The final scoreline looks better than most of the game did, against an Augsburg team that was extremely passive. Müller missed the opportunity from the spot to secure the win early and so Bayern only did what was needed to reach the next round.
Three things we noticed
1. Julian Green seized his opportunity (kind of)
A couple of weeks ago, Carlo Ancelotti announced that Julian Green would get his chances, but the remaining question was whether the US international would use it. Based on the DFB Pokal game, we’d say: kind of.
Green lacked a bit of presence in the first half, since he was only rarely involved in the combinational play in and around the penalty area. The whole Bayern team had difficulties to find pockets of open space in Augsburg’s compact centre, but Green oftentimes made things worse and not better. Obviously he lacks Robert Lewandoski’s robustness to be able to take on the strong Hinteregger, but he could have used his agility to his advantage in more situations. Additionally technical shortcomings were visible, e.g. when he was unable to initiate a good counter-attacking chance from within the Bayern half in the 10th minute or when he played a sloppy pass to Müller, which gave Augsburg the chance for their counter-attack which lead to the 2-1.
Between the 40th and 45th minute, Green had his strong moments, with a good lay-off to Thiago at the edge of the box (his only situation as a true number 9) and when he dropped deeper and found Lahm on the wing, pushed up into the penalty area and nicely headed Müller’s cross past Marwin Hitz. In the second half Green somehow lost his courage and wasn’t able to have a positive impact on Bayern’s offensive combinational play.
90 minutes are not enough to answer the question of whether Julian Green can have a lasting impact at Bayern Munich. Nevertheless, Green wasn’t able to improve a a mixed-up Bayern team that wasn’t at peak form. This sets him apart from other young players like David Alaba, Kingsley Coman, and most of all, Joshua Kimmich, who used their first games for Bayern in a more impressive way. Since he scored the 2-0, he will receive some media attention in the upcoming days. Let’s see how that might affect his level of play.
2. The king is not back, yet
Games like today were his most impressive ones last season. Every time Bayern had trouble against a deep-sitting opponent, Kingsley Coman’s speed and 1vs1 abilities helped to open up spaces. Today could have been another moment to shine for him, Bayern’s game seemed slow and lacking structure for long spells – ideal surroundings for full-speed solo runs.
But currently Kingsley Coman seems blocked and doesn’t use his chances to go into take-ons enough. He seems to have lost his confidence from the great performances last spring. One factor being that the team surrounding him is not at the same level of play as last season, when he was able to shine based on a strong, supporting collective performance. Nevertheless, this should not be a recurring excuse; neither should his youth.
To view his currently weaker performances as one effect of his contract situation is one possible way to look at it. His big problem: He currently seems to be unable to convince Carlo Ancelotti in the training sessions to put him in the starting XI. This leads to him lacking the stage on which he could give arguments for a long-term contract. How could Coman escape this vicious circle? With good training performances and a lot of confidence. This is exactly the point that Carlo Ancelotti should tackle – more minutes for Coman would be important, to bring back the king from last season again.
3. Unable to decide the game early
To concede a goal at the Allianz Arena in the second minute of the game is the nightmare of any team. FC Augsburg demonstrated how to react to such a set-back: no haste, continued defensive structure and patiently waiting for the big chance. Currently this strategy does have some possibility for Bayern’s opponents to leave Munich with at least a point. In the last seasons Bayern was able to keep the intensity high over the whole 90 minutes, but currently the intensity repeatedly drops in the middle of the second half, offering their opponents the chance to get back into the game. Whereas Gladbach wasn’t able to use their chances last weekend, Augsburg opened up the game again with their 2-1.
If FC Augsburg had been a little bit more courageous, especially in the final minutes, they would have had the chance to reach extra time. In the end, Augsburg lacked technical means in their transition game, leaving them unable to exploit Bayern’s weaknesses. Carlo Ancelotti’s team should not count on that for the future.
3.1. Holger <3 (For the last time)
|FC Bayern – FC Augsburg 3-1 (2-0)|
|FC Bayern Munich||Neuer – Lahm, Boateng, Hummels (81. Badstuber), Bernat – Kimmich, Thiago, Sanches (84. Vidal) – Müller, Green (89. Alaba), Coman|
|Bench||Ulreich – Alonso, Robben, Lewandowski|
|FC Augsburg||Hitz – Janker, Kacar, Hinteregger, Stafilydis – Kohr (86. Günther-Schmidt), Baier – Teigl (61. Schmid), Koo (77. Altintop), Max – Ji|
|Bench||Gelios – Feulner, Verhaegh, Moravek|
|Goals||1-0 Lahm (2.), 2-0 Green (41.), 2-1 Ji (68.), 3-1 Alaba (90.+3)|
|Cards||Yellow: Coman / Baier, Kohr|
|Referee||Sascha Stegemann (Niederkassel)|