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Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 Bayern Munich: Initial reactions and observations

“Stand proud, you’re strong” — Xabi Alonso.

FC Bayern München v 1. FC Union Berlin - Bundesliga Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Initial reactions and observations

  • If Thomas Tuchel isn’t sacked by tomorrow, Bayern Munich are finished. Not just for this season — lord knows the Bundesliga is out of reach already — but for the foreseeable future. Because if Tuchel survives this, it means that Bayern Munich are no longer a team that stands for excellence. If the board is satisfied with this coach’s performance, they may as well sell Kane and put guys like Musiala up for auction. There is no winning when you play like this.
  • Speaking of Musiala and Kane, they were so poor in this game. Leverkusen made some of the most talented attackers in Europe look like complete amateurs, and didn’t even break a sweat while doing it. How can this be allowed to continue?
  • No Joshua Kimmich, no Matthijs de Ligt, no Thomas Müller — the usual suspects all started on the bench and the former two didn’t even come on before it became 2-0. Who’s Tuchel going to blame now? What are his excuses? This press conference will be interesting, at the least.

Looking for a more in-depth review of the game, or do you just want to wallow in our misery? Then check out our postgame podcast! Chuck and INNN talk about Tuchel’s shortcomings and why Bayern Munich were outclassed by Bayer Leverkusen. Listen to it below or on Spotify.

Full time: Bayern Munich have lost 3-0 to Bayer Leverkusen.

90’+5’ — Goal. Frimpong makes it 3-0 after Neuer went up the pitch.

59’ — Subs: Tuchel brings on Müller and Kimmich for Upamecano and Pavlović.

49’ — Goal. Grimaldo makes it 2-0.

45’ — Second half kicks off!

Halftime observations and analysis

  • No Müller, no De Ligt, no plan, no strategy, no tactics. Bayern Munich have been second-best so far today, and it’s all down to the coach. Can Thomas Tuchel still turn this around? If not, should he get sacked?
  • Harry Kane and Leroy Sané have been completely invisible. Leverkusen didn’t even have to work to shut them down, Bayern’s setup does it by itself.
  • There’s something poetic about Stanisic scoring the opener due to a lapse from Boey, since Boey was only purchased because Bayern needed depth at right-back after Stanisic was sent on loan. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

Halftime: Bayern Munich are LOSING.

17’ — Goal. Stanisic. It’s hard to find words.

Kickoff: After a very long delay, we’re underway. It’s been

One hour until kickoff: We have lineups! Thomas Müller has been benched as Tuchel opts to field a surprise back-three setup! Bayern Munich will line up with Harry Kane, Leroy Sané, and Jamal Musiala up top, with Leon Goretzka and Aleksandar Pavlović in midfield. Eric Dier, Dayot Upamecano, and Kim Min-jae start at the back, with Sacha Boey and Noussair Mazraoui on the flanks.

There are thirty-four games in a Bundesliga league season, but sometimes it all comes down to a single one.

Bayern Munich have spent almost the entire season chasing Bayer Leverkusen, knowing that the head-to-head clash at the BayArena could be the season’s make or break moment. Thomas Tuchel has managed to get his team within two points of the league leaders, but a failure to win here would open up a five point gap at the top of the table, which might even put the Bundesliga title out of reach.

Bayern Munich have all the talent needed to win this. Like seriously, you’ve got the likes of Harry Kane up top, with Jamal Musiala, Leroy Sané, and Thomas Müller behind him. Joshua Kimmich is back from injury and likely to start, and even if he doesn’t, 19-year-old Aleksandar Pavlović has proven himself a more than adequate replacement. The big miss will be Alphonso Davies (who is injured), but Raphaël Guerreiro and Noussair Mazraoui could both put in shifts at left-back.

It’s a big game, probably the biggest Bundesliga game in years. For first time in over a decade, the title could actually change hands. Will Bayer Leverkusen remain unbeaten, or will Bayern Munich’s quality shine through?

It’s Bayern time.

While you’re waiting for the game, why not check out our preview podcast? Listen to it below or on Spotify.

Match Info

Location: BayArena, Leverkusen, Germany

Time: 6:30 pm local time, 12:30 pm EST

TV/streaming: ESPN+, Find Your Country

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