3 Things We Noticed: FC Bayern – VfL Wolfsburg 1-0 (1-0)
It was a terrible game on a gloomy Tuesday evening. One, who hoped to see new insights about Bayern’s form and structure after the recent criticism was disappointed. For the majority of the game Bayern only did what was necessary to beat an harmless opponent and advance to the next round. Bayern passed the ball around well from right to left. Occupied the penalty box reasonably well and intercepted most of the opposition counters early on. It didn’t need much more than that.
In the last few years there were several teams, where you noticed that their main goal is not to concede too many goals. Wolfsburg took it to another level. Barely any serious counters. No structures in attack. Only because Bayern didn’t do enough going forward, the visitors were allowed to create some pressure towards the end. Other than that, it was awful. Good to have the Champions League back soon.
The at least ambiguous, if not irritating statements from Douglas Costa about ready-to-sign offers from abroad have created some fuss over the past few days. From the first minute on Costa seemed determined to disperse any conclusions about his performance on the pitch. The Brazilian was quite active from the start and went into several dribbles. He forced the 1-0 with one of his typical long shots. He added two additional shots on target as the game went on. However, his performance was still quite a distance away from being a great one.
No, it was definitely not the best game of their remarkable careers. If there was any chance on goal though, it was created by Philipp Lahm and Arjen Robben on the right. Lahm was very willing to support Robben’s dribbles with energetic runs. The Dutchman got stuck frequently, but found the overlapping Lahm about three times, which led to decent chances. As often before in the last six years. Next to Martínez and Neuer, Lahm was the best Bayern player on the pitch.
In the coming days there will be a lot of talk about Philipp Lahm. The captain of the historical treble eleven and world champion in 2014 will retire at the end of the season. Even a swift move to the board, which was demanded by many, won’t happen. At this moment barely anyone can really comprehend how much of a loss this will mean to FC Bayern as a club. Lahm was world class at his position for more than ten years. He’s possibly the most influential right-back of all time. He’s been the captain for five years. If FC Bayern would build five statues for the biggest club icons at the Allianz Arena tomorrow, the discussion would start with Gerd Müller, Franz Beckenbauer and him.
One can only hope, that this team and coach are able to create a farewell season, which is worthy of his extraordinary career. However, after the Wolfsburg game there are still a lot of doubts.
|FC Bayern München – VfL Wolfsburg|
|Bayern||Neuer – Alaba, Hummels, Martínez, Lahm – Alonso (73. Kimmich) – Costa (87. Sanches), Vidal, Thiago, Robben (89. Coman) – Lewandowski|
|Bank||Ulreich, Rafinha, Bernat, Müller|
|Wolfsburg||Casteels – Rodriguez, Gustavo, Knoche – Gerhardt, Arnold, Seguin, Bazoer (76. Didavi), Vierinha – Mayoral (45. Malli), Ntep (61.Gomez)|
|Bench||Benaglio, Bruma, Błaszczykowski, Guilavogui|
|Goals||1:0 Costa (17.)|
|Cards||Yellow: Robben (72.) / Gustavo (57.)|
|Referees||Dr. Jochen Drees (Münster-Sarmsheim), Timo Gerach (Landau), Christian Gittelmann (Gauersheim), Arno Blos (Deizisau)|