In Bayern Munich’s first Bundesliga match since November 13th, they took on league challengers RB Leipzig at Red Bull Arena and ended with a struggle-filled draw.
World Cup Blues
I cannot say I’m even remotely surprised, but Bayern Munich struggled significantly today. The same could be said for RB Leipzig, but Bayern’s star players were just not their usual selves. Joshua Kimmich continually misplayed passes and his horrendous turnover led to Leipzig’s only goal. Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sané continually could not connect and the attack was rather toothless. Dayot Upamecano struggled mightily, earning a questionable yellow card that very well could have been red.
As a team, Bayern lacked cohesion and it showed. Leipzig outshot the Rekordmeister in both total shots and shots on goal — all while missing their star attacker in Christopher Nkunku. While there is no reason to be too concerned, this was not the showing any of us wanted after being away from the Bundesliga for over two months.
Welcome to the club, Yann Sommer
Right off the bat, Yann Sommer seemed to be comfortable in goal. While he is hardly the sweeper-keeper Manuel Neuer is, Sommer was nonetheless trustworthy in goal in his first appearance for Bayern Munich. Sommer was fully capable of playing short out of the back and showcased his strong hands on numerous other occasions. While he is still in the acclimation phase at the club, Sommer appears a clear upgrade over Sven Ulreich. Once he and the Bayern back line get comfortable with one another, Sommer could prove capable of saving more than just shots on goals — he could save Bayern’s season.
Bundesliga is wide open
With this draw, the Bundesliga appears to be approaching “wide open” territory. If SC Freiburg is able to win their first match of the Rückrunde, all of two points would separate first and second place, with third place nipping closely at their heels. Marco Rose has been nothing but spectacular since his introduction as RB Leipzig coach, SC Freiburg is continuing their fairy tale season and Frankfurt continues to have a potent offense thanks to the resurgence of Germany icon Mario Götze.
Bayern Munich needed a victory to help quell the potential pressure of a title challenger. A draw will have to do. Looking forward, Bayern has two very winnable games this month. If anything, the focus needs to be on re-building the rapport between squad mates thanks to the World Cup layoff.
Want to hear more about the game? Why not check out our post-game podcast? Samrin is here to take you through an intriguing Nagelsmann lineup, unsteady performances, Yann Sommer’s debut, and more! Listen below or directly on Spotify:
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