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Daily Schmankerl: The aftermath of Bayern Munich vs. Bayer Leverkusen; FC Barcelona and Bayern talking swap for Ronald Araújo and Joshua Kimmich?; Liverpool eyeing Jamal Musiala, Antonee Robinson; Bayern scoping Spanish left-back; + MORE!

We feel your pain Harry...

Bayer 04 Leverkusen v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images

Die Folgen: Bayern’s embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Leverkusen (Bavarian Football Works)

Well...Bayern Munich just blew an incredible opportunity to take the edge in the Bundesliga title race.

Now, the Bavarians face an uphill battle to win the league for a 12th consecutive time. Doubt is in the air and manager Thomas Tuchel’s seat should be warming — but probably is not.

Let’s just cut to the chase, here are some quick hitters on the match:

  • As always, let’s take a look at the starting XI that Tuchel rolled out for this debacle:
  • A back three? In the biggest game of the season — after not playing one at all this season? That reeks of a man whose arrogance and eagerness to show he knows better than everyone else is out of control.
  • This starting XI was Tuchel’s greatest work. Not only did he get to show the world how brazenly out of touch he is, but he also found a new and inventive way to stick it to three dependable veterans — Thomas Müller, Joshua Kimmich, and Matthijs de Ligt — in favor of “his guys.”
  • Who are “his guys?” Let’s take a look — Sacha Boey, who was overmatched. Leroy Sané, who is tired as hell. Jamal Musiala, who is underachieving. Kim Min-jae, who is just a walking bag of wear-and-tear at this point given how much mileage he has racked up this season. Dayot Upamecano, who was coming off of an injury. Eric Dier, who had not played for Tottenham Hotspur all season and now suddenly irreplaceable.
  • The decision to start Boey — at left wing-back nonetheless — was very questionable and proved to be outright disastrous when Josip Stanišić scored for Bayer Leverkusen in the 18th minute.
  • The goal must have felt awesome for Stanišić, who was shipped off by Tuchel last August as the coach had no plans with — or for — the youngster.
  • In the first half, defensive midfielder striker Harry Kane had seven touches. Seven. Why using Kane as a facilitator for poor finishers like Sané and Musiala is still a thing for Bayern Munich is beyond me.
  • Don’t get me wrong, Sané was not the cause of Bayern Munich’s issues, nor was he close to being the worst player. However, Tuchel’s insistence on running Sané into the ground to this point in the season, pretty much ensure that one of Bayern Munich’s best weapons had very little chance of being at his best for the season’s most important game.
  • Ditto for Min-jae, who had been beat up all season by accumulating so many minutes, when wore himself completely out in playing with South Korea. He needed more time, but Tuchel only knows one way...his way.
  • One thing was very clear, Bayer Leverkusen was better prepared for the match and wanted the game a lot more. That is an indictment of Tuchel’s ability to get this team ready for a matchup on the big stage (much like we saw when Manchester City dispatched Bayern Munich from the Champions League last season).
  • Before it seems like this is too harsh on Tuchel, the players also deserve blame for their shoddy performance as a team.
  • Álex Grimaldo doubled Bayer Leverkusen’s lead on a nifty give-and-go with Nathan Tella. Grimaldo took advantage of Aleksandar Pavlović’s struggles with tracking his player (something we saw last week as well), which left Grimaldo to run free at a backline that was woefully scrambling like Keystone Kops.
  • The moment was just too big for Pavlović. This was his worst match. Tuchel (as I said in the Bavarian Podcast Works — Preview Show) should have rolled with Kimmich and Goretzka. The kid still has promise, but Tuchel had a point to prove to his veteran midfielders. Even if Kimmich couldn’t go a full 90, you start him and know he could have a short leash.
  • In the 60th minute, Pavlović and Upamecano came off in favor of Müller and Kimmich, but it was too little, too late.
  • Mathys Tel came on for Goretzka in the 70th minute.
  • Jeremie Frimpong officially iced the game with an empty-netter in extra time. What a mess.
  • Overall, Tuchel deserves all of the criticism headed his way. The tactical move to play a back three was awful. His squad selection was terrible. He coached as if no one could match his brilliance in out-thinking the opposition. Simply put, he did not put his best team on the pitch in the season’s biggest match. Should Bayern Munich continue to dump trust, money, and squad planning input into a man, who might not be able to be trusted to do the right thing when the team needs him most? The answer is “No.”
  • Tuchel’s arrogance has blinded his ability to make the right choices and to position his team the best way possible. Bayern Munich has made its bed as a club with Tuchel and now it is scared to get out. It is just under a year since Tuchel was hired — and it is hard to say that the team is better off for it. Has Tuchel won a lot of games this season? Sure, but it is a weakened, top-heavy Bundesliga. It is the big games that count...and Tuchel has shown no inclination that he has a feel for how to get the job done when the lights shine the brightest at Bayern Munich.

If you missed our Initial Analysis, Match Awards, Observations, or Postgame Podcast (an absolute can’t miss), give them a look and/or a listen:

Bayern to use Kimmich as bait for Araújo move? (Barca Universal)

Per some reports, Bayern Munich desperately wants FC Barcelona’s Ronald Araújo. Per others, Barca has their eyes on Joshua Kimmich. Naturally, SWAP MEET rumors are starting, no matter how ridiculous they might be:

It is no secret that Barcelona desperately want to sign someone who can seamlessly fit into the defensive midfield position. The team from Catalonia gambled on a certain Oriol Romeu last summer and while the Spaniard showed signs of promise early on, the 32-year-old has faded away over the last few months.

As such, Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich happens to be one of the many candidates considered by Barcelona, but dealing with the German champions is proving to be quite tricky. Now, Bayern are aware of Barcelona’s interest in Kimmich and while they were initially reluctant, they have found a way to take advantage of the Blaugrana.

According to a report from SPORT, Bayern will not consider selling Kimmich unless Barcelona include Ronald Araujo in the deal, something that the team from Catalonia is not even considering. Bayern have been working on Araujo’s acquisition for a considerable period, anticipating that Barcelona might open the door for negotiations due to their pressing need to strengthen their finances.

Intent on creating doubt within the Blaugrana camp, Bayern are prepared to make a substantial bid. Interestingly enough, the decision to pursue Araujo was made by Bayern in the latter months of the previous year. Although Bayern explored other options as well, they concluded that an undeniable signing was the key to raising their defensive standard, and Araujo emerged as the preferred choice.

While Araujo is aware of Bayern’s keen interest and the enormity of the proposed operation, he remains committed to staying at Barcelona. Araujo knows Bayern are interested, but he still wants to stay at Barcelona. He recently renewed his contract with Barcelona but feels he deserves better pay, considering his important role in the team.

Bavarian Podcast Works — Weekend Warm-up Podcast: Season 3, Episode 31 (Bavarian Football Works)

IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN!

Okay, now that you have Europe cued up, you are officially ready for the massive Bundesliga tilt between Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen.

If that is not enough, let’s do a little more talking about the match, plus a lot more on this week’s edition of the Bavarian Podcast Works — Weekend Warm-up Podcast. Here is what we have on tap for this episode:

  • There is an excitement and tension building up for Bayern Munich vs. Bayer Leverkusen.
  • Frans Krätzig set off for FK Austrian Wien.
  • The rumors linking Bayern Munich to FC Barcelona’s Ronald Araújo could actually be legitimate, while Leroy Sané probably won’t be going to Liverpool.
  • Why the emergence of Aleksandar Pavlović matters.
  • Sky ran a fan poll to pick Germany’s starting XI...do you agree?

LFC still has eyes on Musiala (Caught Offside)

It does not feel like Jamal Musiala is leaving Bayern Munich any time soon, Liverpool FC is keeping close tabs on the Germany international:

Liverpool are keen on signing the Bayern Munich attacker Jamal Musiala at the end of the season. They are looking to bring in replacements if Mohamed Salah leaves the club at the end of the season and the German international has been identified as an alternative.

The report from Bild via Fichajes claims that the 20-year-old attacker will cost in excess of €100 million if the Premier League club comes calling at the end of the season.

Musiala can operate as the central attacking midfielder as well as a false nine. He is versatile enough to slot into the wide areas as well. The 20-year-old has seven goals and three assists to his name across all competitions this season and he could develop into a world-class attacker for Liverpool with the right coaching and guidance.

It will be interesting to see if Liverpool are prepared to play a car record for the attacker at the end of the season. Salah has a contract with Liverpool until the summer of 2025 and the two parties have not agreed on an extension yet. Liverpool will be under pressure to cash on him at the end of this season if he does not renew his deal. They will not want to lose the player on a free transfer next year.

The Egyptian international has been a phenomenal servant for the club and Liverpool will have to replace him adequately. Musiala could certainly prove to be a quality long-term acquisition for them.

LFC could grab Robinson (ESPN)

Liverpool FC might also be taking a look at Fulham FC’s Antonee Robinson:

Liverpool are interested in Fulham and United States full-back Antonee Robinson, according to Football Insider. It is believed that the Reds’ data analysis team have been impressed by the 26-year-old, and the club are now keeping close tabs on his situation ahead of a potential summer move. Robinson has registered four assists in 22 Premier League appearances this season.

Bavarian Podcast Works — Weekend Warm-up Podcast: Season 3, Episode 31 (Bavarian Football Works)

IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN!

Okay, now that you have Europe cued up, you are officially ready for the massive Bundesliga tilt between Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen.

If that is not enough, let’s do a little more talking about the match, plus a lot more on this week’s edition of the Bavarian Podcast Works — Weekend Warm-up Podcast. Here is what we have on tap for this episode:

  • There is an excitement and tension building up for Bayern Munich vs. Bayer Leverkusen.
  • Frans Krätzig set off for FK Austrian Wien.
  • The rumors linking Bayern Munich to FC Barcelona’s Ronald Araújo could actually be legitimate, while Leroy Sané probably won’t be going to Liverpool.
  • Why the emergence of Aleksandar Pavlović matters.
  • Sky ran a fan poll to pick Germany’s starting XI...do you agree?

Bayern scoping left-back (Bild via @iMiaSanMia)

With the future of Alphonso Davies at least somewhat in doubt, Bayern Munich is checking out some options on the market — including Girona’s Miguel Gutiérrez:

Madrid could get Yoro (ESPN)

Real Madrid could be the club that lands Lille center-back Leny Yoro:

Talks are ongoing between Real Madrid and Lille over a move for defender Leny Yoro, reports Marca. Los Blancos are reported to be looking to sign a centre-back in the summer, and it is said that the Ligue 1 club are already aware of their interest in the highly rated 18-year-old. Their current demands are believed to be in the region of €60m, but the LaLiga side think that could be negotiated when he enters the final year of his contract in the summer.

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