Die Folgen: Bayern’s 3-1 meltdown vs. Leipzig (Bavarian Football Works)
Bayern Munich had the game in its grasp then totally fell apart against RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga.
The title hopes for the Bavarians are now in serious jeopardy and things look bleak...at best. Let’s not waste any more time and dive right into this:
- As always, let’s start with the lineup:
⚪#FCBRBL #packmas #MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/0nv7xXrmXR— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) May 20, 2023
- Thomas Tuchel changed back to a 4-2-3-1 and featured Jamal Musiala at the No. 10, while Leon Goretzka slid back into a starting central midfield role. Some folks were surely hoping to see Dayot Upamecano take a spot back in the XI, but it was not to be.
- I assumed it would be Serge Gnabry atop the formation, but Thomas Müller occupied the central position most frequently. It seems odd that both Julian Nagelsmann and Tuchel have been hesitant to use Musiala on the offensive flank when it is blatantly obvious that he might need a few rotations out-wide to help change his fortunes. Using Müller (who was good on the day) as the No. 9 was very questionable when Gnabry had been producing there.
- Leroy Sané’s sudden benching is a little curious as he was one of the players who Tuchel seemed to invest in early on in his tenure. Someone had to sit given the personnel used I supposed.
- Regardless, Tuchel took some risks with his setup and while it did work for a half, the squad could not handle RB Leipzig’s halftime adjustments and energy in the second half.
- Mohamed Simakan’s aerial challenge on Joao Cancelo in the 11th minute was extremely reckless. Cancelo came away bloodied and Simakan came away a little banged up, but I was a little surprised Simakan didn’t come away with a yellow card as he lunged into Cancelo.
- In the 25th minute, Müller helped show why Tuchel opted to place his players where did as he hit Gnabry on a short, diagonal run, which Gnabry hammered at the near-post for a goal than pinged from post-to-post before going over the goal line.
- The attack didn’t function like a traditional Bayern Munich offense, but it did work in the first half. With no traditional No. 9, the team created good chances and probably could have finished a few more on a different day.
- Yann Sommer proved his worth with two sensational stops in the 34th minute. The first was on a half-volley from Dominik Szoboszlai and the second was a close-in attempt from Christopher Nkunku.
- Sommer also stopped Dani Olmo in the 36th minute on what was a nice delivery from Marcel Halstenberg and deft flick from the Spaniard.
- Goretzka had a few great defensive plays in the first half, but the chemistry between he and Kimmich is off at the moment. He finished with an okay performance on the day. He will likely take some heat, however, because he is the go-to whipping boy of the moment.
- In reality, fans could point fingers at a number of players before you get to Goretzka, but we know how this will likely go.
- Cancelo was spectacular offensively in the first half. He was a threat on the left flank and a menace. RB Leipzig really had no answer for him in the attack...until the second half when he disappeared. On defense, he wasn’t terrific and helped RB Leipzig create chances with some very sloppy positioning. He lost possession 26 times as well, which was rough.
- RB Leipzig played slow and very unaggressive in the first half. They are at their best when playing in an almost reckless style, which became the norm in the second half.
- Everything was going smoothly for Bayern Munich until the 65th minute when — in the craziest of all situations — future Bayern Munich midfielder Konrad Laimer might have ended Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga title hopes. After a Joshua Kimmich corner attempt was headed away, Bayern Munich found itself facing an odd-man rush, counter attack being led by Laimer, who first slid a pass to Nkunku, whose pass attempt was blocked, but right to Laimer who drilled home the tying goal.
- Laimer potentially ending Bayern Munich’s run is certainly something. Musiala and Coman did very little to prevent the counterattack as well. It was a very poor effort from both players and showed a lack of awareness of what was at stake.
- On the play, Goretzka went down in the box, which helped create the disadvantage.
- In the 69th minute Leroy Sané and Ryan Gravenberch came on for Serge Gnabry and Leon Goretzka, which was questionable. Bayern Munich needed to avoid giving up a goal, but brought in a central midfielder, whose defensive awareness and willingness to play both ends of the pitch has been questioned all season. Tuchel did not push the right buttons at all.
- Sané is a player whose game is always best when he is confident, but he did not play like someone who was brimming with self-belief.
- In the 74th minute, the Bayern Munich unraveling got worse. Pavard was extremely sloppy in defending Nkunku for the second time in a span of a few minutes. The first time, it resulted in a free kick attempt, but the second mistake game Nkunku a penalty kick, which he drilled right down the middle for a conversion.
- Down 2-1, Mathys Tel came on for Coman, who might have hit a wall this season.
- Sané refusing to shoot in the 82nd minute with the ball on his left foot cutting across the top of the box was a massive whiff. Instead he opted for a low percentage pass that didn’t work.
- Sommer saved the game from going 3-1 as he stopped Nkunku (who made a selfish decision to not send a pass back to Laimer for an easy goal) from point blank range. However...
- Noussair Mazraoui was whistled for a handball and, well, that was that. Szoboszlai drilled home the penalty for a 3-1 lead. The full-scale debacle was complete.
- It is a sad state of affairs when Müller, the 33-year-old veteran was imploring his teammates to not give up, only to be met with a flatline pulse from younger, more vibrant, and allegedly better players. For the first time in a very long time, there is some reason to question the mentality of this group.
- Overall, this was a DISASTER. Bayern Munich mentally and physically folded at the worst time against an opponent, who was not cowering in fear of the mighty Bavarians. The second half meltdown was unacceptable on every level. From the coaches to the players to the executives, who put this team in such incredibly tough spot. Everyone deserves blame and now the club’s title hopes are in the hands of Borussia Dortmund (perhaps the weakest BVB side in several years in terms of talent). Bayern Munich’s decade-long reign over the Bundesliga was always going to end...but this way? Everyone at Bayern Munich is culpable and should be held accountable for this display (the RB Leipzig match and the season).
If you missed our Initial Analysis, Match Awards, Observations, or Postgame Podcast, give them a look and/or a listen:
Barca offering Dembélé or Christensen for Kimmich (The Hard Tackle)
The rumors of a transfer for Bayern Munich star Joshua Kimmich has peaked of late with Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Arsenal FC, Liverpool FC, and Manchester City all reportedly in the mix. Peculiarly, these rumors have all spiked at the exact time that Kimmich was reportedly being moved to the No. 8 position for next season.
Interesting timing, right?
Anyway, Barca was already rumored to be offering Ansu Fati as part of a swap, but now could be looking to offload more established players like Ousmane Dembélé or Andreas Christensen:
Bayern Munich will accept a part-exchange deal to sell Joshua Kimmich to Barcelona if they get Ousmane Dembele or Andreas Christensen in return.
According to a report by Spanish outlet Fichajes, Bayern Munich might open up to selling Joshua Kimmich in a part-exchange deal. Barcelona cannot afford to pay €60 million to sign the German international. But the Bavarian giants want Barcelona to include Andreas Christensen or Ousmane Dembele in the operation.
Barcelona can target a holding midfielder to take over from Busquets. The second option brings Kimmich into the picture. But Barcelona will not have the means to shell out €60 million to secure the German international’s services. That has left them pondering a part-exchange deal.
Recent reports have claimed that Barcelona might offer one pivotal figure to secure Kimmich’s services. And Bayern Munich will be open to such an arrangement if the Catalan giants include either Andreas Christensen or Ousmane Dembele in the operation. The latter is a favourite of Thomas Tuchel, who wants Bayern Munich to sign the Frenchman.
Haaland’s release clause somehow got more confusing (@FabrizioRomano)
There is rumored to be a €200 million release clause in Erling Haaland’s contract with Manchester City and his agent sort of — but not really — addressed the speculation surrounding the paperwork:
Haaland’s agent Rafaela Pimenta: “The release clause into Haaland’s contract is a mystery, it reminds me of the Treasure Island. No one knows… I like it!”, told MD. #MCFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 17, 2023
“Clause removed after Pep signed new deal? No comment on contracts. We had many stories about that…”. pic.twitter.com/RQsQJ9gL1n
Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 2, Episode 45 (Bavarian Football Works)
Another week, another set of Bayern Munich stories to discuss.
The Bavarians stomped Schalke 04 last weekend and we saw some plans for the 2023/24 leaked out this week as well. Knowing all of that, there is plenty to discuss. Let’s take a look at what is on tap for this edition of the Weekend Warm-up Podcast:
- A look at the rumors regarding Joshua Kimmich’s rumored position change, his power at Bayern Munich, and the interesting timing of the transfer rumors linking him to Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, and Manchester City. What does this all mean for Leon Goretzka’s future with the club?
- Will Bayern Munich move on Ajax’s Edson Alvarez? What about Chelsea’s Mason Mount and Kai Havertz? Or maybe...West Ham’s Declan Rice? Finally, the latest on Bayern’s interest in Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani.
- Some thoughts on the title race and the implications of this weekend.
- Should Sadio Mané stay or go? Manchester United, Chelsea FC, Newcastle United, and Juventus might be interested...but he could want to stay.
BMW to sponsor Bayern basketball (Market Screener)
BMW has entered into an interesting sponsorship agreement with Bayern Basketball:
BMW Munich and FC Bayern München Basketball GmbH have agreed a long-term collaboration: from July 2023, BMW’s Munich branch will be the mobility partner of the five-time German basketball champions, providing fully electric vehicles for the players and trainer team. The two partners will also be teaming up off the court, with joint social responsibility and non-profit projects.
“FC Bayern has established absolute top-flight basketball in Munich and has a growing fan base. We are thrilled to be moving into the next chapter of their success story with them, as their mobility partner, and to be spreading the positive energy beyond the world of sports,” said Bernd Döpke, Head of BMW’s Munich branch. “FC Bayern München Basketball and BMW are both global successes that remain firmly rooted in their home city. They carry their origins with them in their names and represent Munich far beyond the city itself.”
PSG met with Kane (Foot Mercato via 90Min.com)
Paris Saint-Germain might be taking a run at trying to convince Tottenham Hotspur star Harry Kane to leave England:
Paris Saint-Germain chief Luis Campos has met with the representatives of Tottenham striker Harry Kane to discuss a possible summer transfer.
It still seems extremely unlikely that Kane would exit the Premier League with the career goal-scoring record within reach. Alas, PSG is rumored to have backed away from a Kane pursuit anyway (per The Evening Standard):
PSG have backed away from the race to sign Harry Kane from Tottenham this summer as they will focus their rebuild around other targets.
LFC is done with Mané (Football Insider via 90Min.com)
“He’s your problem now!”
This phrase was once uttered by a friend of mine, who pretty much tossed another friend of mine into our hotel room after a late night in Atlantic City. This also kind of sounds like how Liverpool FC feels about Sadio Mané:
Liverpool have no interest in re-signing Mané even if he becomes available.