It wasn’t exactly the dream return to Hoffenheim for Julian Nagelsmann as Bayern Munich dropped points in the Bundesliga for the second week straight. The thunderous 7-1 win against RB Salzburg midweek in the Champions League made it seem like Hoffenheim would potentially be in for an onslaught, but Bayern failed to make the most of their plethora of chances. First half goals from Christoph Baumgartner (32’) and Robert Lewandowski (45+3’) were all the scoring summary had to show for the 14 shots on target between both sides combined (Bayern 8, Hoffenheim 6).
Speaking after the match, Nagelsmann noted that he was overall pleased with most of what he saw from his side in what was a fast-paced, gripping match, especially from the neutral perspective. “I’m a fan of attractive soccer matches. For the fans it was a very good game, I am also satisfied with the performance of my team over long stretches. We scored three goals, were minimally offside,” he explained (Tz). Two Thomas Muller goals had been ruled out for offside and he was also denied a potential third when Stefan Posch cleared one of his chances off of the goal line after a clever dummy from Lewandowski to create the space for his teammate.
For Baumgartner’s goal, Bayern got caught in transition after losing the ball just inside of Hoffenheim’s half and Baumgartner was left wide open at the far post to put it back across a scrambling Manuel Neuer. Nagelsmann felt that his side should’ve done far better to respond to that developing situation as it happened to prevent conceding the goal. “We have to solve the situation better earlier. Then it was a beautiful goal, you have to make him like that first,” he said.
Naturally, the closing stages of the second half saw a lot of end to end action as both sides were pressing for a second goal. Bayern had three or four concrete chances to break the deadlock and their fortunes were perhaps best represented by the triple chance from Leroy Sane, Lucas Hernandez and Serge Gnabry that came in the span of just about 90 seconds of one another. Hoffenheim also had chances of their own on the break as Bayern started to force numbers forward and Nagelsmann was wary of the amount of chances they were giving up without converting chances of their own. “Before Hoffenheim has the three chances, we actually have to decide the game. If I compare that to a game from three or four weeks ago, then that was a good step in the right direction,” he explained.
It was just one of those matches were you could just tell a second goal wasn’t going to come for Bayern. They couldn’t seem to get a stroke of luck to go their way with the credible chances they were creating, but Nagelsmann also noticed that the dry conditions of the pitch might’ve also had something to do with it. “You can see that the pitch is dry. You can see that in all the actions, the ball bounces away quite strangely,” he said.