Bayern Munich struggled through the first half, but rallied for a dramatic 2-2 draw, powered by a much more assertive effort in the second half.
However, fans, coaches, and players were all unhappy with the overall effort. Obviously, the floundering first half was at the forefront of mostly everyone’s concerns, but there could be something to build from given the end result. Here are some quick hitters on the match:
- As always, let’s start with a look at the starting lineup:
- There were absolutely no surprises with the lineup...so it should have been good, right? Right?
- The attack, which has struggled to get Harry Kane involved, continued the troubling trend, while midfield truly put the MID in midfield, and the defense was poor.
- Sven Ulreich had a major gaffe in the 13th minute, but Bayern Munich got extremely lucky.
- RB Leipzig sprung for two first half goals in the 20th minute (Lois Openda) and 26th minute (Castello Lukeba) and Bayern Munich was in a ditch before it really felt things out.
- Going to reiterate this: Bayern Munich needs Matthijs de Ligt. Hopefully when he is back and healthy, Tuchel gives him some extended run.
- While the backline’s effort was not totally shambolic, it was not good. People have been so quick to move on to the Kim Min-jae and Dayot Upamecano partnership, but De Ligt is a leader on the backline and an excellent performer. Perhaps, Tuchel needs to take a longer look at what De Ligt does well, instead of what the coach believes are the Dutchman’s shortcomings.
- Konrad Laimer and Alphonso Davies were not great, but neither were Upamecano and Min-jae. Again, the second half was better than the first half, but 45 minutes like what we saw to start the game should not happen given all of the talent on the pitch.
- At the half, Tuchel opted to ring in Mathys Tel and Raphaël Guerreiro for Kingsley Coman and Leon Goretzka. Without getting into a HEALTHY DEBATE about the timing and selection of the subs, it is obvious that Goretzka and Coman are among the Bayern Munich players (Thomas Müller and De Ligt head the list) of players, who Tuchel does not value or might not rate that highly.
- Guerreiro didn’t bring much to the table. The former Borussia Dortmund man was...okay. Tel, meanwhile, was a threat — even if he did not ultimately score.
- Kane took advantage of a handball on Leipzig and converted his attempt from the spot (though it was way closer than some Bayern Munich fans would have liked) in the 57th minute.
- Kane’s tally did spark a renewed level of confidence in Bayern Munich, who was much more assertive (desperate?) in the second half.
- In the 70th minute, Kane headed out a corner attempt from RB Leipzig, with the ball eventually getting on the foot of Musiala, who pushed the pace up field before hitting a streaking Leroy Sané, who stayed red hot to knot the game at 2-2. What a fantastic play!
- Musiala was not particularly stellar prior to that, but that moment of pure greatness made up for the previous uneven effort.
- As for Sané, he just keep producing. What else can you say?
- Kane’s lack of involvement in the attack seems to be two-fold. His movement is not as dynamic as that of Robert Lewandowski when he was toiling away at the top of the formation, which has made it a little harder for him to get into open spaces. However, there is too much chaos around him. Many times the players on the ball act in a frantic manner and are not creating those opportunities to use the world class striker that the club now has. This situation is a work in progress, but needs to improve as soon as possible.
- In the 5th minute of extra time, Sven Ulreich was in an absolute do-or-die situation and made a sliding play on Benjamin Šeško. If Ulreich was a few inches off, Šeško would have easily had the game-winner. An incredible play by Ulreich, but it was also incredibly nerve-wracking.
- I did not get the formation at the end of the game or at least how the players were interpreting it. Kane, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, and Tel were all functioning as strikers, there was no attacking midfielder and no left-winger (Davies slid into that role sort of). It was too jumbled and clustered.
- Overall, fans want to see more from Bayern Munich. Consistency is key and the Bavarians seem to still be struggling with adjusting to tactics and different lineup combinations. It was a gutty comeback effort for sure, but should Bayern Munich be sputtering like it did in the first half? Probably not — even against a good team like RB Leipzig. Tuchel needs to get things in order and some players need to demand more — and better — from themselves.
Manchester United will make a move for Bayern Munich winger Serge Gnabry during the January transfer window, with Erik ten Hag keen to bring in more versatile forwards. Real Madrid are also keeping an eye on the Germany international.
It is still hard to envision Bayern Munich or Gnabry wanting to sever the partnership at this point, but if Mathys Tel keeps pushing his way into more playing time it could affect how some players at the wing position view their future.
Benjamin Šeško is one of the hottest names in Europe at the moment and he turned down Manchester United to play for RB Leipzig:
But possibly also because of the Haaland comparisons, there was a lot of interest in Šeško from the Premier League, especially from Manchester United. “The thing is, I wasn’t really involved in these types of conversations,” Šeško said when asked about the Red Devils’ interest. “But I think it was better to come here,” he added.
Instead, Sesko decided to stay in Red Bull’s football cosmos and became the 20th player to move from Salzburg to Leipzig. The Saxons had already signed the striker last summer and kept him in Salzburg for another season, where he scored 16 goals and four assists in 30 Bundesliga games. “It was very important for me to go to a place that plays a similar style of football,” replied Sesko when asked why he chose Leipzig and not other clubs. “I already knew what I had to do and didn’t have to go through a whole learning process again.”
In Germany, Šeško got off to a good start, scoring three goals in six games across all competitions for Leipzig. So far he has been extremely dangerous under Marco Rose, especially from the bench. His goals will probably continue to fuel the rumor mill. The Premier League will be very attractive in the future, said Šeško, like many of his colleagues in professional football who have similar requirements. But he also referred to his contract in Leipzig, which runs until 2028: “It would be nice to play there. But for now let’s focus on the now and then we’ll see.”
Bayern Munich has had great success so far this season, but not everything has been peachy keen for the boys from Bavaria.
Moreover, some fans have drawn lines on Thomas Tuchel and have evolved into warring factions on just about any matter involving the manager. We will talk about why that is and a whole lot more for this episode of the Weekend Warm-up Podcast. Check out what we have on tap:
- A look at the injury to Serge Gnabry, what it means for the club, and how the transfer rumors linking the Germany international to Manchester United and Real Madrid could be impacted.
- Assessing the small roster.
- Manchester City is linked to both Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz.
- Diving into the discord surrounding Bayern Munich fans and Thomas Tuchel.
- A couple of embarrassing stories on how inept I am and how Terry Francona dissed me into oblivion.
Paris Saint-Germain is still eager to bring in Manchester City star Bernardo Silva:
After seeing two bids knocked back, Paris Saint-Germain are preparing a third approach to sign Man City’s Bernardo Silva in 2024 and are refusing to abandon their dream of signing the Portugal international.
Ryan Gravenberch’s time at Bayern Munich was star-crossed to say the least, but there is one pundit slamming the Bavarians for allowing him to move to Liverpool FC:
Former Germany international Torsten Frings has slammed Bayern Munich for selling Ryan Gravenberch, who joined Liverpool this summer. Speaking to Sport1, the pundit criticised his former club over the sale of the Dutch youth international, with Gravenberch joining Liverpool from Bayern in a £40m deal on deadline day.
Frings said: “It is incomprehensible to many that such a young talent, for whom they paid a lot of money, goes to Liverpool for an unbelievable amount of money.”
At Liverpool, though, early signs suggest that Jurgen Klopp intends to use Gravenberch, with the midfielder impressing last week on his full debut in the UEFA Europa League against LASK. And Bayern could soon regret selling Gravenberch after just one season, with Frings setting the tempo early over how the Bundesliga side handled the 21-year-old’s role at the club.
Praised by Goal as a ‘special’ talent, Gravenberch has the potential to become one of the best midfielders in the world, and Liverpool can get the youngster to a world-class level. Bayern failed to adapt to Gravenberch’s skillset, and whilst Klopp is yet to find an ideal system for the Dutchman, it is only a matter of time before a breakthrough is made. As a result, Bayern could soon regret selling Gravenberch, with the midfielder primed to become a superstar for Liverpool in the years to come.
Real Madrid could get aggressive in a pursuit of Tottenham Hotspur Son Hueng-min:
Another striker on Real Madrid’s radar is Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-min, who is being closely monitored after his impressive start to the season.