Inter Milan did their best to make it tough sledding for Bayern Munich in their Champions League tilt to open the group stages, but were undone by two scintillating moments showcasing Leroy Sané’s decisive qualities in the Bavarian attack. Sané has had to fight his way into starting lineups this season, but head coach Julian Nagelsmann was delighted by the Bayern #10’s display on Wednesday.
“Leroy had two great moments that led to goals,” enthused coach Julian Nagelsmann. For the first goal, Sané made a “super run”, explained the 35-year-old. Kimmich’s chipped ball was “difficult to deal with,” but Sané did “very well.”
For the second goal, Sané demonstrated “his greatest asset” — namely his ability “to shift the tempo of the game when the opposition steps up”, as Nagelsmann went on to explain. Sané’s “first few yards” were “very difficult to defend against.”
Despite often being held in reserve — Sané enjoys drifting infield as a playmaker and provider, and even sometimes formed part of the midfield line in Bayern’s build-up shape — Sané’s bursting forward runs have been a regular feature. His successful touch around Inter keeper André Onana was far from his first 1-v-1 situation with a goalkeeper this season.
It is indeed his acceleration. Even when he starts from a deeper position, Sané gets up to speed instantly and can breeze by even the pacey Sadio Mané to seem as if he were the central forward all along. Combined with his flair and passing vision, it’s a lethal double-threat. Opposing back lines will have to gauge whether Sané is there to provide, or if he’ll be the one making the run.
Bayern aren’t scoring five or six goals in every game this year, but they aren’t making it easy on defenses to stop that. Players like Sané being in Nagelsmann’s arsenal — as one of an entire set of potent options in attack — are a big reason why.
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