Leroy Sané wasn’t the happiest camper after his 80th minute substitution in Bayern Munich’s 2-0 win over FC Barcelona on matchday two of the Champions League group stages — but it was directed at himself, rather than at his coach. The winger was seen smashing a bottle in frustration, and after the game, clarified his feelings in a more light-hearted moment with reporters:
Leroy Sané on smashing a bottle after he was subbed off: "I wasn't angry about my substitution. The bottle had to suffer a bit because I didn't play a good game. The goal was nice, but I wasn't entirely happy with my performance today" [@kerry_hau] pic.twitter.com/ThuiKqKSrH— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) September 13, 2022
Sané’s 54th-minute goal doubled Bayern’s advantage and swung the tide and sense of belief at the Allianz Arena firmly in the home side’s favor for the remainder of the game. It was a marvelous piece of work, and almost a trademark finish now for Sané in one-on-one situations against the keeper. Here again we can hear Ray Hudson wax poetic about Sané’s magician-like qualities:
LEROY SANE— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) September 13, 2022
BAYERN WITH TWO GOALS IN FOUR MINUTES OVER BARCELONA pic.twitter.com/J7VIbZTByf
Deployed on the right wing, Sané found himself with different responsibilities than his usual, but more than stepped up to the plate with his end product. He teed up the first half’s best chance as well for Marcel Sabitzer, though the Austrian midfielder’s shot fizzed narrowly wide.
Still, Sané has set the bar incredibly high for himself, and is a constant striver for improvement. That he was not happy with what could have been on a day as successful as this shows why he’s a brilliant asset to Bayern’s attack — which, of late, has been lots of glitzy teamwork without result, save for moments of individual magic such as what Sané supplied.
Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann is showing that he can flex his front four into a wide variety of configurations depending on each matchup. Against Barça, that meant Sadio Mané and Leroy Sané on the left and right wings, respectively, with Thomas Müller and Jamal Musiala playing through the middle. For the goal, it would be Musiala threading Sané through the center, showing that similar principles are still underlying the different starting positions. For all his self-critique, Sané was trouble for Barça defenders all night long.
And while Mané and Musiala lit up the first few games of the year, it’s been Sané turning it on in the Champions League over the past week. As long as everyone is working this hard, the good times for Bayern should continue.
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