Bayern Munich shook off the rust (sort of) from the international break with a 3-1 victory over a feisty Mainz 05 side to capture three very important points in the Bundesliga.
On the surface, it might seem like the win should have been a foregone conclusion, but the Bavarians were banged up and probably a little tired, while Mainz 05 was feisty and poised for an upset.
Let’s take a look at some quick hitters on the match:
- As always, let’s look at Thomas Tuchel’s starting XI:
- There were not any surprises, especially given the amount of players, who are banged up. Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich were somewhat in doubt, but both toughed it out for the team.
- It was a good thing that the midfield duo did suit as they — arguably — were two of the squad’s most impactful players.
- Bayern Munich was very choppy with its attack and the squad still had trouble finding ways to get Kane the ball in the final third. For as much as patience has been called for, the “Concern-Ometer” is starting to spike a bit.
- Bayern Munich also favored outswinger corners early in the match, which is an interesting strategy, given how much the team’s set-pieces have been criticized.
- Speaking of criticism...Kingsley Coman’s finishing has been dogged this year, but he unleashed a rocket after a great pass from Leroy Sané to put Bayern Munich up 1-0. It was a little shocking that Coman did not try to cut in, but he let loose with a right-footed rocket.
- Minutes later, Konrad Laimer got beat on a header by Jae-Sung Lee, which Sven Ulreich stretched out to get enough of hand on to push it into the post, where it ricocheted out and was cleared by Matthijs de Ligt. The game should have been tied 1-1.
- Even without much clear, direct service, Kane made his impact felt by heading in a goal that was headed over to him by Goretzka. Sometimes, you just need that presence around the net and good things will happen. Up 2-0 just 16 minutes into the match, Bayern Munich seemed like it was firmly in pole position.
- Moments later, Musiala missed Kane on what would have been a surefire goal in favor of trying to get his own shot off. It is going to be tough for Kane to function surrounded by so many supporting players looking to “shoot first.” That’s nitpicking in a game like this, but for the long haul of this season, it could mean a lot.
- It was a shooting gallery for the Bavarians. Less than a minute after the Musiala play, Sané set up Coman perfectly again, but the Frenchman airmailed his attempt.
- If Mainz could hit the broad side of a barn, it easily could have had three or four first half goals. The Bayern team defense was not exactly on-point. There were a lot of gaps and runners into that space.
- This will seem like blasphemy because we are all dazzled by Musiala skill and attacking prowess, but he is simply forcing things — at times — right now. He can be so good that he does not need to insert himself into the run of play, he can simply let the game come to him and take what is given to him. A little more patience would serve him well. At times, we see his old striker mentality (the position he played growing up) come out.
- Bayern’s occasional sloppiness did catch up with them, as a turnover by Sané resulted in a quick counter-attack by Die Nullfünfer. Brajan Gruda eventually spotted Anthony Caci, who took advantage of some poor positioning from Laimer, and buried a shot to cut the lead to 2-1. The communication and positioning that Bayern Munich had struggled with at times to that point did end up biting them in the backside.
- The finish from Caci was brilliant, though.
- Mainz’s backline of Edimilson Fernandes, Stefan Bell and Sepp van den Berg was very solid and did well to handle Bayern Munich’s attack.
- Davies’ intermittent battles with his defensive awareness and positioning almost cost the Bavarians dearly in the second half when Danny Da Costa streaked behind him, which set up a terrific chance for Caci...who blew it. Bayern Munich was very lucky.
- Moments later, Musiala shook off some of the troubles he had earlier in the match, took the ball from Laimer, and set up Goretzka, who finished his chance with a deft shot passed a sprawling Robin Zentner. At 3-1 with just over 30 minutes to go in the match, Bayern Munich was sitting pretty.
- Overall, it was a solid effort. It was not great — and there were certainly multiple areas for improvement — but Bayern Munich grabbed three points in a somewhat difficult spot (banged up, first game after a break).
This report — if you are looking for a good source — comes from Fabrizio Romano:
Fabrizio Romano insisted a host of Premier League sides are keeping tabs on ‘generational talent’ Jamal Musiala.
According to Fabrizio Romano via Caught Offside, there are a host of clubs in the Premier League that are keeping constant tabs on Jamal Musiala. The 20-year-old ‘generational talent’ had a terrific season with Bayern Munich, with the club eager to tie him down to a long-term deal.
There’s something about certain players who instinctively show they are special. That x-factor was seen in Jude Bellingham, and he rightly got his big move to Real Madrid. Jamal Musiala is another such player who has shown there’s so much more to come from him.
Bayern Munich can consider themselves very fortunate to have managed to pluck him from Chelsea’s academy. The move will come to bite back the Blues one day and put alongside mistakes such as Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah.
After a stellar season with Bayern, the 16-goal Bundesliga star, who also got 16 assists in all competitions, will target bigger things with the club. The Bavarians are keen to extend his contract, but they are aware of the massive interest from elsewhere, with Real Madrid already plotting a 2024 move.
Fortunately for Bayern, Musiala still has three years to run on his current deal, but the club would want to reward him with a significant contract. Now, as per Fabrizio Romano, there are a host of Premier League sides, including former club Chelsea, keeping constant tabs on the 20-year-old.
Manchester City are also keen on Musiala and want him as a long-term option. They are also keeping tabs on another German talent in Florian Wirtz, but if the Bayern star becomes available, they could go all out on him. Romano provided an update and also gave his thoughts on what Musiala might cost in the future.
Romano said, “Liverpool have been linked with Musiala, but trust me, it would not just be Liverpool; there are many important clubs around Europe keeping an eye on Musiala.”
“Jurgen Klopp knows the player’s talent very well, but also people at Chelsea, Manchester City, and clubs in Spain, because he’s one of the best young talents in world football. So this is normal; it’s not about negotiating; it’s just about following a top young player.
“In my personal opinion, he’s worth more than €100m; I’d compare him to Jude Bellingham – a generational talent. So of course Bayern absolutely plan to extend Musiala’s contract with an important proposal, and they will try also with Leroy Sane and Alphonso Davies. It’s complicated, but still on.”
Liverpool’s interest in the 20-year-old is nothing new. Jurgen Klopp has had eyes for the player for some time now. However, that price tag will bother the Reds to an extent, and they may lose out if any move for the 16-goal Bundesliga star becomes about money.
Similarly, Chelsea have also eyed a move for their former star. The new policy in place at the club emphasises on bringing young stars and Musiala would fit that bill perfectly. For them to compete with the other teams, Champions League football seems imperative, which they are quite far off as things stand.
As for Musiala, he seems happy at the club, and Bayern are not about to let him go without a massive fight. They will appear confident of securing a new deal for the 20-year-old, as his future, barring some dramatic twist, should be at the club.
Manchester United center-back Harry Maguire almost made the move to West Ham over the summer, but it ultimately fell through.
Now, the transfer could be back on:
West Ham remain in pole position in the race to sign Harry Maguire should he decide the time is right to leave Manchester United.
This episode of the Weekend Warm-up hits on much of that, so let’s get right to it and take a look at what is on tap:
- A preview of Bayern Munich vs. Mainz 05 — and why this could be a very important match under less-than-ideal conditions for the Bavarians (even if Manuel Neuer should be back).
- Some thoughts on the recent transfer rumors surrounding Jamal Musiala and why he might no longer be the fresh-faced phenom that fans have grown to love.
- Some final thoughts on the German national team’s recent set of games, the rumors of another documentary on the squad, and wondering what Julian Nagelsmann’s plan will be moving forward.
Bobby Charlton, the former England international and Manchester United star, has passed away:
Bobby Charlton, the Manchester United great who played a starring role in England’s 1966 World Cup victory, has died at the age of 86, the Premier League club said on Saturday.
Charlton is widely considered as one of the greatest soccer players of all time.
“The club’s heartfelt sympathies are with his wife Lady Norma, his daughters and grandchildren, and all who loved him,” Manchester United said in a statement.
The club described him as a “hero to millions, not just in Manchester, or the United Kingdom, but wherever football is played around the world.”
“He was admired as much for his sportsmanship and integrity as he was for his outstanding qualities as a footballer; Sir Bobby will always be remembered as a giant of the game,” the statement added.
Charlton died peacefully in the early hours of Saturday surrounded by his family, according to a statement from his family, per the English Football Association.
Add another person to the list of folks who think Manchester United bricked by not making a more serious run at Harry Kane last summer:
Ex-England international Kieran Richardson thinks his former club “definitely dropped a bomb” in the summer as they “needed” to sign Kane.
“I don’t know how on earth Manchester United didn’t go and get that great player that is Harry Kane,” Richardson exclusively told Ladbrokes. “It bemuses me… you know, you see how much some players have cost United in recent windows, Casemiros and Antonys… Harry Kane is a proven Premier League goalscorer. They needed him, and they didn’t get him – I don’t know the reason why that move didn’t happen, but they definitely dropped a bomb with that one.
“He was the ideal fit, and Man City were in for him 12 months prior to Erling Haaland turning up, which shows you the level that he’s at. He’s the best English striker out there… they definitely should have got him, and it’s a big blow that they didn’t. The only thing I can think of is that maybe he didn’t want to go there. Maybe he didn’t want to enter that whole toxic environment. It’s a hard place to go, that side of Manchester, right now.
“They just need to concentrate on making it a good vibe around the whole place. When you go there now, you just don’t get that energy anymore. Fans are on edge, players are on edge, the manager is constantly under pressure… it’s just a really bad time.”
Before he accepted a loan deal from Paris Saint-Germain to RB Leipzig last summer, both Die Roten Bullen and Manchester United wanted to ink Xavi Simons on a permanent transfer:
Manchester United and RB Leipzig both made offers to sign Xavi Simons on a permanent deal from PSG over the summer, but any transfer fee would have gone to PSV Eindhoven, so they instead decided to loan him to the Bundesliga side.
Germany and Mexico squared off in an international friendly — in Philadelphia, PA — at the same time as a Major League Baseball playoff game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks and also with the Philadelphia Flyers playing the Vancouver Canucks in their NHL home opener.
Needless to say, it was chaos in South Philly at the stadium complex as Germany and Mexico fought to a 2-2 draw, which felt...right. Let’s take a look at what is on tap for this episode:
- Checking out Julian Nagelsmann’s starting XI.
- A rundown of the scoring.
- The game was pure chaos, but was fun...and nerve-wracking...and I am mostly concerned for how anyone got home from that Park-nado that must have occurred in South Philly.
- Some thoughts on what we learned about Germany during this international break.