3 Things We Noticed: SV Werder Bremen – FC Bayern 0-2 (0-0)

FC Bayern win their first away match of the new season at Werder Bremen 2-0. Once again it was the individual quality of Robert Lewandowski that secured the win for Bayern. Author: Christopher • Translator: Dennis

Before the game started, the new „sporting director“ Hasan Salihamidžić announced that Renato Sanches didn’t travel to Bremen and that there are multiple offers on the table. It’s ever more likely the young Portuguese will leave Munich this summer. The question remains, whether that will be a permanent move or just a loan.

SV Werder Bremen vs FC Bayern, starting formationsSV Werder Bremen vs FC Bayern, starting formations.

3 Things We Noticed

1. Weak staggering in midfield

The Bayern team had difficulties in finding the right positioning in midfield, especially in the first half of the game. Way too often the zone 14, right in front of the penalty box, wasn’t occupied by any player in red. As a result, Werder’s 5-3-2 formation forced Bayern’s build-up play to the wings, where Robben and Ribery were outnumbered.

Additionally, Bayern’s attacks thus lost most of their tempo, because both wingers very often had to start their dibbles from standing positions. As a result Carlo Ancelotti’s team displayed a very one dimensional attacking scheme in Bremen.

Especially against opponents that just try to park the bus and don’t engage in pressing attempts during most of the game, controlling the midfield is essential.

Based on the impressions Bayern made in the current season, they haven’t hit their level of necessary midfield domination yet.

2. Sub-par

Surprisingly Ancelotti left Rudy out of the starting XI. That’s remarkably, considering Rudy had been one of the few pillars in Bayern’s games this season. Ancelotti’s team has to cope with too many currently injured players or players that have only recently returned to the training pitch.

It was even more surprising to see Thiago in the starting XI, since he missed major parts of the preseason preparations. The same goes for Arjen Robben, who was chosen instead of Müller. One could see the lacking match practise with both returnees.

And then there are Vidal and Ribery, who currently don’t last for 90 minutes, based on their increasing number of errors after the 60th minute. Thus the substitutions were very logical, bringing Müller, Rudy, and Coman for Ribery, Vidal, and Robben. Since Coman and Müller were involved in both goals, the question remains why they weren’t already included in the first XI.

There is no perfect timing to let players who just came back from injuries back onto the pitch. Nevertheless, Carlo Ancelotti took a big gamble to include multiple players who missed most of the preseason, just before a two week international break.

(Image: PATRIK STOLLARZ / AFP / Getty Images)

3. Mats Hummels

The game against Leverkusen already demonstarted to which large extend FC Bayern has to rely on Mats Hummels. When he left the game, Bayern’s performance dipped dramatically. The reds lost their ability to free themselves with their build-up play.

Against Bremen Hummels also excelled with his defensive actions. Werder only had very few moments in the Bayern box and each time Hummels was there to defuse the situation, e.g. when he threw his body into Delaney’s shot in the 29th minute.

Overall he won 80% of his duels, made four tackles and intercepted three passes. Thus Hummels provides the necessary stability to Bayern’s defence, while the pressing game isn’t at full intensity yet.

SV Werder Bremen – FC Bayern 0-2 (0-0)
SV Werder BremenPavlenka – Bauer, Sané, Veljkovic – Gebre Selassie, Gondorf (76. Kainz), M. Eggestein (75. Bargfrede), Delaney, Augustinsson – Bartels (84. J. Eggestein), Kruse
BenchZetterer, Caldirola, Johannsson, Garcia
FC BayernNeuer – Kimmich, Süle, Hummels, Alaba – Tolisso, Vidal (85. Rudy) – Robben (64. Coman), Thiago, Ribéry (73. Müller) – Lewandowski
BenchUlreich, Rafinha, Martínez, Friedl
Goals0-1 Lewandowski (72.), 0-2 Lewandowski (75.)
CardsYellow: M. Eggestein / Vidal
RefereeBastian Dankert (Rostock)
Attendance42,100 (sold-out)


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