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Daily Schmankerl: The aftermath of Bayern Munich vs. FC Augsburg; FC Barcelona balking on Robert Lewandowski pursuit?; Pep Guardiola says there is no “better place” than Manchester City; and MORE!

Three points in the bag...on to Villarreal!

FC Bayern München v FC Augsburg - Bundesliga Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Die Folgen: Bayern’s rugged 1-0 victory over Augsburg (Bavarian Football Works)

Bayern Munich bounced back form its Villarreal loss with a tough 1-0 victory over FC Augsburg using a lineup that was filled with subs. Here are some quick hitters on the match:

  • I was hoping Bayern Munich was going to be able to avoid looking ahead to Tuesday against Villarreal, but it felt like that is exactly what happened early on.
  • Niklas Süle getting scratched with a slight fever before the game was a blow as he could have used the field time.
  • If it has been widely established that Leroy Sane is far less effective as a right-wing, why was he used out there? I’m a big proponent of using inverted wingers, but Sane definitely looks and feels more comfortable on the left side.
  • The Dayot Upamecano-Tanguy Nianzou partnership had some shaky moments early on, but held it together for the clean sheet. Nianzou makes too many mistakes, though. He needs more seasoning. I still say a loan where he can play freely and consistently would do him well, but it seems like he will be back with the Bayern Munich first team next season.
  • Serge Gnabry flashed some impressive footwork and vision a few times in the first half, but could not create much offense.
  • Niklas Dorsch is the exact kind of high energy midfielder that would be a great fit at Bayern Munich these days behind Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka. He plays with an immense amount of passion, but that ship has sailed. Arne Maier did a pretty solid job as well for FC Augsburg.
  • Neither Joshua Kimmich, nor Leon Goretzka were great. Goretzka was, in fact, not good. Kimmich did get better as the game went on, but he does not look like himself. Hopefully, he can get some rest and be ready for Tuesday.
  • Dorsch really plays with no fear. He just brings energy and tenacity to pitch. He was fantastic on the day. What a performance for the midfielder.
  • Bayern Munich’s first half offensive effort was extremely choppy again and lacked creativity. It was better in the second half, but only marginally.
  • Omar Richards wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t great either.
  • Benjamin Pavard had a few boneheaded plays in an uneven effort for the Frenchman as well. He has to be better.
  • Alphonso Davies and Marcel Sabitzer each made an instant impact upon entering the match. They brought some life on to the pitch, as did Kingsley Coman and Jamal Musiala.
  • There are like six guys on FC Augsburg that would look totally at home working in an artisan, farm-to-table bagel shop in Brooklyn.
  • The handball on Reece Oxford was very obvious. It wasn’t intentional, but had to be called. Robert Lewandowski, who got no decent service all day, buried the penalty kick. That was an extremely unfortunate play for FC Augsburg, which played an incredibly tough match.
  • FC Augsburg goalkeeper Rafał Gikiewicz was outstanding on the day.
  • Overall, it was an ugly first half, complimented by a re-energized second half. Bringing in Musiala, Coman, Sabitzer, and Davies helped change things. Both teams battled very hard on the day. FC Augsburg deserved a ton of credit for going toe-to-toe with Bayern Munich. In the end, it was a gutty, hard-fought Bundesliga victory for Die Roten. Though the victory might not make fans feel too much better about the state of the squad, it sure was better than the alternative.

if you missed our Initial Analysis, Match Awards, Observations, or Postgame Podcast, give them a look or a listen:

Pep says there cannot be a “better place” than Man City (Sky)

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola appears to be in love with his job:

Pep Guardiola has claimed he is so happy at Manchester City he could stay at the club “forever”. The Spaniard’s current contract at the Etihad Stadium runs until the end of next season. The 51-year-old has twice agreed fresh terms since taking charge in 2016 and has now indicated that he might be willing to do so again.

Guardiola dropped the hint as he responded to reports claiming that Brazil want him to take over as their national team manager after this year’s World Cup.

“Not today, come on,” he said when asked about the Brazil speculation at a press conference. “I’m under contract here, I am so happy here. I will not stay forever (but) I would (like to) stay forever here. There cannot be a better place to be. I could extend the contract 10 years, but I will not extend the contract 10 years. Now is not the moment, please. I don’t know where it came from.”

Barca backing out of Lewy pursuit? (Barca Universal)

It looks like FC Barcelona might be counting its change and realizing it might not have enough cash to make Robert Lewandowski happy:

In recent weeks, Robert Lewandowski has emerged as the main attacking target for FC Barcelona, who are unlikely to shell out millions to sign either Mohamed Salah or Erling Haaland. While the Bayern Munich forward could cost a fortune as well, he has emerged as the desired option due to his age profile and a contract that expires at the end of next season.

Barcelona and PSG are, in fact, two of the most likely destination for the Pole, if he ends up leaving Bayern Munich this summer, as per SPORT. There have been reports of Lewandowski’s desire to play for Barça as well, with the Catalans reportedly closing in on his capture. However, ESPN journalist Moises Llorens has refuted such claims, delivering a rather ominous update on Barcelona’s pursuit of the star striker. It appears Barcelona don’t want to get into trouble with FC Bayern by trying to coax Lewandowski into a move to Camp Nou, despite the club’s evident interest in the player. Barcelona may also have to make significant alterations to their frugal wage structure if they are to pursue the Polish international, who is likely to hold out for a lucrative contract, one on par with Mohamed Salah or even Erling Haaland.

If FC Barcelona is out of the running, Sports Mole says Manchester United will take its place:

Manchester United have reportedly been handed a boost in their attempts to sign Bayern Munich centre-forward Robert Lewandowski during this summer’s transfer window. The Poland international’s contract at Allianz Arena is due to expire in June 2023, and he could seek a move away from the club this summer if he does not sign a new deal in the coming months. Barcelona have been strongly linked with the striker, but according to ESPN, the deal would be difficult for the Catalan outfit due to their ongoing financial problems.

Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 1, Episode 44 (Bavarian Football Works)

The week was sort of normal until Wednesday initiated a run of craziness.

Bayern Munich’s loss to Villarreal in the Champions League, followed the transfer craziness involving Robert Lewandowski and the Ajax duo of Noussair Mazraoui and Ryan Gravenberch really threw the latter part of the week for a loop.

We hit on all of that and more, so check out what we have on tap:

  • Where Bayern Munich went wrong against Villarreal and how things could get better on Tuesday.
  • The potential acquisitions of Mazraoui and Gravenberch and why I don’t get one of the moves.
  • Serge Gnabry’s negotiations and who has interest in the Germany international.
  • The phenom who just won’t commit to Julian Nagelsmann.
  • A couple of other items just for good measure.

Gunners taking to Hazard (Sky)

Arsenal FC is reportedly talking to Real Madrid outcast Eden Hazard:

Arsenal have held discussions with Real Madrid about bringing Eden Hazard to the Eithad Stadium next season, reports Foot Mercato. The Belgium international and former Chelsea winger is expected to bring his stay in Madrid to an end in the summer.

Hazard needs to go somewhere to reignite his career...is Arsenal the place?

United linked with Bellingham...again (The Sun via Sky)

Manchester United is reportedly trying to sort out ways it can acquire Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham:

Manchester United have a three-man shortlist to bolster their midfield options in the summer with Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips believed to be a more achievable signing than his England teammates Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham.

It’s highly doubtful that Borussia Dortmund would consider a sale this summer unless Manchester United threw around some crazy money.

Bayern sign 15-year-old Swiss youth international Gabriel Gonazalez (@fcbayerncampus)

Bayern have signed 15-year-old Swiss youth international Gabriel Gonzalez to a long-term contract. The FC Aarau player will be assigned to the club’s U-17 team when he joins this summer.

“Gabriel is a dynamic offensive player who can be used both on the offensive flank and as a second striker,” Bayern Campus Sporting Director Holger Seitz said. “We are very pleased that we were able to inspire him for our path and that he will strengthen our teams from the summer.”

This is crazy (@BrianSciaretta)

I have no words...