Jupp Heynckes, on the other hand, listened to the Miasanrot editorial team and rotated heavily. After all, this was the last chance before the winter break.
Three Things We Noticed
1. An evening for Rafinha
For a while now, all of this hardly looked like football. Köln parked the bus in their penalty area and nothing came from Bavaria except a few long and high strikes. The willingness to run wasn’t particularly high and somehow it was noticeable that everyone was relying on the idea that this would go well eventually for the Reds.
But one of the players in the field worked and ran tirelessly up and down the line. While his teammates were already sitting with a hot drink between the Christmas tree and the fireplace, Rafinha was fully focused.
He stopped the opponents’ counterattacks at the last second, only to revive his team’s next attack. He challenged the balls, was biting in the duels and was the only player in a more or less normal form.
2. Countless crosses
A low Cologne block, a huge lead in the table and RB Leipzig’s recent loss of points on Tuesday evening seemingly sufficed to tease away Bavaria’s worst performance of the season so far.
Already at the half way point, the record champion had over 20 crosses plus the many corners. The substitutions of James and Coman brought no improvement. The Bayern players found no solutions to break the enemy’s wall.
High balls flew into the penalty area until one of them initiated the lead. Not particularly creative, but effective. Although it was clear that this sometimes listless performance would suffice, this cannot be the ambition.
More was to be expected from players such as Rudy or Tolisso, who could have shown themselves for a place in the starting eleven against Dortmund. Rudy was barely visible, seldom managed to get a vertical pass between the lines and even played some horrible bad passes. A performance that unfortunately confirms his negative form trend and does not make him the favourite on a place in the staring eleven against Borussia Dortmund.
3. Somehow it doesn’t matter
Yet in a few weeks, no one will talk about this game. It was a mandatory victory, which FC Bayern wanted to achieve with as little effort as possible. They succeeded.
Heynckes was able to conserve some energy. This is true not only for the players who didn’t play over the full distance, but also for a lot of players who only did what was necessary in the 90 minutes.
The conclusion remains that this game has no significance for the future. Even if you hoped for a little bit more from the team, you can understand why it looked the way it did against Köln.
In the next few days, Heynckes should see to it that the team puts their hot drink aside, moves away from the warm place in front of the fireplace and joins Rafinha, whose attitude was once again exemplary.
|FC Bayern – 1. FC Köln 1:0 (0:0)|
|Bayern||Starke – Rafinha, J. Boateng, Süle, Alaba – Rudy, Vidal (46. James) – T. Müller, Tolisso (46. Coman), F. Ribery (76. Kimmich) – Lewandowski|
|Bench||Weinkauf – Hummels, Javi Martinez, Wriedt|
|Köln||T. Horn – Olkowski, Sörensen, Heintz, Jorge Meré – M. Lehmann – Jojic, Özcan, J. Horn (76. Kusic), Handwerker (66. Führich) – Klünter|
|Bench||S. Müller – Bisseck, Clemens, Ouahim, Risa|
|Goals||1-0 Lewandowski (60.)|
|Referee||Daniel Siebert (Berlin)|
|Attendance||75,000 (sold out)|