’s plain for everyone to see that it is impossible to deny it now: Bundesliga officiating has gone down in quality. Earlier this season, Deniz Aytekin was scrutinized for his refereeing in Der Klassiker against Borussia Dortmund three weeks ago. Now, Benjamin Cortus is the next one up.
He’s had a bad game before with Bayern and he’s not had a good game today (worse than probably Sven Ulreich) as he allowed Mainz way too much time to foul Bayern players before finally brandishing a yellow card. Worse things followed in his penalty predicament where he took too long to award Bayern a penalty while calling a foul on Ulreich for being on the receiving end of a collision from a Mainz player, thus giving the 05ers a penalty. Bundesliga refereeing is in danger of being classed in the same group as English referees, so the DFB must do something about it.
Bonus observation: The pigeons are Mainz spies
I couldn’t help but notice that our little pigeon friends were present for the whole game. They were always there and stayed there even if play was headed to that area of the pitch. I have a sneaking suspicion that they aren’t real pigeons, rather robotic ones sent by Mainz to scout Bayern’s performances in the hope that they beat us in the DFB-Pokal in February 2023. Julian Nagelsmann better have that secret training area handy.
Interested in more analysis of the game? We talk about the tactical changes Julian Nagelsmann has made to make Bayern Munich so much more threatening in our postgame podcast. Listen to it below or on Spotify.
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