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How Julian Nagelsmann almost canceled João Cancelo’s first Bayern Munich assist

The Bayern manager was heard shouting different instructions to his new right-back — which fortunately went unheeded.

1. FSV Mainz 05 v FC Bayern München - DFB Cup: Round of 16 Photo by Helge Prang - GES Sportfoto/Getty Images

Bayern Munich’s newest acquisition, Manchester City fullback João Cancelo, took all of seventeen minutes to get involved on the scoresheet. It was the newcomer’s glorious cross for Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting that opened the floodgates for Die Roten in their DFB-Pokal triumph over Mainz 05. But it almost wasn’t to be — as manager Julian Nagelsmann was heard shouting very different instructions from the sideline.

“Benji, Benji!” Nagelsmann yelled, pointing out the option to lay it back to the Bayern defender. Instead, Cancelo beat his man outside and curled in an absolute beaut.

“I didn’t tell him not to cross, but he was under pressure from [Mainz left-back Aarón Caricol],” Nagelsmann explained after the game (via @iMiaSanMia).”It’s my job to show him other solutions.

“But if he wants to cross, he’s welcome to do that. I show them the game plan and give them instructions, but they should decide themselves if they are 100% convinced, they all are top players. I’m happy he chose to cross the ball.”

A small moment, and an interesting little nugget in how Nagelsmann views his role on the touchline. In this case, the player’s own impetus paid off.

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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