It didn’t take long for Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann to realize a major rethink was in order against 1. FC Köln. If only to send a message to his locker room, the coach made a double change at half-time (Kingsley Coman and Ryan Gravenberch on for Serge Gnabry and Leon Goretzka)...and as the game wore on, kept throwing on attackers to try and shift his team’s fortunes.
While fans can speculate on reasons why Gnabry might have been removed, Goretzka suffered dizziness, which required an early exit.
In the end, the moves helped Bayern Munich secure a draw — if only at the death. Still, it was a tale of two halves for the home side, who went down 0-1 early in the contest.
“We were better in the second half after the subs. Köln sat deep and made it difficult for us,” Nagelsmann said after the game (via @iMiaSanMia). “If we scored earlier, it would’ve been tough for them. The way we played in the 2nd half was what we had imagined. I’m confident we’ll get back to winning ways if we keep that up.”
Indeed. While in the first half the Bavarians looked shell-shocked and disjointed, they poured the pressure on in the second. The visitors looked as likely to smash-and-grab their way to 2-0 initially, but that impetus disappeared after the break. In its place, the usual air of inevitability — with a result that came, if anything, surprisingly late.
It was also an earlier run-out this time for Thomas Müller, the veteran playmaker who has appeared to cede the No. 10 spot in attacking midfield to the young Jamal Musiala — but whose presence in attack was a rejuvenation for Bayern.
In any case, the message is clear: Bayern have the reserves. For those who want to remain in the starting lineup, the team’s sky-high standards will have to be maintained.
Want to hear more about the game? Why not check out our post-game podcast? Chuck’s not worried (yet) but talks us through lineups, Thomas Müller, cohesion, and more. Listen below or directly on Spotify:
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