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Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Bayern Munich: Initial reactions and observations

Xabi Alonso seems like the real deal.

VfB Stuttgart - Bayern Munich Photo by Marijan Murat/picture alliance via Getty Images

Initial reactions and observations

  • The ex-effect claims another victim, this time in the coaching sense. Xabi Alonso coached Bayer Leverkusen to a masterful win over Bayern Munich which now blows the title race wide open. Der Klassiker after the international break is going to be massive.
  • Julian Nagelsmann made the wrong substitutions. Did he get overconfident? Subbing Thomas Muller so early was a mistake, Bayern’s control and pressing from the first half simply fell apart. Leroy Sane probably shouldn’t have played a full 90 minutes. Mathys Tel should’ve come on sooner. This is a very frustrating loss.
  • VAR is great for making the right calls but it sucks when it goes against you so strongly. You can’t say that Leverkusen didn’t deserve this win.

Interested in a more in-depth look at the game? Then check out our latest podcast episode! Listen to it below or on Spotify.

Full time: Bayern Leverkusen 2-1 Bayern Munich.

72’ — Goal. 2-1 to Leverkusen.

71’ — PENALTY! Adli brought down in the box by Upa and the ref gave him a yellow but VAR intervened and took away the yellow and awarded the pen.

55’ — Goal. Palacios scores. 1-1.

54’ — PENALTY! Adli brought down in the box and it’s a penalty! Stieler didn’t give it at first but VAR intervened.

45’ — The second half is underway! Musiala, Coman, and Gnabry are on. Muller, Mane, and Cancelo are off.

Halftime observations and analysis

  • It’s been a tough game for Bayern Munich. Credit to Xabi Alonso, his setup has kept Bayern’s attackers at bay. Only one shot so far, though it did result in a goal.
  • Bayern’s flanks have mostly been shut down today. Perhaps another attacker should be subbed in at half time, someone like Coman or Musiala.
  • Sadio Mane has not been offside even once! That’s actually not a good sign, since it means there are problems with creativity.
  • Florian Wirtz has been taking a beating out there.
  • Alphonso Davies, Leon Goretzka, and Joshua Kimmich seem like the best players so far.

Halftime: Bayern lead 1-0.

21’ — GOOOOOOOOOOAL! Joshua Kimmich makes it 1-0!

Kickoff: We’re underway!

One hour until kickoff: We have lineups! Looks like Sadio Mane is the striker today, and Joao Cancelo gets a second start in a row as Julian Nagelsmann looks to lead Bayern Munich to victory this week. Jamal Musiala has been benched probably to rest him, and Leroy Sane starts in his stead.

With BVB imploding in the Champions League but showing no signs of doing so domestically, Bayern Munich must keep winning to stay atop the Bundesliga heading into this final international break during the regular season. However with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting suffering a mysterious back injury, it’ll be difficult for Julian Nagelsmann to maintain the momentum he’s carefully built over the last few weeks of football.

Bayer Leverkusen have seen a solid resurgence under Xabi Alonso, and with the likes of Florian Wirtz on their team, they can beat anyone on their day. Bayern will have to be aware of the threat posed by die Werkself and handle it accordingly. Sadio Mane is the main candidate to stand-in at the striker position, supported by the likes of Thomas Muller, Jamal Musiala, and possibly even Joao Cancelo in Nagelsmann’s new back-three style setup. It should be an entertaining game — goals are almost guaranteed.

It’s Bayern time.

While you’re waiting for the game, why not check out our Weekend Warm-up podcast! Chuck talks about the game vs Leverkusen, shares his thoughts on the UCL draw, and a whole lot more! Listen to it below or on Spotify.

Match Info

Location: BayArena, Leverkusen, Germany

Time: 6:30 pm local time, 12:30 pm EST

TV/streaming: ESPN+, Find Your Country

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