That’s it...I’m convinced that Borussia Mönchengladbach and Yann Sommer have delved into the dark arts to cast a spell against Bayern Munich whenever the Rekordmeister squares off against Die Fohlen.
Whatever the case, Gladbach did it again and stifled Bayern Munich into a draw in what was a truly bizarre game. Here are some quick hitters on the match:
- The starting XI for Julian Nagelsmann did not really feature any surprises. Matthijs de Ligt went back to the bench, while Alphonso Davies stepped back into the starting XI.
- It’s weird...I felt Bayern Munich was thoroughly dominant, but there was just something missing in the final third for the squad. One costly mistake was really all it took. Per Sofascore.com, Bayern Munich had an astounding 33 shots and 69% of the possession...yet still only came away with a 1-1 draw. Totally maddening...
- There is no reason to think Bayern Munich’s attack is going to face many teams that will be able to keep them off the scoreboard, but every time it happens, there will absolutely be questions about the team’s lack of a true No. 9. It’s inevitable, whether any of us agree or disagree with it. The local media will make it a focal point of discussion.
- For the man who made that aforementioned defensive miscue, Dayot Upamecano, it was really the only major mistake of the match for him, but one that made some folks automatically remember the Frenchman’s up-and-down 2021/22 season. With De Ligt on the bench, just waiting for a chance, those kinds of mistakes could give the coaching staff an incentive to make a change.
- Marcus Thuram showed he can still be a handful on that play as well. Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžić storming off after that play was interesting. Manuel Neuer didn’t really give Upamecano much help on that play either, with a questionable angle as he tried to make a play.
- This was probably also Lucas Hernández’s least efficient game of the season — though he wasn’t bad. That just shows you how good he has been. I’m guessing we’ll see De Ligt and Pavard at center-back against Viktoria Köln (though Pavard could also get rested completely).
- Sadio Mané has been a fantastic acquisition for Bayern Munich...there is no doubt about that. However, he does have to get a little more synced up with his timing (it will happen) so he can avoid those offside calls that have been just about the black mark on his record so far.
- I don’t want to say Florian Neuhaus was bad (he wasn’t), but his game definitely stagnated to a point where he is definitely not a player who would be on Bayern Munich’s radar.
- I thought each of Bayern Munich’s attackers were good on the day. Maybe not efficient enough to score more, but good.
- Using De Ligt as a No. 9 is not really anything to panic about and it wasn’t a bad idea given how good he is with headers. I would, however, like to see more of the Dutchman in the starting XI at his natural position.
- Sommer was great again, wasn’t he?
- Thankfully, Leroy Sané broke through in the 83rd minute to knot the game at 1-1. It was a nice feed from Jamal Musiala as well.
- I seem to say it every week, but Benjamin Pavard looks much more active and energetic this season.
- On the bright side, I thought Joshua Kimmich was excellent. After last season’s bout with COVID-19 that absolutely plagued him for months, Kimmich looks like his old self. Given his return to form, I think we all know what time it is...
- Overall, this was bound to happen. Bayern Munich was not going to steamroll through Germany without being challenged. There will be more matches like this — and they’ll be just as frustrating to watch.
“It’s difficult to have comfortable groups in the third pot, but until you have a group like Inter’s, it’s a long way off. Between Bayern and Barça you struggle to choose the team with more quality,” Trevisani said on Sport Mediaset. “The Germans are a less standard and more liquid team without Lewandowski, but Inter managed the undesirable feat of facing him regardless because they drew both Bayern and Barcelona.”
We are back for another another weekend, which mean you’ve got another Weekend Warm-up Podcast to listen to.
- Quick thoughts on Bayern Munich’s Champions League draw.
- Transfer comings and goings for Adrian Fein, Joshua Zirkzee, and Callum Hudson-Odoi (!?).
- Bayern Munich’s plan for Paul Wanner.
- Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžić’s admission on how the club dealt with Erling Haaland and Cristiano Ronaldo.
- Manchester United’s late run at Benjamin Pavard.
- Some thoughts on House of the Dragon...were you let down or did you just not expect much?
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag wants Cristiano Ronaldo to stay at the club for this season.
“We plan with him. So we want him to stay. So that is what we want. I think he [Rashford] was quite effective, especially the first 15 mins after half-time. He understood he has to be a target at times,” said Ten Hag. “He was the one who creates the situations. He was involved in the situations after half time and he played an important role in our attacks in the first 15 mins after half-time. That is what I expected when there is a lot of pressure on the ball that there is a striker that we can play over and he did really well. We have Cristiano, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford so we are okay [for strikers].”
If there is anyone still smarting from Liverpool letting Sadio Mané leave, it is former Arsenal and England player Paul Merson.
“No one’s got started yet for Liverpool, no one’s playing well. With Sadio Mané, I thought it was the worst bit of business I’ve ever seen in football for a long, long time. It was one of the worst I’ve ever seen. Sadio Mané completed a £35m move to Bayern Munich. £30m for a big-game player. If I’m the owner of the club, I want to win the league and you keep Mané to give yourself the best chance of that,” Merson said on Sky Sports. “Let him go for free next summer, he’s done enough for the club and it’s only £30m. I think that’s come back to bite them. They haven’t got started but I wouldn’t be worried yet. I’d be amazed if they finished outside the top four.”
Bavarian Podcast Works: Special Edition — Reacting to Bayern Munich’s Champions League group stage draw (Bavarian Football Works)
The draws are in! Bayern Munich will face FC Barcelona, Inter Milan, and Viktoria Plzeň in the Champions League group stages this season. It’s arguably the group of death this year as at least one big club WILL find itself dumped into the Europa League this season. Of course, that just gives us more juicy games to talk about.
Here are our talking points from the draw:
- The trouble with not getting an English Premier League team in the draw this season.
- How the FC Barcelona draw concerns us this season.
- The importance of Barca’s new additions, especially Robert Lewandowski.
- Why Inter Milan is a deceptively tough tie despite being a Serie A team.
- How this could be the “Group of Death” for this campaign.
- How should Julian Nagelsmann tackle the group stage? Shouldn’t Bayern top the group?
- Could Plzen pull off something against the bigger sides in the group? Upsets incoming?
- More terror at the prospect of facing Robert Lewandowski and questions about Bayern’s defense.
- Arguments about the type of striker Romelu Lukaku is, and an Upamecano vs Lukaku debate.
- A look at the rest of the draws of the Bundesliga teams. How many German teams will qualify?