After going down 2-0 within the first 30 minutes to Liverpool via goals from Cody Gakpo (2’) and Virgil van Dijk (28’), Bayern Munich rallied back to defeat Jurgen Klopp’s side 4-3 in Singapore to round out their Asia leg of their preseason tour. Goals from Serge Gnabry (33’), Leroy Sane (42’), Josip Stanisic (80’) and Frans Krätzig (90+1’) did enough to see Bayern past the Premier League side, cancelling out what was a 66th-minute Luis Diaz goal that had given Liverpool a 3-2 lead at the time.
For Bayern, this is their third victory of preseason if you count the 27-0 routing of FC Rottach Egern and it’s the first defeat of preseason for Liverpool. Both sides have been experimenting with different tactical lineups and different personnel as the beginning of the respective club seasons is right around the corner.
Aside from the Rottach Egern friendly, this was the first time that Bayern scored more than once against their opponent and the second time that Liverpool has conceded four goals, having also done so against SpVgg Greuther Fürth in a 4-4 draw. In the 4-3 defeat to Bayern, there was a recurring theme of a lack of cohesion between the two sets of backlines, which is a bit less concerning from a Bayern standpoint considering new signing Kim Min-jae started for only the second time, this time lined up alongside Dayot Upamecano. For Liverpool, they had arguably their full strength back four of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Joel Matip, and Andy Robertson.
Speaking after the match, Klopp cited the Reds’ lack of concentration in defensive situations as a key factor in conceding the four goals to Bayern. “You saw the goals we conceded were mainly lack of concentration in the moment twice. A very similar situation, the first goal we conceded and I think the fourth, were very similar. It’s obviously not allowed but it can happen anyway. We have to analyze it properly, I have enough time to do that on the flight home,” he explained (via LFC.com), specifically mentioning Gnabry’s goal in the 33rd minute and Krätzig’s stoppage time winner that came on the tale end of a long back out of the back from Matthijs de Ligt.
“I thought we played super in the first 10 minutes or so and then we were really in the game, bam, bam, bam, everything was clicking and then you could see the players probably had a look at the watch and thought, ‘It’s only 10 minutes, feels like an hour and 50.’ And that’s obviously the moment in the preseason where it’s clear,” Klopp continued, making note of how the momentum started to swing in Bayern’s favor after they replied with two goals of their own from Gnabry and Sane.
Kim Min-jae’s sublime, line-cutting pass to Gnabry for Bayern’s opening goal wrong-footed both Alexander-Arnold and Matip, and Klopp admitted the quality of the ball made life incredibly difficult for his pair of defenders that he still felt could’ve done better in the situation. “Around the goals obviously not that great, but there were a lot of other moments that were really, really good as well. The last line was good. We have to still adjust. It’s not so much about the boys and stuff, [but] yes it is, of course, in these moments. The first goal we concede, Trent and Joel have to react better. This pass, I don’t think it is [able] to avoid, to be 100 percent honest. We cannot always be there and block all balls, sometimes balls will fly towards our last line,” Klopp explained.