3 Things We Noticed:
1. Heynckes continues to do everything right
It’s really quite stunning. The grandmaster is still able to pull everything off. Despite several changes in the starting lineup with Rafinha and Bernat playing in unsual positions and a – on paper – rather uncreative double pivot, FC Bayern stroll to a win against 10th in the table. And not only that. Decisions like the inclusion of Vidal paid off (see point 2).
Augsburg didn’t make many mistakes. The only big one after Caiuby lost possession ahead of the 2-0 was punished by Munich immediately.
Heynckes developed a good tactical base for the squad, one the team on the pitch can build up on in any personnel. On top of that, there’s obviously the tangible confidence the ongoing win streak and the huge wins against Leipzig and Dortmund have brought along.
75% possession, roughly 90% pass accuracy, 55% tackles won. Munich dominated with ease despite playing with the handbrake on ahead of the matches against Anderlecht and the tradionally tough away game in Mönchengladbach.
2. Vidal shows desperately needed reaction
The Chilean had a problem ever since Javi Martínez moved back into midfield. His abilities against the ball have secured him a spot in the starting eleven in big games in the past. Because Martínez isn’t only better, but more disciplined in that area, Heynckes (apart from his goal threat) lacks a strong reason why he should count on Vidal.
Due to obvious physical and probably repeated attitude problems, Heynckes was forced to publicly criticise the midfielder to draw him out.
Therefore, against Augsburg it wasn’t overly surprising that Heynckes gave him the chance to show a reaction about the discussions of the past few days. This reaction happened.
Vidal looked involved, worked the space ahead of Martínez, that opened time and time again due to James moving out wide. He even refrained from his detached individual pressing runs which threw off the statics of the defence in the past. He contributed to the combinational play, too. At the time of his substitution Vidal had the most sprints, the most intensive runs and the second-most touches of all Bayern players. Proof of his involvement.
As the icing on the cake for his overall good performance he had two goal contributions. He solved situation ahead of the 1-0 with an outstanding shot on the turn. He assisted the 2-0 after a great interception.
It’s going to be interesting to see how Heynckes will fit Vidal in throughout the course of the season. As a pure rotation player or as a specialist with particular tasks in the really important games.
3. James is doing a lot of good things
The Colombian is probably the winner of the last weeks. He obviously benefits from Thomas Müller’s injury, but he definitely earned his spot as a serious candidate for the starting eleven in big games.
Despite not having a goal contribution unlike the games against Leipzig and Dortmund, he’s still doing an incredible amount of small things right on the pitch.
James was pretty much always available. Moved from the middle out to the wings, offered triangles and didn’t lose the ball often (95% pass accuracy). 119 touches (highest), 101 passes (highest), 5 key passes (highest), over 11 km distance covered (second-highest) and several good set pieces. A pleasure to watch as he does it so straightforward and dilligently.
James is finding his role. As helper and playmaker. Good development.
3.1 Robert Lewandowski=world-class.
|FC Bayern München – FC Augsburg 3-0 (2-0)|
|FC Bayern||Ulreich – Kimmich, Süle, Hummels, Rafinha – Martinez, Vidal (80. Rudy) – Robben (78. Tolisso), James, Bernat (74. Alaba) – Lewandowski|
|Bench||Starke, Boateng, Wriedt|
|Augsburg||Hitz – Opare, Danso, Gouweleeuw, Max – Khedira, Baier – Heller (60. Schmid), Gregoritsch, Caiuby (69. Stafilydis) – Finnbogason (83. Ji)|
|Bench||Luthe, Callsen-Bracker, Koo, Moravek|
|Tore||1-0 Vidal (31′), 2-0 Lewandowski (38′), 3-0 Lewandowski (49′)|
|Cards||Yellow: – / Khedira, Opare, Gouweleeuw|
|Referee||Markus Schmidt (Stuttgart)|
|Attendance||75.000 sold out|