Bayern Munich kicked off the Bundesliga season with a hard-fought 4-0 victory over a game Werder Bremen squad.
It was not easy, but the Bavarians showed great poise and resilience in capturing three points for Thomas Tuchel. Let’s take a look at some quick hitters on the match:
- As always, let’s start with the lineup:
- It was a little shocking that Konrad Laimer did not get the start — not because he has been great (he hasn’t), but because Tuchel had shown no inclination that Leon Goretzka would have any type of key role on this squad.
- For what it is worth, the midfield tandem of Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich was very good. It seemed as if the communication and spacing with the duo was on-point.
- Overall, Goretzka was really good in the match and that should garner more playing time for him. The social media-based rush to sweep him out the door seemed way premature.
- Matthijs de Ligt riding the pine was not wholly unexpected. De Ligt has been a little banged up and was not good against RB Leipzig last week. Kim Min-jae was reportedly having his own bout with fitness issues, but he got the nod anyway.
- Just four minutes into the match, Harry Kane made his presence felt by sending Leroy Sané in with a perfect ball for the early goal. In a brief amount of time, Kane showed Bayern Munich fans exactly what they were missing all of last season.
- The first half was a very convincing effort from the Bavarians. The squad looked strong in all aspects. The attack was not always at its most sharp, but it was always dangerous. Kane’s vision and unselfish style of play is going to be a massive boost to the squad.
- Jamal Musiala felt dangerous every time he touched the ball, but often forced things and was impatient. It is hard to describe what Musiala is going through, but he has taken a step back from where he was last season and his decision-making is just off.
- Kane seemed to acclimate nicely to playing with his Bayern Munich teammates, but some of them could not find ways to get him involved. Kane was great overall.
- Alphonso Davies seems to be more composed on the ball and less frantic in the final third. That calmness came up big in the 75th minute when he set up a cutting Kane to put Bayern Munich up 2-0. Davies finished the match with two assists.
- Kingsley Coman...was he out there? It was a very ineffective first half performance from the Frenchman, but he livened up a bit and was more active in the second half, though probably not enough to keep himself in the starting XI once Serge Gnabry is healthy.
- Niclas Füllkrug gave Kim Min-jae all he could handle at times. The German gets a bad rap as being limited, but he is a very solid player with a strong will. De Ligt eventually stepped in for the Korean in the 68th minute when Min-jae was slowing a bit (and working with a yellow card over his head). It was a solid shift for the former Napoli man.
- De Ligt had a really strong showing once he came on as well. Things were solidified even more on the backline with De Ligt.
- Werder Bremen played so tough in the second half. Instead of just ceding the match to Bayern Munich, Werder Bremen knuckled up and battled before it just wore down.
- As expected, Kane made everyone around him better. That accounts for something...something you cannot put a price tag on (even at a nine figure cost!). Bayern Munich was missing that kind of player all of last season.
- Good for Sven Ulreich to pick up the clean sheet.
- Sané, who was also extremely good, added Bayern Munich’s third goal off of a perfect feed from Thomas Müller, who should start the next match.
- Kane and Müller together could be a very dangerous thing for Bayern Munich’s opposition.
- Mathys Tel also made his presence felt by ripping in a shot during his brief stint on the field for the team’s fourth goal. After a rough week, the kid deserved it.
- Overall, it was not always pretty or clean, but Bayern Munich took care of business by systematically wearing down Werder Bremen. Kane’s impact was tremendous and how the team functioned around him made things look far more stable than we have seen in a long time. Now, the rest of Bavarians have to alter their respective games to maximize what Kane can do. The Englishman has already proven that he is willing to do whatever is necessary to create offense and bring some sense of fear back into the Bayern Munich attack. 4-0...it doesn’t get much better than that.
The news on Liverpool’s interest in Bayern Munich midfielder Ryan Gravenberch has been all over the place, but it looks like there could be (yet another) rumored price that Jurgen Klopp is willing to pay for the Dutchman:
Liverpool would be willing to bid up to £20m (€23m) for Ryan Gravenberch. So far, however, no official offer has been made to Bayern.
At this point, it seems obvious that Gravenberch needs a change of scenery and that Bayern Munich might be best suited to move on and explore other options to complement the midfield on the team’s roster.
Liverpool is definitely doing its due diligence on Gravenberch as well:
Wie sehr #LFC an einer Verpflichtung von Ryan #Gravenberch interessiert ist, zeigt folgender Vorgang: Kürzlich reisten u.a. Chefscout Hunter & Head of Recruitment Fallows nach Deutschland, um detaillierte Informationen über den Spieler des #FCBayern einzuholen. @kessler_philipp— Manuel Bonke (@mano_bonke) August 18, 2023
The following process shows how much #LFC is interested in signing Ryan #Gravenberch: Chief scout Hunter & Head of Recruitment Fallows, among others, recently traveled to Germany to obtain detailed information about the #FCBayern player. @kessler_philipp
The agent of Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku has offered the Belgian’s services to Real Madrid as they prepare to miss out on Mbappe once again.
Bayern Munich is set for its Bundesliga opener, but there are still many questions that are unanswered when it comes to the squad.
How much longer will Manuel Neuer be out of action? How will Thomas Tuchel settle on playing his center-back trio? Is Benjamin Pavard going to leave before the window ends? Is Thomas Müller going to spend the season picking up scrap minutes?
Yeah, there is a lot going on. Let’s not waste any more time and get right down to it. This is what we have on tap for this week’s episode of the Weekend Warm-up Podcast:
- Looking at the potential transfer situations of Pavard and Ryan Gravenberch.
- A look at what is going on with the goalkeeper situation and why Bayern Munich seems poised to ride it out with Sven Ulreich until Neuer is healthy.
- Exploring whether or not Müller has a role on this season’s squad.
- How hyped are you for Harry Kane?
Thanks for the memories...and the paycheck, I guess? Inter Miami star Lionel Messi says that he never really wanted to go to Paris Saint-Germain:
Lionel Messi revealed that he never wanted to go to PSG pic.twitter.com/657eCDu39I— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 17, 2023
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti does not seem eager to go out and get another center-back for his roster to cover the loss of Éder Militão:
Ancelotti on new centre back for Real Madrid after Militão injury: “No, I think we are good with current squad”. ⚪️✨— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 18, 2023
“We have Rudiger, Nacho and Alaba. Marvel is part of the squad too”. pic.twitter.com/gNOLrUJBQY
If you are the type of person who likes analytics, you might be intrigued by Sofascore’s Bundesliga Players of the Season from 2015/16 onward:
| BEST PLAYERS— Sofascore (@SofascoreINT) August 18, 2023
It's the opening day of the 2023/24 Bundesliga!
That means another race for our Player of the Season trophy begins, as players battle it out to add their name on here.
Will Joshua Kimmich continue his reign, or will there be a new winner this time? pic.twitter.com/Kg4SYbga5R
Shakhtar Donetsk will play its Champions League home games in Hamburg:
Shakhtar Donetsk will play their Champions League home games this season at Hamburg’s Volksparkstadion. Shakhtar are unable to host games in Ukraine due to the ongoing war against Russia, which began in February 2022. They have been unable to play home matches at their Donbas Arena due to the war that has waged in the east of Ukraine since 2014.