It was not always pretty, but Bayern Munich used a strong second half to surge away from a game FC Barcelona side. Here are some quick hitters on the match:
- Julian Nagelsmann’s two, suspenseful selections were at center-back and in the attack. Dayot Upamecano and Matthijs de Ligt were battling it our for the defensive spot, while Jamal Musiala and Serge Gnabry were the finalists in the attack. Ultimately, Nagelsmann went with Upamecano and Musiala:
- Upamecano over De Ligt was not shocking after De Ligt’s big gaffe against VfB Stuttgart on Saturday. As for Musiala and Gnabry, Musiala has been the better of the two this season, but Gnabry is the more proven commodity. Surely, both Gnabry and De Ligt wanted to be on the pitch, but were not selected for the starting XI.
- The opening minutes were spent with both teams trying to get an idea what the other was going to bring to the match. Musiala, though, already looked like he was going to be a handful.
- In the 9th minute a very careless and avoidable turnover from Joshua Kimmich almost led to a goal for FC Barcelona, but Manuel Neuer made a terrific save on an attempt from Pedri.
- In the 17th minute, Thomas Müller decided to try and chip a pass into the box rather than shoot and just a minute later, Robert Lewandowski missed putting Barca up by about an inch over the crossbar.
- At this point, Bayern Munich looked out of sync offensively and very wobbly on defense, It was a lot of scrambling by the midfield and defenders, who were all scuffling at that stage of the match. It seemed like a matter of time before Barca would take advantage of Alphonso Davies being caught too far up the pitch, but the Catalans would never be able to capitalize.
- In the 21st minute, Benjamin Pavard had to leave the match and was replaced by Noussair Mazraoui. As you know by now, this was not the last of Bayern Munich’s injuries in the match. Both Lucas Hernandez and Upamecano are also banged up. Hernandez could be out for a longer spell.
- Mazraoui actually had a good chance in the 27th minute, but got off a weak shot that Marc-André ter Stegen easily stopped. This came directly after Raphinha missed (by inches) giving Barca a 1-0 lead. On the day, Mazraoui proved to be a capable replacement for Pavard.
- Marcel Sabitzer took a feed from Leroy Sane in the 31st minute, but fired just wide. It was a fantastic set-up from Sane, who displayed some great footwork to make the play happen. The Austrian should have probably done better with it, especially because he would not be in the game much longer.
- Joshua Kimmich had a very shaky first half. One of his worst halves that I can recall honestly. Kimmich did rebound with a good second half. Ironically, we saw a story earlier in the week, which stated that Kimmich preferred playing with Sabitzer over Goretzka, but adding Goretzka seemed to spark Kimmich a bit.
- Thomas Muller and Sadio Mané collided in the 40th minute on pass into the box. Say what you want, something is off with the communication, fluidity, and synchronicity on offense. Something is off.
- Bayern Munich’s defenders did get a bit bullied at times by Lewandowski (who doesn’t, though?).
- Mazraoui would end up making a big impact, simply because he tracked down Lewandowski, just before the Pole was about to put Barca up and made a goal-saving tackle.
- Just before halftime, Sané was sprung on a break, but was indecisive and ended up dribbling past the end line — it was that kind of half for Bayern Munich.
- If there was a bright side to the first half effort, it was that Neuer held strong under pressure and Alphonso Davies was back to looking like one of the best left-backs in the world.
- Nagelsmann made a shocking move to start the second half by yanking Sabitzer in favor of Goretzka. Sabitzer did pick up a yellow card in the first half, which could have been the reason. Kimmich later picked up a yellow card as well.
- I didn’t feel like Sabitzer was bad, but maybe the yellow card had Nagelsmann worried — or the manager just wanted to changed things up.
- Shortly after Goretzka fired a laser at Ter Stegen that the German pushed away for a corner. Kimmich, though, delivered a perfect ball and Lucas Hernandez headed the ball in for a 1-0 lead.
- I need to say this again, Müller needs to be better than he has been on offense. Is he uncomfortable with his role? Is he battling confidence? Something seems up — at least with his attacking performance. Simply put, he also needs to produce more.
- Speaking of production, Sané did it again! What an effort after a feed from Musiala. Sane had such a good finish after some quick dribbles to give Bayern Munich a 2-0 lead. At this point, FC Barcelona had to wonder what was happening.
- Sané has had his ups and downs since joining Bayern Munich — and not everything was perfect against FC Barcelona — but damn he came up big when the squad needed him.
- Pedri missed a gimme (and a wide open Lewandowski in the process) in the 64th minute, which typified Barca’s attacking effort for the day. Close...but just not good enough.
- It was clear that Bayern Munich was far more assertive and aggressive in the second half. The squad’s mindset definitely changed.
- Mané was subbed off for Serge Gnabry in the 70th minute. It was an oddly quiet showing for Mané. Over the course of the second half, FC Barcelona became very stagnant offensively, which took away all of the good things the Catalans had done in the first half.
- Sané was subbed out for Tel in the 80th minute and he did not look to thrilled about it. Sané would later admit that he was unhappy with his performance and took it our on that innocent water bottle.
- It feels like De Ligt might have been getting punished for his late, costly foul in the Stuttgart match, Upamecano and Hernandez were very good together for sure, but De Ligt didn’t even get the token late-game substitution.
- Overall, Bayern Munich did what it needed to do and played through some adversity with a poor first half showing. The team needed to win this match for a variety of reasons, but with all of the craziness that had been circulating in the media, the three points at least provided some normalcy. It was far from perfect — but it was good enough and that was all that it needed to be against FC Barcelona on this day.
“I haven’t spoken to anyone in Harry Kane’s camp,” Salihamidžić told Sport1. “We have faith in our players. Serge [Gnabry], Sadio [Mane], [Eric Maxim] Choupo-Moting and also [Mathys] Tel. These are guys who should grow into it. We have eight players for four positions. In the end you have to see what the market has to offer and we didn’t find anyone is better than what was already in our squad.”
However, Sky’s Florian Plettenberg and Marc Behrenbeck are reporting that Bayern Munich has made Kane its priority — if the club wants to return to playing with a true No. 9:
Max Kruse should have never left Union Berlin.
At this point, Kruse now thinks he is some kind of internet celebrity when most folks probably couldn’t pick him out of a police lineup. What a series of incredible missteps for a talented player:
According to reports in Germany out of favour Wolfsburg star Max Kruse could be headed to MLS in the winter. #InterMiamiCF are reportedly interested. Head coach Kovac has announced that Kruse will no longer play for the club last weekend. ❓@Transfermarkt pic.twitter.com/rX3CBB3YRF— Manuel Veth (@ManuelVeth) September 12, 2022
While Julian Nagelsmann has done a good job of managing his personnel, the recent lack of precision, efficiency, and synchronicity on offense has some fans mildly concerned.
Like always, there is plenty to talk about — including those issues listed above. Let’s take a look at what we have on tap for this week’s episode:
- Why coaching is getting more difficult every year (as Thomas Tuchel and Domenico Tedesco found out — and as Jürgen Klopp might soon learn). Also, did we mention there are some unhappy players at Bayern Munich now?
- The FC Barcelona match is going to tell us a lot about where Bayern Munich is at this stage.
- Matthijs de Ligt and Lucas Hernandez look great together.
- The midfield conundrum...Leon Goretzka wants to start, but Marcel Sabitzer has been great? What will happen there.
- Bayern Munich and Harry Kane might really be interested in forging a relationship in 2023.
Liverpool wanted to bring in RB Leipzig midfielder Konrad Laimer during the summer transfer window, but could not get it done. This would seemingly leave open the possibility of Liverpool chasing Laimer next summer when he will be a free transfer:
Liverpool were really interested in Konrad Laimer as new midfielder but it was impossible to negotiate with Leipzig on last week of August. #LFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) September 12, 2022
Laimer’s contract expires next June and there are many clubs interested — especially Bayern, as Nagelsmann is big fan. #FCBayern pic.twitter.com/48IBqRw4Sy
Travis Kelce pulling out the Erling Haaland celebration pic.twitter.com/tvYJ7Vdj92— Football Transfers (@Transfersdotcom) September 12, 2022
RB Leipzig might be taking a calculated risk on Joško Gvardiol’s development. Die Roten Bullen reportedly rejected a €90 million bid from Chelsea, but might actually be willing to sell Gvardiol...just for a higher fee later down the road. Chelsea and Manchester City are rumored to still be interested:
RB Leipzig turned down Chelsea bid for Josko Gvardiol on Deadline week [it was for summer 2023] as they’re convinced other clubs will join the race next summer, including Man City. #CFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) September 12, 2022
New deal until 2027 but Chelsea are still there and the race is absolutely open. pic.twitter.com/Df4IHOgMFD
Bavarian Podcast Works Season 5, Episode 11: What’s wrong with Bayern Munich lately? + FC Barcelona preview (Bavarian Football Works)
We’re more than a month into the season and Bayern Munich have drawn three games in a row. Granted those games were only in the Bundesliga, and were punctuated by wins against Viktoria Koln in the Pokal and Inter Milan in the Champions League, but it’s still a poor return for a team searching for its eleventh consecutive title. Now, Bayern face the prospect of reuniting with Robert Lewandowski in midweek, when FC Barcelona come to visit. Plenty to talk about.
In this episode, INNN, Samrin, and Marcus discuss:
- What’s behind Bayern’s awful recent form?
- The problem with the offense at the moment — finishing, chance creation, or the lack of an actual striker?
- How do we solve the frontline problem before facing FC Barcelona?
- Moving onto the preview for the Barca game — what kind of coach is Xavi?
- How Barcelona could line up and our impressions on their team.
- Aside from Robert Lewandowski, who is the danger-man on their side? Dembele, Pedri, Gavi, and more.
- How Xavi might set up his midfield to neutralize Thomas Muller.
- Will the fact that Barcelona set up offensively help Bayern Munich attack?
- How will Bayern stop the Barca attack? Should Matthijs de Ligt or Dayot Upamecano start?
- Should Nagelsmann give Goretzka another chance, or stick with Marcel Sabitzer?
- Marcus makes a futile attempt to argue that Gnabry should start ahead of Jamal Musiala in attack. Is he successful?
- Can we still trust in Julian Nagelsmann if he loses to Barca in midweek?
What Sporting CP’s Arthur Gomez did to Tottenham Hotspur here was ruthless: