The first meeting in Frankfurt was definitely one of the worst, if not the worst Bundesliga game of FC Bayern under the reign of Carlo Ancelotti. Frankfurt fought well to grab a 2-2 draw against Munich – they were down a man, too.
3 things we noticed
1. Shifting focus
The first 45 minutes have shown how much the focus of Munich has shifted. The Champions League and knock-out games in the DFB Pokal are now the focal point. The league is just jogging along. The rivals take a share of the blame. Leipzig and Dortmund couldn’t solve their tasks. Giving Bayern an advantage of 16 points with 30 points still to be won. For Bayern the league is just every day business considering their lead. Games like Frankfurt, where Munich will play with moderate intensity at most, won’t be an exception. If one likes or dislikes this, is down to each viewer’s judgement.
The team has several experienced players, who simultaneously know how to play it safe, but also release the famous 5 or 10 per cent extra performance and when not to.
2. Müller still not a decisive factor
Thomas Müller is still struggling to find a proper role under Carlo Ancelotti. Lately, Müller was rotating between the bench and the starting XI. Whenever he’s playing, Müller is yet to find the right role. Similar to the game against Cologne, Müller wasn’t really contributing to the game against Frankfurt at first. The few touches of Müller led to catastrophic losses of possession at times. The numbers from the first 30 minute of the game document this quite well: 16 touches, 67% passing accuracy, 0% tackles won, two fouls and caught offside once.
Just shortly after, Müller was there, as expected. He wins the sprint duel for the knock-on header of Lewandowski and provided the assist for the 1-0. It was his fifth assist in the last three Bundesliga matches. The point is going back to Müller again.
However, the aforementioned issues also show why Ancelotti is counting on Thiago as a playmaker in the big games. The Spaniard provides more safety there. Which is necessary because of the tactics as well.
Honestly, this won’t really change until the end of the season. Müller will have to keep working on himself. Currently, he’s simply not the irreplaceable player from autumn 2015, because of his patchy performances.
3. Boateng makes his comeback
After the comeback of Jerome Boateng the situation in defence is getting better ahead of the crucial phase of the season. Boateng is facing the same rules as Thomas Müller, though.
Hummels and Martinez have played incredibly well together as of late. So far, the record champion has only conceded four goals in 2017 in the league. In the last three games the team was able to keep a clean sheet. The previously mentioned Hummels and Martinez are massively contributing to this with their individual quality against the ball. Against Frankfurt Hummels denied Hrgota a certain goal with a superb sliding tackle.
This obviously doesn’t mean that Boateng isn’t able to do similar things, but like any other player he’s got to get back into the rhythm first after being sidelined for four months. Rotation is a possibility for these three players. However, Martinez and Hummels should have higher chances of starting in the Champions League quarter-finals.
|FC Bayern – Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 (2-0)|
|FC Bayern||Neuer – Lahm, Martínez (65. Boateng), Hummels, Alaba – Thiago, Vidal (77. Sanches) – Robben, Müller, Costa – Lewandowski (75. Coman)|
|Bench||Ulreich, Rafinha, Kimmich, Ribéry|
|Eintracht Frankfurt||Hradecky – Chandler, Hector, Hasebe (64. Russ), Abraham, Tawatha – Mascarell, Gacinovic – Blum (70. Barkok), Hrgota (78. Fabian), Rebic|
|Bench||Lindner, Besuschkow, Wolf, Barkok, Knothe|
|Goals||1-0 Lewandowski (38.), 2-0 Costa (41.), 3-0 Lewandowski (55.)|
|Cards||Yellow: Vidal, Alaba / Rebic, Mascarell, Hasebe|
|Referee||Markus Schmidt (Stuttgart)|
|Attendance||75,000 (sold out)|