Initial reactions and observations
- That game was 90% cruise control and 10% total chaos. Bayern Munich came away with the win thanks to scoring two goals within the hour mark, but the late collapse will worry Nagelsmann given the slim lead vs PSG.
- Is Josip Stanisic the right man to start in the Champions League? He had a solid outing but also had a couple (only a couple, though) lapses at the back. Is that good enough to defend against Mbappe? Nagelsmann must decide.
- Another game, another assist from Thomas Muller. His linkup play with Jamal Musiala and Choupo-Moting was beautiful. One-touch passing personified.
- Matthijs de Ligt has made up for the penalty he conceded vs Stuttgart in the Hinrunde with this performance.
- With Joao Cancelo not getting minutes, what does his future hold? Right now, it feels unlikely that Bayern will buy him if he can’t displace Stanisic from the lineup.
- Leroy Sane only made a cameo, but is getting slammed for his performance. Seems like he’s in another rut.
- Kudos to the commentary team on the international feed today. Kevin Hatchard and Julia Simic provided great coverage of the game and made it more enjoyable to watch on TV. More of this please, Bundesliga!
Full time: VfB Stuttgart 1-2 Bayern Munich.
87’ — Goal. Stuttgart get one back. Oh no, another late comeback?
61’ — GOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Choupo-Moting makes it 2-0! Excellent one-touch football between Musiala and Muller to set up the goal.
45’ — The second half is underway!
Halftime observations and analysis
- Bayern Munich have found the going tough in this game, mainly thanks to Stuttgart’s defensive discipline and pressing. There has been very little time and space for the forwards in the box.
- Leon Goretzka is not doing the same amount of defensive work he did vs Union Berlin.
- Jamal Musiala and Alphonso Davies’ linkup play on the left flank has been sublime.
- The strikers have lacked service today.
- Matthijs de Ligt is responsible for +2 in goal difference today. Goal line clearance and goal from him. Effective at both ends.
Halftime: Bayern Munich lead 1-0.
39’ — GOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Matthijs de Ligt scores via a deflection!
30’ — Half an hour in, and no goals yet. Stuttgart are holding firm at the back.
Kickoff: We’re underway in Stuttgart!
One hour until kickoff: We have lineups! It’s pretty much exactly as expected, with Benjamin Pavard benched for Dayot Upamecano. Bayern Munich lines up in a 4-2-3-1 with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Thomas Muller up top, Kingsley Coman and Jamal Musiala on the wings, Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka in midfield, and the defense otherwise unchanged from the previous game.
With Borussia Dortmund so close to Bayern Munich in the table, the time for slip-ups is past. Julian Nagelsmann needs all three points versus Stuttgart, which means another last-minute draw like the one in the Hinrunde cannot happen.
This game is set to be somewhat experimental, as with Benjamin Pavard suspended against PSG, the coach needs to try out some new players in defense. Leroy Sane is doubtful for the game with a capsular ligament tear, so maybe players like Sadio Mane or Serge Gnabry could get a chance in the starting XI. Meanwhile, Josip Stanisic is set to be preferred over Joao Cancelo, for the former’s defensive ability and solid performance vs Union Berlin.
It’s Bayern time.
Location: Mercedes-Benz Arena, Stuttgart, Germany
Time: 6:30 pm local time, 12:30 pm EST
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