Bayern Munich let the C word creep in on top of having a shaky setup against a determined Mainz side and paid the price for it. Bo Svensson’s men were organized, energetic and brutal on the field to dominate the visitors. Had they not been so wasteful with their chances, this game could have seen Bayern easily concede 5+ goals. Having gotten that out of the way, here are the match awards:
Jersey Swap: Leandro Barreiro
Mainz’s play was all about tight defense, brutal midfield domination and switching passes in attacks. Their attack could have done better, otherwise a superb performance from Bo Svensson’s men.
Mainz had several players that had a fantastic game and were deserving of the Jersey Swap. Barreiro, Anton Stach, Dominik Kohr, Niakhate, Burkardt and Onisiwo. These players picked apart their opposition with excellent coordination and grit.
Barreiro was a menace for Bayern who struggled to hold meaningful possession today. Barriero won all 5 of his tackles and constantly stole the ball back for Mainz. His teammate Anton Stach was the sequel after regaining possession. Stach’s runs tore apart any remaining structure left of the opposition. Bayern had no answer to Stach darting past them.
Having the benefit of Radio Muller sitting out this game, Mainz took complete advantage against a disorganized Bayern side and deservedly smashed them.
Der Kaiser : Lucas Hernandez
It is never a pretty day for the defence when they concede 3 goals. If I had to summarize the defense's performance today in one word, it would be overloaded. The midfield sans Thomas Muller struggled to put any pressure higher up the pitch. This lead to the defenders being overloaded. This was probably one of their most overworked games of the season and they had little to no help from their colleagues higher up the pitch.
Overall an average day for the defenders who mostly had to make clearances, block shots and throw their bodies at nearly everything. Despite Mainz’s 22 shots, their average finishing coupled with some decent work at the back saw the scoreline remain respectable for Bayern. Winning 10 duels and making 6 clearances, Hernandez was better than the rest doing a lot of the dirty work required on days like these.
Fußballgott: Joshua Kimmich
Honestly, this section should have remained empty, like how Bayern’s midfield was today. Kimmich being the sole orchestrator was the only source of any creative initiative for Bayern. Despite Bayern having an abysmally low 1.13 xG, Kimmich actually made 4 key passes. The fact that nearly nothing came out of this sums up the game. Bayern just could not hold meaningful possession higher up than Kimmich. Mainz were just too good and Bayern weren’t anywhere close to challenging the home side’s relentless pressure.
Der Bomber: Robert Lewandowski
The Pole cut a frustrated figure today. He was starved of service and was up against a crowded box hellbent on bullying him. He captained the team today but unfortunately could not lead them across the line. Robert picks up an award for scoring that fabulous goal for Bayern. The first touch and the swivel to completely take his marker out, followed by that finish halfway through his turn, with his weak foot was a highlight of the game. It’s a shame that Bayern couldn’t make much of that goal. Aside from that goal, Lewy tried to drop back, drag some defenders out of position to create space with partial success.
Meister of the Match: Nobody
That was no surprise at all. The title race is done and complacency creeping in, especially in the very next match is not unexpected. However, the manner in which Bayern lost this game is very worrying. Julian Nagelsmann will get another season – at least some of it. He’s got the time and the personnel to change things for the better.