Bayern Munich will advance to the second round of the DFB-Pokal after a deserved victory against Viktoria Köln. Despite a difficult start to the game, the difference in quality ultimately helped Bayern surpass a third division club punching way above its weight. New kids Ryan Gravenberch and Mathys Tel had great showings that defied their age. Without further ado, here are the observations.
Viktoria Köln proved solid opposition
The scoreline may read 0-5 in favour of Bayern, but let’s not forget that the Bavarians have been smashing Bundesliga teams for more than that this season. For a third division team to be able to hold up 0-1 until the 45th minute against a free-scoring Bayern side is saying something. Props to Viktoria Köln!
Now, Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann did make several changes to the squad — but it was still a heavy-hitting starting eleven. Aside from Mathys Tel, it was a full-fledged starting lineup in the four attacking positions. Bayern were coasting for the first forty minutes or so but Viktoria weren’t going to let the visitors get away without a fight.
Bayern had to wake up and switch up the pace of the game to be able to create big chances and score. Special shoutout to Viktoria Köln’s goalkeeper, Ben Alexander Voll!
Sadio Mané, a class above
Sadio Mané is without doubt the best attacker in the squad, especially in 1-vs-1 situations. While Viktoria Köln were closing down the flanks and not giving much room for the Bayern wingers, Sadio Mané often just breezed past the defenders with his trickery.
Every time Sadio had the ball at his feet, he appeared unstoppable. Completing five of his nine dribbles and being dispossessed only once, Mané overwhelmed the home side routinely with his pace, power and skill.
Mesmerising youngsters — Mathys and Ryan
The 17-year-old Mathys Tel is officially Bayern’s youngest goal scorers in all competitions. Tel had a dream start for Bayern, to say the least. Starting on the left flank, Tel found several opportunities to move freely to create chances and used them. While his pace, physique and mobility are excellent attributes, it was his composure with the ball at his feet and eye for goal that stood out for his age. His goal will go a long way in boosting his confidence as he undertakes what is hopefully to be a long journey with the German Rekordmeister.
Ryan Gravenberch, likewise, felt like a totally seasoned pro. His ability to drift into attacking spaces, his drive towards goal, and control under pressure were all on display. Creating four chances and scoring a goal himself before topping it off with an assist to his name, Ryan had a great game. With further refinement, we might have a real gem on our hands. And so it looks like Bayern’s present — as well as future — is remarkably bright.
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