Bayern Munich’s front line came back from their hiatus to put paid to Schalke. After dire performances against Hertha Berlin, Werder Bremen and more so, Mainz 05 and Hoffenheim, we can finally say Bayern Munich is back. Here are the observations for today:
Fluidity is the word of the day
Wow. Suddenly, all of a sudden, out of nowhere seemingly, all of Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sané, Jamal Musiala, Kingsley Coman and Thomas Müller (the chief connector) knew where to find each other. It was the kind of one touch football that Bayern always plays against Schalke; yet, there were serious doubts this time, before the game, whether that would be the case. The all important 1-0 goal came early courtesy of a beautiful strike from Thomas Müller; and then the rest followed. In the second half, at one moment, the cameras caught a huge smile on Musiala’s face. This team was enjoying their football; there are few better than them when they play like this.
A word on Thomas the coach and Thomas the player
Thomas Tuchel has bowed to pressure before when he started Joao Cancelo. This time, internal pressure might have (there is no way of telling of course) led him to start Thomas Müller. While the inclination of a new coach to put his mark on a team is understandable, it is absolutely not alright to do so at the expense of the team. He reinstalled his captain into the team and was rewarded. This might be his best line-up moving forward. What cost Julian Nagelsmann was the constant changes, even moving away from winning formulas. Tuchel, hopefully, knows better.
Joshua Kimmich takes a back seat
Kimmich today played a deeper role as a single pivot; this seemed to settle the back-line more and allow the team to play more fluidly. Whether one holding midfielder will work against RB Leipzig is a question mark. Yet, Bayern plays their best football when they throw everything forward; it might be best to leave in Kimmich as a single pivot.
Schalke’s neither-here-nor-there approach didn’t work
Schalke could have decided to defend with ten men behind the ball and play on the counterattack. Schalke could have decided to be ambitious like Mainz was and press Bayern incessantly. Yet, they decided on neither — they got caught in between and ended up losing Marius Bülter for next week’s crucial match against Eintracht Frankfurt. A better game plan can usually be expected from Thomas Reis; that wasn’t the case today. A 6-0 defeat might turn out very costly in the end in a relegation battle which might come down to goal difference.
Can’t get enough analysis of this game? Wanna know why Thomas Muller turns everything he touches to gold, or why Noussair Mazraoui is such a gem of a footballer? Or are you curious about Musiala’s recent struggles and how they can be fixed? Well check out our postgame podcast where we talk about that and more! Listen to it below or on Spotify.
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