Bayern Munich’s DFB-Pokal journey seems to be proceeding in emphatic fashion, with the Bavarians brushing aside third division side Preußen Münster with ease (as they should). Utterly dominant, and quite ruthless.
History teaches the best lessons
Bayern Munich has learned a lesson from all those embarrassing early exits from the DFB-Pokal. And that lesson is: never underestimate your opponent, because Bayern Munich was serious from the start, and the pressure never seemed to stop. There was a much better balance between a more conservative defensive approach and a death metal high press. The team actually pressed consistently for a change, and there was attacking intent throughout. If only Bayern is able to replicate this setup against Champions League opposition.
Mathys Tel is an extremely intelligent footballer
Easily the best player on the pitch, and once again, absolutely unstoppable. Heavily involved in the buildup to 3 goals, his incredible turn after evading Münster’s offside trap, then sending his man to Münster with a great feint and then looping in a cross for Choupo Moting to finish with aplomb... that assist showed exactly why Tel is so valuable. The player also notched a hockey assist in the buildup to Bayern’s second and was a thorn-up Münster’s backside the entire game. Of course, he also finished off a brilliant move with a well-placed shot that put the game beyond doubt in the dying minutes.
It is so hard to mark the player since he plays so quickly and so intelligently. He reads the spaces in the opposition box with expertise and maturity beyond his years and always knows what to do with the ball. The timing of his runs, the timing of his passes, and his incredible dribbling arsenal make him a nightmare to defend. Heck, he should be in Bayern’s champagne XI in the season’s biggest games, since he seems to possess the X factor.
Strong debuts for Daniel Peretz and Frank Krätzig
Daniel Peretz should start for Bayern Munich ahead of Sven Ulreich. Heck, if he replicates this form, he could give Neuer a run for his money. The goalkeeper was excellent at playing the ball and acting like the 11th onfield player that we’re always used to seeing with Manuel Neuer. The wall was a big reason why Bayern managed to keep a clean sheet today, while also adding the much-needed ball playing from the back and helping in buildup phases.
Has the club stumbled upon its Neuer successor already? Too soon to tell, but the signs are encouraging.
Krätzig had an active outing, with a really well-taken goal and some really nice chances generated in the opposition half. His first Pokal game and he did not disappoint. However, he’s still not ready for regular first-team football, especially physicality-wise. If he continues to develop at this rate, though, that sure looks like a real possibility.
Johannes Schenk is a wall
It is quite a relief that Schenk is only on loan from Bayern Munich because it might actually be a good idea to bring him back after his loan deal. Impressing with some spectacular saves and impeccable timing, the 6’3” tall goalkeeper kept Bayern attackers at bay all game. Yes, Bayern still managed to score 4 goals, but it would’ve been impossible to save everything anyway.
The youngster can certainly go back home with his head held high, and he’s also done a great job of convincing the Bayern brass that he’s worth keeping in the club’s setup. The future looks bright.
Reverse Tuchelball works too?
Thomas Tuchel has been notorious for his uber-defensive approach lately. At Chelsea, his back 5 was the talk of the town. The coach usually loves having quite a few defenders on the pitch and usually employs a more pragmatic approach. Tonight, he opted for the opposite.
If you consider that Davies and Mazraoui are more attacking than defensive fullbacks, there wasn’t a single pure defender on the pitch. The tactic seems to be a relatively high press from the start, with a focus on interchanges and ball circulation from the midfield, and it worked. Bayern didn’t seem to miss the defenders, and since Daniel Peretz was impeccable anyway, one can say that the strategy paid dividends.
Of course, employing the same setup against top opposition, like RB Leipzig this weekend, could be unwise. But it’s certainly a welcome change from the “score and defend” tactic that hasn’t exactly worked in recent weeks. It feels nice to watch Bayern play again.