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Julian Nagelsmann aiming for more of the back three at Bayern Munich

After that Mainz display, maybe it’s the right idea.

1. FSV Mainz 05 v FC Bayern München - DFB Cup: Round of 16
“Look upon your tactical god and despair.”
Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images

A great unease swept through the Bayern Munich fanbase just before their DFB-Pokal kickoff against Mainz on Wednesday — as it slowly dawned on everyone that, as first reported by Sky’s Florian Plettenberg, it was a return to master tinkerer Julian Nagelsmann’s oft-dreaded back three.

After a decisive and dominating victory, though, has some of that worry dissipated? For Nagelsmann, at least, it’s not so different from what he’s asked his players to do before.

“We’ve often played this system before,” Nagelsmann said simply after the game (via @iMiaSanMia). “It wasn’t the first time and it will also be an option in the future.”

On this occasion, it was an ultra-attacking lineup that asked winger Kingsley Coman to function as a left-sided wingback — and placed Jamal Musiala alongside Thomas Müller in the XI. It might best be described as a 3-1-4-2, with Musiala and Leroy Sané pulling the strings in Nagelsmann’s favored half-spaces, and Müller and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting presenting a rotating two-headed monster to lead the forward line.

No risk it, no biscuit, as they say.

"I called for more risk, and we took it,” Nagelsmann added in his post-game comments (via “It was the right call, especially in the first half.”

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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