Julian Nagelsmann has experimented with using a back three system in recent weeks, and it’s yet to backfire on him. With Bayern Munich’s 1-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16, they took their win streak across all competitions to four matches and Nagelsmann again chose to deploy a back three system. Matthijs de Ligt, Dayot Upamecano and Benjamin Pavard occupied the center back roles while Joao Cancelo and Kingsley Coman started as the wing backs.
The tactical tweaking has worked wonders for Bayern and has calmed nerves that started to fly after Bayern resumed their program after the winter-pause period with three straight 1-1 draws against RB Leipzig, FC Koln and Eintracht Frankfurt. Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic spoke about this change in fortunes for Bayern after the 1-0 win over PSG, saying a lot of the credit is owed to Nagelsmann. “Something is brought in from the outside. The coach is constantly being questioned where he cannot be questioned at all. We started with three draws, but now we’ve slowly found our rhythm,” he explained (via Georg Holzner of kicker).
Much like Nagelsmann’s assessment of the encounter at the Parc des Princes, Brazzo felt that Bayern could’ve perhaps scored more than just one goal (Coman, 53’). After Kylian Mbappe’s introduction midway through the second half, Bayern conceded a handful of chances, so it could’ve been costly for them having not scored more then one, but they were able to keep the clean sheet intact. “We’ve had a few chances. All together were aggressive. We could have scored one more goal. But I’m satisfied. It was exciting for everyone. We did very well. It was fun, even if we still allowed a few things at the back,” Brazzo enthused.
It was unfortunate for Benjamin Pavard to have gotten a second yellow card at the end of the match to make him unavailable for the second leg, but it was a positive performance from the Frenchmen nonetheless. “He played a really good game,” Brazzo said of the defender.
Interested in a more in-depth and critical look at the performance? Why not check out our postgame podcast? Listen to it below or on Spotify.
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