The first leg marked the start of Jupp Heynckes’ tenure. Since then, 15 victories, one draw and one defeat in the Bundesliga have been transferred to the Bayern account. Figures by which the new Bayern coach will have to be judged.
Three things we noticed
1. Missed opportunity
Jupp Heynckes prefers continuity. There is no other explanation for the repeated adherence to 4-1-4-1. He compensated the loss of the wing players almost 1:1 with other player types. The table situation and the available building blocks might have made it possible to take a different tactical approach. For example, a three-way chain with Hummels, Boateng and Alaba, Bernat and Kimmich as wing defenders and Thiago as a building six instead of the offensively better off Vidal..
In some cases, the Müncheners even showed such structures on their own, when Müller came in to support Wagner. Then things worked out best. On the one hand, it speaks for Heynckes that he believes in his ideas, but it also shows that there seems to be no “Plan B” in the Munich drawer.
The consequences of the tactics were many half-field flanks, since Bernat and Müller as well as the defenders could only rarely make it to the baseline. They’re not dribblers. At the same time, there was a considerable risk of counter-attack, as the second balls often landed with the Freiburg team due to a poorly staffed penalty area.
At the end there were 28 crosses. Except for Bernat’s header chance, the crosses remained largely ineffective.
2. Wagner collects points as Lewandowski replacement
So far, Sandro Wagner’s starter missions have been less than happy. Jupp Heynckes counted on the services of the German forward at the last away games in Mainz and Wolfsburg.
His performances were strenuous, but mostly without luck. Against Freiburg, Wagner finally gained some positive points from the beginning. Wagner helped to ensure that he harmonized perfectly with Thomas Müller. Both players opened each other room and Wagner tried to carry the ball forward as a relay station.
He plowed balls down, laid them across and sidestepped them. For the first time Wagner played like a copy of Lewandowski. It is therefore hardly surprising that he not only scored a goal, but also actively animated Munich’s offensive game.
Wagner ended up with five shots. Four of them in a good position in the penalty area. The 24 remaining passes, 9 of them in dangerous zones, show that Wagner is much better integrated into the game than he was at the beginning.
3. Bayern midfield
The return of Thiago brings greater stability to Munich. The ball’s safety and accuracy of pass is still impressive, even after all these years. With a skillful turn of his body, he introduced the 2:0 in an exemplary manner.
Not only did he deliver 55 of his 62 passes to a fellow player, he also created three chances (including his assist) in the process. In general, he brought a high degree of verticality into the game of Bayern. Heynckes will have taken note of this favorably.
His partner on this evening was Vidal, who has to improve after a good phase in late autumn in order to hold his ground against Martinez and the eights in the team. In too many situations he was too impetuous and wild. There were a number of bad passes for him (his pass rate at the end of the first half was only 69%). Especially when the ball should be carried forwards, he lacked the necessary ideas. In addition, there were simple ball losses and often poor positional play in the pressing process.
It was definitely not the game for Arturo Vidal. Jupp Heynckes will have to think carefully in the next few weeks whether he wants to see the Chilean on the six. As good as Thiago was in the front, it was all the more difficult for Munich that the actual build-up axis brought almost no verticality into the match.
The fact that this wasn’t a big problem at the end of the evening was partly due to the good performance of Mats Hummels and Thiago, but also to the somewhat fortunate course of the game, which took the wind out of Freiburg’s sails early on.
|Freiburg – Bayern|
|Freiburg||Schwolow – Söyüncü, Gulde, Lienhart (46. Kath) – Günter, Koch, Abrashi (46. Höfler), Stenzel – Höler (57. Ravet), Petersen, Haberer|
|Bench||Gikiewicz, Kübler, Kempf, Kleindienst|
|Bayern||Ulreich – Alaba, Hummels, Boateng, Kimmich – Thiago (74. Rudy), Vidal (83. Süle), Tolisso – Bernat, Wagner, Müller (81. Rafinha)|
|Bench||Starke, Martínez, Robben, Lewandowski|
|Goals||0-1 Schwolow (25., own goal), 0-2 Tolisso (28.), 0-3 Wagner (54.), 0-4 Müller (69.)|
|Cards||Yellow: Koch (60.) / –|
|Referees||Frank Willenborg (Osnabrück), Arne Aarnink (Nordhorn), Guido Kleve (Nordhorn), Markus Sinn (Filderstadt), Dr. Robert Kampka (Mainz), Dr. Martin Thomsen (Kleve)|