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Daily Schmankerl: The aftermath of Bayern Munich vs. Union Berlin; Juventus challenging Bayern on Ajax’s Ryan Gravenberch; Liverpool, Manchester City the class of the UCL?; Robert Lewandowski is a beast; and MORE!

Bayern Munich won that one easily, eh?

FC Bayern München v 1. FC Union Berlin - Bundesliga Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Die Folgen: Bayern’s 4-0 victory over Union (Bavarian Football Works)

Bayern Munich was hit with a lot of bad news during the work, but the squad rallied to pull out a strong victory over a spiraling Union Berlin side. Here are some quick hitters on the match:

  • When Bayern Munich’s line-up came out, I actually breathed a sigh of relief. Seeing a back four gave at least some sense of stability given the absences of Niklas Süle and Benjamin Pavard. I’m not against Julian Nagelsmann using a back three, but with Tanguy Nianzou and Josip Stanisic joining Lucas Hernandez and Dayot Upamecano, it just felt like a more conservative defensive approach would work better — and it did.
  • Union Berlin’s chances in the 22nd minute showed both Nianzou and Upamecano getting beat, but it didn’t matter as Taiwo Awoniyi could not get a great touch on the end of Sheraldo Becker’s cross.
  • Back four or back three...counterattacks are truly the Achilles’ heel for Bayern Munich.
  • Kingsley Coman is so good. Playing as a wing, Coman was disruptive and dangerous...this is where he is at his best. While the power and accuracy of his shot were extremely impressive, his movement into space to receive the pass from Lucas Hernandez and the subsequent quick touch and rip were all just awesome.
  • It was good to see Nianzou get his name on the scoresheet. The young Frenchman timed his jumped perfectly on Joshua Kimmich’s corner and struck the ball with just enough force for the goal. Nianzou’s potential is easy to see, but he has struggled this season for the most part. This was a good showing for him, though.
  • Jamal Musiala was very good again in working in the central midfield. His versatility is a huge asset to Nagelsmann.
  • Union Berlin’s ultra-aggressive press seemed to wear them down a bit.
  • It was good to see Robert Lewandowski drop in a couple of goals as well. The Hitman had a few games over the last month where it looked like he was struggling to get involved, but he operated much more freely this game.
  • There is very little doubt whenever Lewandowski lines up behind a ball on the spot is there? I can’t say I fully agreed with the foul assessed to Andreas Luthe, though.
  • Lewandowski’s second goal was an amazing display of control from Leroy Sane to Thomas Müller to Musiala to Lewandowski.
  • Sane has really started to fancy those long distance attempts hasn’t he? Sane, too, was a problem for Union Berlin.
  • Kudos to Manuel Neuer. The Germany international might not have been tested a ton, but he clinched yet another record.
  • Overall, Bayern Munich did what it had to do against an inferior opponent. Union Berlin has not been the same since Max Kruse left and having to face off with a Bayern Munich side looking to prove itself was too tall of a task.

If you missed our Initial Analysis, Match Awards, or Observations give them a look:

Juve chasing Rüdiger with United, Madrid, PSG in the running (@cfbayern)

Juventus, Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Paris Saint-Germain are all actively looking at Chelsea FC defender Antonio Rüdiger:

If you are wondering about Bayern Munich, we’ll Fabrizio Romano has that news for you:

Bayern target Gravenberch draws Juve interest (Corriere dello Sport via @iMiaSanMia)

According to a report from Corriere dello Sport, Juventus is prepared to offer Ajax €25 million for midfielder — and rumored Bayern Munich transfer target — Ryan Gravenberch.

Fabrizio Romano captured this from Gravenberch that states he has not talked to Julian Nagelsmann as of yet:

When it comes to spending money on a midfielder that likely will struggle to get on the field, I’ll take a hard pass.

LFC, City top UCL contenders, while Bayern, Chelsea are next level down (Daily Mirror)

Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole both say that Bayern Munich is not at the level of Manchester City or Liverpool:

Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole both agree that Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea and Bayern Munich are the four teams to beat in the Champions League.

There are eight teams left in the competition after Chelsea’s 2-1 win against Lille (4-1 on aggregate) with the draw for the quarter-finals set to be made. Liverpool and City are the clear favourites to go all the way, but reigning champions Chelsea are still in the hunt to defend their crown, while Bayern and Real Madrid have plenty of experience as previous winners in recent times.

Atletico Madrid, Villarreal and Benfica are considered outsiders, but at this stage, a case could be made for any team to win it all. Ferdinand and Cole reckon Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola’s men are top of the tree with Chelsea and Bayern not far behind them, however.

ICYMI: Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 1, Episode 41

Bayern Munich had an absolutely crazy week off of the pitch.

Aside of another frustrating Bundesliga effort against Hoffenheim, the major storylines were flowing for Bayern Munich. There was no shortage of things to talk about and this is what we have on tap for this episode:

  • Niklas Süle’s injury, why it is a massive loss, and how this will give fans a preview for what life on the backline will look like next season.
  • The lack of movement on Bayern Munich’s list of transfer targets.
  • Understanding why Julian Nagelsmann might be unhappy with his roster and why there is a reason for concern that a gap exists between the coaching staff and front office.
  • Erling Haaland’s rumored move to Manchester City appears to be getting closer.
  • Why Robert Lewandowski feels disrespected and how re-upping him holds a key to the future.

Inter chasing Haller (Sport Bild)

Once part of Eintracht Frankfurt’s vaunted big three with Luka Jovic and Ante Rebic, Sebastien Haller is a wanted man. After he left Eintracht in favor of West Ham United, Haller subsequently moved to Ajax. Now, Inter Milan wants him:

According to a report in the Italian newspaper “Gazzetta dello Sport”, Inter Milan is now also involved in Haller Poker. Accordingly, representatives of the club have already met with Haller’s advisors. Even if there are no concrete negotiations: Haller is on the list of Italians!

Haller, who I saw played in Philadelphia during a friendly vs. the Union (you’ve never heard about that I bet), is an impressive figure, who seems to have had his game mature this season.

Lewy has been good — as always (@FCBayernEN)

Because we are used to it, sometimes we forget just how good Robert Lewandowski is:

ICYMI: Bavarian Podcast Works: Special Edition — Bayern Munich draw Villarreal + Champions League brackets (Bavarian Football Works)

The Champions League draw just concluded today and it’s official — Bayern Munich will face Villarreal CF in the quarter-finals. Not only that but UEFA served up some juicy ties this year in the form of brackets, with teams like Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City, and Atletico Madrid all facing each other. Plenty to talk about, as well as a dreaded potential reunion with Liverpool.

Here are our talking points from the draw:

  • What do we actually know about Villarreal CF?
  • INNN watched them knock out Juventus and he explains how they did it.
  • Schnitzel and INNN discuss what Villarreal could do to exploit Bayern’s weaknesses.
  • Will Unai Emery play the same way, or will he change his tactics to deal with Nageslmann?
  • Onto the other side of the bracket — Liverpool or Benfica, who will win? (Hint: Probably the one you think.)
  • And then the other brackets. Can Chelsea beat Real Madrid? Will Pep overthink vs Simeone?
  • A final note on the Villareal game and our expectations/concerns.
  • How Villarreal’s big game experience could help them beat Bayern.