The sharks were in the water. After Bayern Munich showed weakness and dropped points in three straight Bundesliga games, everybody must have thought more blood was there for the taking. For Bo Svensson and Mainz 05, Wednesday’s DFB-Pokal game was a chance to deliver another early-round humiliation to the German record champions.
That was not to be. Bolstered by Manchester City loan arrival João Cancelo, dreams turned quickly to nightmares and the home side slumped to a 4-0 thumping. To add insult to injury, Svensson was shown a straight red card very late in the game after remonstrating with referee Deniz Aytekin.
“Bayern were switched on from the get-go, but we were the opposite. I can’t explain it; it’s not how we set out to play,” Svensson mused after the game (via FCBayern.com). “That’s something we have to work on. We actually wanted to play the way we did in the second half. We weren’t ready mentally, and that makes it difficult against such a strong team. I’m happy with the second half.”
Mainz sporting director Martin Schmidt chimed in as well: “If we played the way we did in the second half in the first, it might have been a different story. But the writing was on the wall after the first goal. Unfortunately, nothing could be done today because Bayern played brilliantly — you have to acknowledge that.”
“As a team, we’re not happy at all with the first half,” added Mainz keeper Finn Dahmen. “Nothing went to plan. It doesn’t get much worse than that first half. The second half was partly down to us, but Bayern also went down a gear.”
When the Rekordmeister turn up like this, they’re hard to beat. Mainz got a taste on Wednesday, and former Bayern head coach Niko Kovač is next in line as the Bavarians roll into Wolfsburg this weekend. Time to see if Julian Nagelsmann and Bayern can take their newly-discovered form back into the Bundesliga.
Interested in a more in-depth look at the match, including the formation/tactics deployed by Julian Nagelsmann, Joao Cancelo’s debut, and the amazing influence of Thomas Muller? Well, why not check out our postgame podcast? We talk about all that and more! Listen below or on Spotify.
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