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Three observations from Bayern Munich’s frantic 2-1 win over Galatasaray in the Champions League

Death, taxes, and Bayern winning in the Champions League group stage.

FC Bayern München v Galatasaray A.S.: Group A - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 Photo by Markus Gilliar - GES Sportfoto/Getty Images

For 80 tedious minutes, Galatasaray held Bayern Munich, the highest-scoring team in Europe, to a shutout and only two shots on target. But the dam finally broke when Joshua Kimmich found Harry Kane on a set piece.

Tonight’s 2-1 win clinched Bayern’s 28th consecutive trip to the Champions League knockout stage. Copenhagen’s shocking 4-3 upset over 10-man Manchester United also guaranteed that Bayern has clinched first place in Group A with two games to spare.

Embrace the chaos

Thomas Tuchel has finally accepted that this squad doesn’t want to play it safe. Bayern is still holding at least 60% possession, but they are playing much more vertical soccer (in both directions). The result is more chances for both teams, but less quality finishing. Galatasaray got behind the Bayern defense on many occasions, but Bayern consistently found ways to recover (besides Cédric Bakambu’s meaningless extra-time goal).

Manuel Neuer is still a world class keeper

Neuer is arguably the best sweeper-keeper of all time. Sven Ulreich has always been a serviceable backup, but Neuer’s ability to sniff out dangerous situations is invaluable. When Neuer is flying around the box (and often outside the box), the Bayern defenders follow suit and give the extra effort to stifle the opposition.

Harry Kane forgot to play like a No. 9...luckily the amnesia wore off

Fresh off consecutive hat tricks in the Bundesliga, Kane oddly spent most of today’s game dropping deep into the midfield. The offensive strategy was clearly designed to force the ball outside to the wingers in order to whip in crosses, but that strategy is only effective is the striker is actually in position to finish those crosses. When Kane did press up against Galatasaray’s backline, he hit the post on a cross from Leon Goretzka, flicked on a beautiful header goal, and then tapped in the game winner for good measure.

While we work on a podcast review of this game, you should absolutely check out our most recent episode — we talked about Bayern Munich’s triumphant win over BVB, the awesomeness of Harry Kane, and a lot more. Listen to it below or on Spotify.

As always, we appreciate all the support!

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