With kick-off, Jupp Heynckes became the oldest coach ever to have looked after a team on the sidelines of the Champions League. The life of the Bayern coach now spans 72 years and 162 days.
3 things we noticed:
1. Focus on crosses
As good as FC Bayern’s game was, their strong focus on crosses remains striking. Especially the left side with Coman and Alaba forced one-on-one duels again and again, many of which ended in favour of the Munich team. It was a logical consequence that these scenes would result in goals; the first two were initiated on the wing.
However, the focus degenerated into a too extreme approach. In the first half, the Munich team did not create any chances from the centre. Due to the offensive full-backs, the midfielders moved the ball towards the sidelines at a very early stage. At the end of the game, 43 crosses were played. Another high number. This is what Jupp Heynckes needs to work on in the near future in order to make the Bayern game more variable and less predictable.
2. The pressing
FC Bayern’s 4-1-4-1 pressing worked. The Munich team won several early balls in the final third of the pitch although Brendan Rodgers’ team is usually very solid at playing out from the back. Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller played a central role in this process, skillfully anticipating the opponents’ paths and forcing them to adopt unfavourable passing angles. It was interesting to see how they instructed their colleagues with gestures.
Bayern’s pressing has been much higher in the two matches under Jupp Heynckes and also much more effective than it had been under Carlo Ancelotti. Many interceptions and only few counter chances for Celtic were the reward for the team’s consistent approach. This was also due to the fact that the central defenders, mostly Boateng, kept pushing up. Looking at the game against Anderlecht, the differences show quite clearly. Despite ending up in the same scoreline, during the earlier game, a majority of the Bavarian players were much more passive in the space, enabling the Belgians to bridge larger spaces quickly.
3. The Kimmich hype train
— Justin Kraft (@LahmsteigerDE) 18. Oktober 2017
Can we even still call it hype when we talk about Joshua Kimmich? Probably not. Acknowledgments for its performance are far too justified. It is remarkable how constant Kimmich has become in the last weeks and months. Not only as the 1-0 originator, but also as the 2-0 goalscorer, his offensive actions were almost always dangerous. With 13 crosses, he had by far the most in the FC Bayern team. He tirelessly drove the Munich offensive forward and paired his numbers with a passing accuracy of above 90%.
Kimmich was not defensively challenged that night. In those scenes that did happen, he could show quick ball wins in the midfield, because Celtic could be forced to hoof the ball.
The reward for Kimmich came in the 80th minute; Jupp Heynckes granted him the Munich audience’s standing ovations. At the same time, it was the first few minutes that powerhouse Kimmich missed this season.
|FC Bayern – Celtic Glasgow|
|Bayern||Ulreich – Alaba, Hummels, Boateng, Kimmich (80. Rafinha) – Rudy – Coman (78. James), Thiago (67. Vidal), Müller, Robben – Lewandowski|
|Bench||Starke, Süle, Tolisso, Friedl||Celtic||Gordon – Thierney, Boyata, Lustig, Gamboa – Brown, Ntcham – Sinclair, Armstrong (65. Rogic), Roberts (78. McGregor) – Griffiths (65. Dembélé)|
|Bench||De Vries, Bitton, Ajer, Forrest|
|Goals||1-0 Müller (17.), 2-0 Kimmich (29.), 3-0 Hummels (51.)|
|Cards||Yellow: – / Roberts (38.)|
|Referee||Sergej Karassew (Russia)|
|Attendance||72,000 (sold out)|