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3 Things We Noticed: FC Bayern – FC Schalke 04 2-1 (2-1)

FC Bayern is the gift that keeps on giving – victories, in this case, ending the game against Schalke 2-1. Despite Jupp Heynckes’ absence, the team delivered a convincing performance on home soil.

“Even Helene Fischer sometimes gets ill and misses concerts,” explained Hasan Salihamidžić when asked about the coach’s absence due to illness.

Starting formations FC Bayern - Schalke 04Starting formations FC Bayern – FC Schalke 04

Three Things We Noticed

1. Wild wild game

Without the support of Jupp Heynckes, Bayern let themselves be drawn into a wild game against Schalke 04. Schalke surprised with an offensive line-up and high pressing, from which Bayern could often only free themselves with long balls – often unsuccessfully. Boateng and Ulreich had to play 14 long balls – only four found a team-mate. This was one of the reasons why Munich’s pass rate was at ‘only’ 82%. when the Heynckes team managed to free themselves, it became dangerous right away. James, Robben and Kimmich introduced good opportunities, but these were not used consistently. On the contrary – there were plenty of simple ball losses which Schalke could use for counter-attacks. That way, it became a wild game, played mostly without a midfield – on both sides. A rather unfortunate situation, especially from Bayern’s point of view.

In the second half, this changed only occasionally. Schalke was not able to keep up the intense pressing for the entire 45 minutes, but at least it was so persistent that the Reds could create hardly any goal-scoring opportunities.

2. Vidal keeps it together

Arturo Vidal fights for his future with FC Bayern. The Chilean rushed into every duel as if it were his last. He was constantly attentive and tried to cover the relatively large space in the centre as much as he could. He succeeded in doing so for much of the game. He accumulated twelve duels, but also five fouls, as well has three interceptions. It wasn’t only his behaviour in duels that was remarkable, but also Vidal’s efforts to keep pushing Bayern’s game forward with clever build-up play. He was helped by the fact that he did not fall into a frenzy in the many press situations that Schalke put him into, chased at times by three or four opponents.

The next few weeks will show where the future lies for both player and club. Vidal still has a contract until the summer of 2019, which, in the current football busines, means that a decision about his future will have to be made by the summer at the latest.

Vidal wins a duel against Franco Di Santo.
Vidal wins a duel against Franco Di Santo.
(Photo: Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

3. Goretzka shines

Leon Goretzka had an interesting duel with Vidal on the field. The future Bayern player proved to his future employer just what he is capable of doing. Ahead of the equaliser, Goretzka had sprinted across the entire field, showing his abilities as a box-to-box player. In general, Goretzka is a player who likes to move aggressively into the penalty area, as was evidenced in this game as well. What distinguishes him is his good overview; Goretzka never acts stubbornly in these situations, but always looks for the better positioned team-mate.

Goretzka also had great defensive positioning, consistently putting Bayern’s midfield under pressure and making it difficult for his opponents to free themselves.

FC Bayern – FC Schalke 04 2-1 (2-1)
FC BayernUlreich – Kimmich, Boateng (71. Süle), Hummels, Alaba – Vidal – Robben, Müller, James (81. Martínez), Ribéry (77. Coman) – Lewandowski
BenchStarke, Wagner, Rafinha, Tolisso
FC Schalke 04Fährmann – Stambouli, Naldo, Kehrer – Caligiuri, Goretzka, Meyer (59. Oczipka), Schöpf – Embolo, Burgstaller (65. Harit), Di Santo (77. Konoplyanka)
BenchNübel, Pjaca, Teuchert, Tekpetey
Goals1-0 Lewandowski (6.); 1-1 Di Santo (29.); 2-1 Müller (36.)
Yellow CardsJames, Vidal / Meyer, Burgstaller
RefereeTobias Stieler (Hamburg)
Attendance75.000 (sold out)

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