Initial reactions and observations
- Bayern Munich pulled a rabbit out of a hat here. How did all that Barcelona domination result in two goals ... to us? Robert Lewandowski will be fuming after his missed chances, he could’ve singlehandedly cost Barca the game.
- Leon Goretzka coming on gave Bayern the physicality they were missing in the first half. The midfield battle evened up which allowed the attack to finally score.
- Lucas Hernandez, Dayot Upamecano, Noussair Mazraoui, and Alphonso Davies all deserve MotM awards. Their performances were phenomenal. Incredible game by them.
- Thomas Muller had his first off game vs Barca.
- Leroy Sane maintains his scoring form. Great showing from him.
Full time: Bayern Munich win 2-0.
70’ — Subs: Ryan Gravenberch and Mathys Tel on for Musiala and Sane.
54’ — GOOOOOOOOOOAL! Somehow it’s double! Leroy Sane makes it 2-0!
50’ — GOOOOOOAL! Lucas Hernandez makes it 1-0!
45’ — The second half is underway! Goretzka comes on for Marcel Sabitzer.
Halftime observations and analysis
- Bayern Munich had to hang on that half. Robert Lewandowski had three clear-cut chances. Honestly it’s a miracle that it’s not been a massacre.
- Barcelona are pressing Bayern off the pitch. They keep forcing simple giveaways, it’s infuriating to watch. Don’t these guys practice passing?
- Alphonso Davies is the only Bayern player playing up to standard. He had his flank shut down and launched a number of dangerous attacks all by himself.
- Ter Stegen has barely had a job to do today, while Neuer has made a number of big saves.
- Dayot Upamecano and Lucas Hernandez have had to make a number of last-ditch clearances, Barca are all over Bayern here.
Halftime: Bayern Munich 0-0 FC Barcelona.
30’ — We’re half an hour in and it’s a miracle how Lewandowski hasn’t scored yet.
19’ — Benjamin Pavard seems to have a thigh injury. He’s coming off. Mazraoui comes on.
Kickoff: We’re underway!
One hour until kickoff: We have lineups! Julian Nagelsmann chooses to field Bayern Munich in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Sadio Mane up top, and Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane, and Jamal Musiala behind. Dayot Upamecano comes in for Matthijs de Ligt at center back. Otherwise, the XI is as we expected. The team will be need to be on top its game to beat Barcelona tonight.
Meanwhile here is Barca’s lineup if you’re curious. They’ve chosen to start Marcos Alonso at LB, but otherwise no surprises.
Despite beating Inter Milan less than a week ago, Bayern Munich are in sort of a crisis. The team has failed to win three Bundesliga games in a row, and now face the prospect of hosting an in-form FC Barcelona side at the Allianz Arena.
Despite being a marquee Champions League fixture, previous meetings between these two sides have been hilariously one-sided affairs. Now, thanks to the exchange of one Robert Lewandowski between the two FCBs, parity has been restored. In fact, the Spanish version could very well be stronger this time round.
Julian Nagelsmann will know he’s under pressure. Though no one has said it aloud, this game vs Barca will serve as a litmus test for his new-look side. After a summer that saw the squad significantly reshaped, the coach must deliver expedient results. He has a star studded lineup at his disposal — the likes of Thomas Muller, Joshua Kimmich, Sadio Mane, Alphonso Davies, and the rest have all seen success against the other FCB in the past. Now it’s a matter of putting it all together, to show that Bayern deserve the title of contenders.
It’s Bayern time.
While you’re waiting for the game, why not check out the latest episode of our podcast? We did a breakdown of Bayern’s struggles in recent week, plus a look at how the Barca game could pan out. Listen to it below or at this link.
Location: Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Time: 9:00 pm local time, 3:00 pm EST
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