3 Things We Noticed: FC Bayern – RSC Anderlecht 3-0 (1-0)

Christopher Separator September 12, 2017

For long stretches of the game Anderlecht managed to put up a challenge that was stronger than the final result suggests, despite being a man down for the bigger part of the game.

FC Bayern München - RSC Anderlecht, Champions-League-Hinspiel, GrundformationenFC Bayern vs. RSC Anderlecht, starting formations

3 things we noticed:

1. Bad connections

The early sent-off for Anderlecht didn’t help Bayern. At all. The space between the midfield and the attack was too large for most of the game. Even the space between the defence and the midfield was flawed. These spacing issues caused many errors, when the player with the ball could not reach his teammates and had to rely on high risk passes. At halftime, the passing accuracy was below 90% and the players in red only won 49% of their duels. Pretty underwhelming numbers for a team with numerical superiority. The pass and duel selection was off.

Ancelotti’s team created few situations in which they were able to move the ball through Anderlecht’s 4-4-1 and pose a threat for Anderlecht’s goal. As the time progressed, Bayern improved. The 2-0 was the decision, but for 60 minutes Bayern’s game was missing the important connections.

2. James was trying

The Colombian international made his first start for FC Bayern. He missed the first games due to a muscle injury. He put up very solid numbers. 92 touches, 9 crosses and 4 key passes.

In the 37th minute he took multiple opponents out of the game with his central pass to Robben. It was one of the scenes FC Bayern does and should expect from James, providing an additional dimension to the game. Attacks can commence from the centre, even in a packed field. Overall James still had too few of these moments.

It was visible how he tried to give the game some structure. His many long switches that found his teammates in 7 out of 9 tries were striking. Of course, it wasn’t a perfect game, especially his crosses lacked precision.

Nevertheless, it was a decent showing. The link-up with Thiago and Tolisso was promising. The zone 14 in the centre was better occupied than in the previous games this season, but the positioning still needs improvement and Anderlecht’s red card also played its part.

3. Missing wing focus

This season FC Bayern not only struggles in trying to occupy the zone 14, but also on the wings. After 60 minutes, they only won three 1vs1s, Ribery twice and Thiago once. Too few for a team that builds its dominance on dominating the wings. Ancelotti hasn’t found a working concept so far this season. At the same time players like Ribery and Robben aren’t getting younger. Especially the latter is currently still some steps below the level he had in previous years. His injury at the start of the season probably plays its part.

Nevertheless, Ancelotti is still unable to implement a formation or a system that puts the golden oldies in 1vs1 situations utilizing their strengths. Especially against a team with one man down one could and should expect more. Maybe less from the left wing with Rafinha and Ribery, but definitely from the duo Robben and Kimmich – acknowledging Kimmich found his footing in the latter parts of the game. The connection with Robben still doesn’t resemble the dream like understanding between Lahm and Robben or also Alaba and Ribery. A little bit of fine tuning is still lacking.


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FC Bayern – RSC Anderlecht 3-0 (1-0)
FC Bayern Neuer – Rafinha, Süle, Martínez (77. Boateng), Kimmich – Thiago, Tolisso – Ribery (78. Müller), James (85. Coman), Robben – Lewandowski
Bench Ulreich – Rudy, Friedl, Hummels
RSC Anderlecht Sels – Najar (26. Appiah), Deschacht, Kums, Spajić, Chipciu – Hanni, Trebel, Dendoncker, Stanciu (59. Onyekuru) – Teodorczyk (Harbaoui (84.)
Bench Gerkens – Boeckx, Obradović, Adjei
Goals 1-0 Lewandowski (12′, penalty), 2-0 Thiago (65′), 3-0 Kimmich (90′)
Cards Yellow: Ribery (11′), Tolisso (74′) / Trebel (22′), Stanciu (53′); Red: – / Kums (11′)
Referee Paolo Tagliavento (Italy)
Attendance 70,000

»Eier, wir brauchen Eier!«

— Oliver Kahn

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  1. I think James was brilliant…too bad most of Bayern are stuck in this old Guardiola mode of walking the ball into the net in the final quarter of the pitch…he made many RM opportunity setups for the likes of Lewa and Robben and they were, quite frankly, not up to the task.
    I am hoping this will change…Robben remembering the old Don Jupp days and Lewa remembering the old quick strike days of BvB and Ancelotti getting rid of the possession “U”….massively boring I think most of us can agree?

    Answer Icon1 ReplyClose child-comments
    1. i didnt see where James was brilliant he was ok,…I think Thiago is a nice player but NOT world class…i think Coman is terrible he just offers pace thats it,…Tolisso has shown he is worth 41 million,….and today is evident there is something wrong with the club!!! Not responding to Carlo ! He isnt using correct formations or tactics,….Lewie i think and whom i love has contributed to it in a big way ,..and acted like a baby when Kimmich scored,….Need to get this fixed before the season becomes lost ,…subpar game tonight but got the 3 points in the end

  2. We need to sell lewy, he is just playing for him, i knew carlo was not good for bayern we need coach with new tactics not same old stuff sack him and appoint pochetino or hofienhiem’s coach or a coach who buy good players i like only one signing these year.. James Rodriguez. We need new word class wingers, new Striker or muller on that position… I think carlo came here to weaken club other wise which coach not pick muller in playing 11… Sack carlo before its too late… And my playing 11 for bayern neuer, kimmich, boateng, hummels, alaba, james, vidal, tolliso, robben, muller, ribery,… But now we need sanchez in for robben and lemar, carrasco we need some change.. Plz ceo but some good players..

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