Bayern Munich looked a touch off the pace in their friendly match against RB Salzburg, you might say. Despite a considerable edge in possession, the Bavarians could only slug out a 1-1 draw — in a return of familiar themes — and the first team conceded twice in succession to RB Salzburg’s backups in the second half. Bayern’s lone tune-up game looked to be seriously getting away from them.
Enter the young guns.
“The substitutes brought a lot of energy, Mathys Tel played an outstanding game,” enthused manager Julian Nagelsmann after the game (via @iMiaSanMia). “Kingsley [Coman] was good too. There was good power on the pitch. It was good for a test, we can draw conclusions from it. It’s important to have full battery next Friday against Leipzig.”
Tel wasn’t the only youngster to make a lively show of it in. Tarek Buchmann, Lovro Zvonarek, Yusuf Kabadayi, and Arijon Ibrahimović all got some senior minutes in the friendly — and Ibrahimović uncorked a long-range screamer that marked the start of the second-half, youth-led comeback.
But it’s probably not time to hit the panic button on the first team — who have a lot more load management on their mind as they work their way to fitness for next week’s Bundesliga Rückrunde opener against RB Leipzig.
“The first 20 minutes were good, after that we didn’t defend as consistently,” Nagelsmann said. After the exhausting training camp, we were a bit tired. We still have work to do, but we did a lot of things well. In the last 30 minutes we had fresh players who picked up the pace.”
One thing’s for sure: the energy and verve brought on by the young guns was a spark. If some of these academy talents can make their way into the senior team in the second half of the season, all the better for squad depth — and Bayern’s treble hopes.