Bayern Munich cruised their way through a 5-0 win against SC Freiburg. After a spell of not being this dominant or having a clean sheet, Bayern are back to their winning ways. An incredible tactical showing with due credit to coach Julian Nagelsmann and the brilliant performances from today had some talking points, let’s see what they are.
An absolute demolition
SC Freiburg aren’t exactly known for having a very good record against Bayern, having not won a single game at the Allianz Arena, and this game was an exact repetition of what we have seen time and again.
Freiburg press, Bayern sustain and then Freiburg just stop pressing and give up on life.
Christian Streich gets really mad, screams a bit and then he makes zero impact subs.
Bayern continue to steam-roll and demolish Freiburg till the 90th minute.
This, by no means, is a determining factor of how good Freiburg really are. They remain a top four team who are cruising through their Europa League group stage. However, it is shocking to know they registered zero shots on target tonight. On top of this, Sven Ulreich had a pretty relaxed outing with not much to worry about, so that goes as far as to show just how uninspired Streich’s side was. Even Freiburg’s famed structured and lethal pressing was dealt with at ease by Bayern. So perhaps Bayern are just Freiburg’s bogey team!
The orchestra and its conductor
If Bayern’s beautiful attack tonight were an orchestra, its conductor was Leroy Sane.
The German international is just an absolute treat to watch. Organizing the attack and making things happen, whether at wing, or the half-space is his specialization and he does this with absolute grace and perfection. Being the best player on pitch for Bayern tonight, if he keeps this up, he is a Ballon d’Or contender quite easily. The Sane hate has vanished from the surface of the planet, and hopefully for good — what a performance that was!
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is yet another player at the receiving end of criticism and he showed tonight precisely why the club trusts him — he is dependable, skilled, speedy and an extremely unselfish player who is dedicated. He contributed to multiple beautiful attacking movements tonight and was incredible to watch.
Serge Gnabry might be back to doing what he does best and I am all in for it; Sadio Mane seems to finally be breaking the offside curse, and Jamal Musiala! Musiala, featuring in the final 35 minutes of the game was as always, lethal and this Bayern attack couldn’t get any better.
But, with Thomas Muller, we’d win 10-0. Just sayin’.
The midfield conundrum
For a while now has Leon Goretzka adopted a surprising role — advancing extremely high up the pitch, leaving Joshua Kimmich alone at midfield. While this did not hold too many implications in tonight’s game since Freiburg’s pressing was simply not good enough, it still raises the question of whether Goretzka’s offensive power and presence is worth sacrificing midfield stability for, and the answer might simply be no. He is incredible at attack and his passing range is simply perfection, but a strong midfield is key for a high-octane, gegenpressing side like Bayern.
Is Marcel Sabitzer the answer to this issue? More or less, yes. While not holding the exact skill-set as Goretzka, Sabitzer is just as reliable, and has an incredible presence in midfield, while still contributing to the attack — but perhaps because he doesn’t occupy a pseudo-striker role as Goretzka does.
It remains to be seen how the midfield will shape up, as Bayern also have the ever-dependable Ryan Gravenberch who is simply too good to be on the bench. Who Kimmich’s partner in the pivot will be in top games is a question that remains to be answered.
The best backline Bayern has ever had?
Maintaining a clean-sheet tonight wasn’t the hardest task but perhaps it seemed that way because of how easy the defenders make it look. The backline featured Matthijs de Ligt, Dayot Upamecano, a healthy and fit Alphonso Davies and a featured newcomer in Noussair Mazraoui. What really is the greatest blessing for Bayern and Nagelsmann is the quality of defenders individually, paired with their well-balanced skill-sets: Davies with his explosive pace and attacking threat, Mazraoui with his defensive awareness, De Ligt and Upamecano with their mere presence and strength all put up commendable performances. It is also undeniable the case that Benjamin Pavard and Josip Stanisic looked sharp in their cameos.
With this quality at defense and Nagelsmann’s tactical setup, Bayern are destined for great things this season. It is truly magical to watch the Bavarians back in their dominating ways, showing the world what real football looks like.
Interested in more analysis of the game? We have that plus so much more (including a discussion of Robert Lewandowski and an Augsburg preview) in the latest episode of our podcast. Listen to it below or on Spotify.
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