Bayern Munich demonstrated their qualities and revealed their weaknesses in a topsy-turvy, incredibly fun match against RB Leipzig in the DFL-Supercup. Here are the observations:
Julian Nagelsmann got it right in the first half
Yes, sometimes, he gets things right. Nagelsmann fielded what seemed on paper a 3-5-2 to counter Leipzig’s 3-5-2. In reality, it seemed like a back four at times with Alphonso Davies playing in a hybrid role. Sadio Mané and Thomas Müller fed off each other with Mané in a more advanced role.
It all worked beautifully; the midfield took control. The front players’ interplay was simply gorgeous. The defense held up when Leipzig attacked (few and far between) except for one moment when Christopher Nkunku scored; his goal was judged to be offside per the new interpretation of the rules.
Jamal Musiala has to start most of the time!
I think every time I write observations for a game when Jamal Musiala plays, I write this observation. The only way to take the ball off Musiala today was to foul him. The only moment when I can recall Musiala making the wrong decision was one specific moment when Sadio Mané was open, but Musiala didn’t pass to him, holding onto the ball and getting fouled in the process. He was at the peak of his powers otherwise. When he went off, Bayern went down a level.
The chaos in the second half is Nagelsmann’s learning moment
When Leipzig changed their system, bringing on Dani Olmo and André Silva, Bayern started to struggle. Yes, Bayern used the counterattack effectively but did also concede three goals in the process, one due to a blatant foul by Benjamin Pavard (who also scored a goal). The organization was a mess; this will most likely change as the season goes forward but Nagelsmann did not initially react well to the Leipzig changes.
Bringing on Kingsley Coman helped as Leipzig tried to move the ball through the wings at times and Coman proved a valuable antidote down his side. Meanwhile, Leroy Sané settled the game — so, bringing him on can be judged to be the right move too. That being said, conceding three is never good for a team trying to challenge on all fronts.
That’s it from me! I thoroughly enjoyed it and I certainly hope you did too! As always, thank you for reading.