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Player ratings: Bayern Munich 1 - 3 Mainz

Take that back three and bin it.

1. FSV Mainz 05 v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

When Bayern Munich last met Mainz 05 — October 29th at the Allianz — the Bavarians delivered a comprehensive 6-2 drubbing. It was aces all around in the German media, including for then-coach Julian Nagelsmann.

Mainz returned the favor with an outright evisceration of the would-be champions and made all of them, including new manager Thomas Tuchel, look like mere pretenders to the throne. Tuchel earned a 6 in the Bild ratings, the lowest score, to his counterpart Bo Svensson’s 1.

Here’s how the rest of the Bild ratings shook out.

  • Tuchel’s formation and XI could be called into question. After relying on wing play from Leroy Sané and Kingsley Coman, both of Bayern’s recent danger men were left on the bench. Sané only entered in the 80th minute alongside Serge Gnabry, with a mountain to climb.
  • This was probably Yann Sommer’s worst outing in a Bayern shirt by far, in his short stint in Munich to date. The same is true for Müller’s much, much longer career.
  • Tuchel was brutal in his assessment of Müller after the game, calling out the Raumdeuter directly for failing to find João Cancelo on two occasions. But the whole deployment did not look right. Does the new Bayern coach really know how to use Müller? After the Dortmund game, the answer had looked a resounding yes. Now it’s far less clear.
  • Both wingbacks, Cancelo and Noussair Mazraoui, were more than serviceable in their roles, but lacked the bite and the lightning pace in behind that Tuchel’s wingers offered. In the end, it just seems to come down to a tactical mistake to match up Svensson’s back three in this way.
  • One player who earned a ‘6’ but probably shouldn’t have: Joshua Kimmich. He had a few risky moments and misplaced passes but also times where he was pinpoint with his delivery and industrious with his defensive efforts.
  • Kimmich is also a crucial link in build-up from defense to attack. This is especially true for a team that likes to play vertically fast, with chipped balls over the top. What was Tuchel thinking, taking him off with one of his earlier subs, in the 75th minute? At that time, the score was still 1-2.
  • Will we see a back three again from Tuchel anytime soon? My guess is no, and it’ll be straight back to a back four with Benjamin Pavard (returning from suspension) at right-back.
  • Final stats: Bayern — 11 shots (2 on target), 74% possession. Mainz — 12 shots (4 on target), 26% possession.

Looking for more analysis mixed with a bad-tempered rant? Then check out our postgame podcast! Explicit content warning because there’s swearing, it really was that kind of game. Listen to it below or on Spotify.

As always, we appreciate all the support.

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