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Four observations from Bayern Munich’s shaky 3-1 victory over Galatasaray

Bayern Munich power through a hostile environment to extend their Champions League group stage record

Galatasaray A.S. v FC Bayern München: Group A - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
Harry Kane celebrates goal vs Galatasaray with Bayern teammates
Photo by Ahmad Mora/Getty Images

It was very much a game of two halves. Galatasaray overwhelmed Bayern Munich in the first half, but the Bavarians did enough in the second to walk away the victors.

Bayern’s decision making in the final third needs major improvement

Don’t let the scoreline fool you. Had Galatasaray not gassed themselves out, Bayern could have easily lost this game. At the halftime mark the Turkish side held 57% possession, took 16 shots compared to Bayern’s 3 and generated 2.03xG in contrast to Bayern’s 0.41xG. This is a testament to, firstly, a very good Galatasaray side but also, terrible decision making in the final third. The Bavarians had ample chances to hit Galatasaray on the counter, but too often misplaced the final pass, took a bad touch or dribbled into trouble. In many ways Bayern was lucky to come away with a victory. Opponents deeper into the Champions League won’t be so forgiving. Bayern need to improve their decision making for any hopes of Champions League glory.

Galatasaray are a properly good side

Just two seasons ago, the Turkish record champions found themselves in 13th position in the Turkish Süper Lig and in desperate need for change. Fast forward two years, they look a side transformed. Boosted by their electric home support, Galatasaray played with bravery and energy, looking like the stronger team for the better part of the game. It should come as no surprise that the Cim-Bom are unbeaten in nine league games. Should they learn some better game management, then perhaps they could be a dark horse in this seasons Champions League.

Sven Ulreich proves himself to be a worthy backup for Manuel Neuer once more

Sven Ulreich has barely put a step wrong since deputising for the injured Manuel Neuer. This performance was no exception. The 35-year-old shot stopper pulled off a phenomenal save to deny Muhammed Kerem Akturkoglu’s 9th minute volley. The atmosphere in RAMS Park combined with a direct response to going a goal down could have spelled big trouble for the Bavarians, but Ulreich was up to the task. He was solid for the remainder of the match, keeping Bayern in the fight despite a relentless Galatasaray attack. Bayern fans will surely welcome Manuel Neuer with open arms but can rest easy knowing there is a capable backup on the bench.

Bayern continue to set records in the Champions League group stage

Bayern have now gone 37 games unbeaten in the Champions League group stage. Although this record was overshadowed by an underwhelming Bayern Munich performance, it is an outstanding record, nonetheless. Not only that, but the German club also extended their record of away victories in the group stage to 19. In a buzzing PARK Arena filled to the brim with passionate Galatasaray supporters, that was no easy task. Despite their shaky performance, one must credit Bayern for walking away with a victory and extending their record for the best Champions League group stage run.

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