- Improbably, impossibly, incredibly, Bayern Munich wrapped up its 11th consecutive Bundesliga title after a raucous ending in a 2-1 win over FC Köln and an unbelievable choke job by Borussia Dortmund.
- There is plenty to discuss, so let’s get down to it:
- For such an important match, Tuchel rolled out a very questionable starting XI:
- Regular starters Leon Goretzka and Jamal Musiala were left out, as was Manchester City loanee Joao Cancelo, who had locked up a starting role in recent weeks. Noussair Mazraoui took over at left-back, while Ryan Gravenberch took for Goetzka and Leroy Sané stepped in for Musiala (more on him later).
- I did not like the alterations for this match, especially given what was at stake. Granted, it all ended up working out in the end, but it felt like the match did not need to play out the way it did.
- Coman proved once again that he can seize a moment in a big spot as he opened up the scoring in the 8th minute.
- While Bayern Munich did not look great (there were some scary moments), they had control of the game...until the 79th minute when Serge Gnabry was whistles for a deserved handball. By the 81st minute and a VAR review, Dejan Ljubičić stepped to the spot and drilled a penalty and for a few minutes, it looked like Bayern Munich was about to hack up a promising opportunity.
- Goretzka’s brief 14-minute, sub-in, sub-out appearance surely didn’t sit well with the veteran midfielder, but he appeared to have gotten over it pretty quickly as he celebrated with the team. Still, the club is invested in Goretzka for a very big salary and it is clear that Tuchel wants to move on the 28-year-old. The new power structure will have to address that situation ASAP.
- Musiala coming on an scoring that game-winner — after he had such a miserable second of the season — was noting short of incredible. He needed that, Tuchel needed that, and most of all — the team needed that.
- How Musiala came on, however, will be a point of mild controversy because of the Goretzka issue.
- Yann Sommer should get some acknowledgement for stepping into what turned out to be an absolute mess and holding down the fort. No...he was not Manuel Neuer, who changes how Bayern Munich can play the game, but he was good and deserved to win the title.
- As our own Phillip Quinn pointed out, you can’t help but wonder how things might have played out differently had Neuer went on that freaking ski trip. The fall out from that was incredible. One coach, one sporting director, and one CEO all got wacked. Now...the decision to sack Julian Nagelsmann when they did put a bullseye on the back of Kahn and Salihamidzic and unfortunately it cost them their respective gigs. Was it too early for the dual firing? I don’t know...
- I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but I am still stunned that Borussia Dortmund up so small. I thought this would finally be the year that the stars would align for BVB.
- I don’t like to call for anyone’s job and I have not been the biggest fan of Salihamidžić, nor did I like Kahn’s approach when taking over the club. Pride, arrogance...they make people do things and act certain ways and I think that played a little bit into what happened with both men. Did they deserve to get sacked the way they did? No. Was the timing awful? Yes. The debate can rage on whether they did or did not deserve one more year to figure it out, but the decision was made and now the club will have to find a way forward. Am I mad? Not really. Am I skeptical that even more change will be easy to overcome? Yes, indeed. This is a very curious period in the club’s history and figures to be rocky for the foreseeable future.
- Overall, that was a crazy finish to the season and was certainly unexpected. BVB’s collapse and Bayern Munich’s roller coaster of a match made for an absolutely dramatic final day to the season — and one that likely preyed on the nerves of fans. It’s over now, though, and the fallout has begun. As always with any season, it’s not where you end up, but how the journey plays out from the start to the finish. There were plenty of ups and definitely some downs, but Bayern Munich is once again the Bundesliga champion. At the end of the day, that still means something — and should be celebrated.
If you missed our Initial Analysis, Match Awards, Observations, or Postgame Podcast, give them a look or a listen:
Liverpool ‘have asked about’ Benjamin Pavard’s situation at Bayern Munich as the Frenchman gears up to potentially leave the German giants this summer. That’s according to kicker, who say the Reds are one of several sides to have ‘enquired’ about the defender.
They explain that Pavard could be set to wear the Bayern Munich shirt for the last time in this weekend’s clash with Köln, with him starting to think about his future at the club.
He’s currently focused on the end of the season but a move away from the Allianz Arena is not out of the question as his current contract expires in 2024 and this is the last year in which Bayern could get a fee for him.
The situation with Lucas Hernandez could play a big role in whatever the club ultimately decides to do with Pavard. If Hernandez leaves for Paris Saint-Germain, Pavard’s role with the team could be grow mightily ahead of next season.
Manchester United have lowered their asking price for club captain Harry Maguire from £50m to £40m, with Tottenham and West Ham potential destinations for the defender.
Bayern Munich’s season will come to a disappointing end one way or the others and there is a lot to examine.
Needing a win over FC Köln, along with a loss or a draw from Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich is in danger of going trophyless for 2022/23. Let’s take a look at the hot topics for this edition of the Weekend Warm-up Podcast:
- A look at the Lucas Hernandez situation and why Bayern Munich was right to be cautious with the Frenchman despite the potential for outside interest. Can Paris Saint-Germain get a deal done to bring Hernandez back to France?
- Can a deal for West Ham’s Declan Rice get done?
- The wild ride of Dušan Vlahović rumors from this week.
- Why fan frustration is probably at an all-time high for the last decade — and it does not totally have to do with potentially finishing behind Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga.
According to David Ornstein of The Athletic, Chelsea FC’s Mason Mount could be considering a move to Manchester United:
Mason Mount leaning towards joining Manchester United if Chelsea agree to sell. Talks expected between the clubs in due course. Other sides who have been pursuing 24yo England international are aware of his preference @TheAthleticFC #CFC #MUFC #LFC #AFC https://t.co/sULEU1qAAg— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) May 24, 2023
A £55m bid is also being readied by Man Utd for Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount, who is also wanted by both Arsenal and Liverpool.
Per Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea might want as much as €92 million for Mount:
Chelsea are, however, prepared to demand more than £80m to part ways with Mount.
Leicester City is said to be considering a move for Bayern Munich goalkeeper Yann Sommer, who is expected to leave the club this summer:
Leicester City have been urged to sign Bayern Munich goalkeeper Yann Sommer if they retain their Premier League status this season.
City are preparing to host West Ham at the King Power Stadium on the final day of the season this Sunday, and they will stay up with a victory if Bournemouth avoid defeat at Everton.
Despite not knowing what league they will be in, the club continue to be linked with transfers. One of the latest names connected is Sommer, the 34-year-old stopper who is set to leave Bayern Munich over the summer.
Manchester United has its eyes on Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane and Atalanta’s Rasmus Højlund:
In terms of incomings at Manchester United, the Red Devils could look to bring in two strikers rather than just one, with Harry Kane and Rasmus Højlund towards the top of their shortlist.