Analysis: FC Bayern – Werder Bremen 2:0 (1:0)

Bayern played against Werder Bremen in the the DFB cup semifinal on Tuesday. Before the game it was clear that Pep Guardiola would have a maximum of nine competitive games remaining as manager of the record cup winners. In order to keep up the hope, a victory was needed. Author: Justin • Translator:

Bayern are the record winners of the competition with 17 titles, followed by the guest from Bremen, who won the Cup six times. Despite the great history of both clubs the roles before the game were clearly defined, as the last game in the Bundesliga already demonstrated.

DFB-Pokal-Halbfinale 2016: FC Bayern München - SV Werder Bremen, GrundformationenBayern – Bremen, starting formations

3 things we noticed

1. Götze and Thiago

Mario Götze got the chance to be among the starting XI again and he had a good performance. Again and again he positioned himself in the left or right half space between the opposition’s chains and thus enabled a fluid ball circulation. Unlike his recent performances Götze hardly lost a ball in this game. Repeatedly, the 23-year-old found a nice harmony especially with Franck Ribéry. Either he supported the French by clever runs or by serving him as a passing option. Also Götze’s drive to the goal was significantly improved compared to the last few weeks. Up to his substitution, he had two key passes and 46 ball contacts. With his clever positioning Götze was an important element to keep the central Bremen players occupied. Götze can build on his performance in the upcoming weeks.

part time artists: Götze and Thiago (Picture: Adam Pretty/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Part time artists: Götze and Thiago
(Picture: Adam Pretty/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Especially after he was replaced by Thiago in the 60th minute, only thing became very clear: The Spaniard is currently out of form. A duel ratio of 25% (Götze with 54%), no key pass and four turnovers are completely unlike him. Also in recent weeks, he could not convince and that justifies that the 25-year-old often sat on the bench several times. In this game, Götze was actually “the better Thiago” and brought all the skills into his game which usually distinguish the Spaniard. It will be interesting to see if Götze can use this opportunity in the final phase of the season. Currently both are rather part time artists instead of regular performers, but Götze’s development is looking better than Thiago’s.

2. Javi Martínez is essential

Another Spaniard, however, is a key figure for Bayern. Martínez convinced again with 62% won duels, a passing accuracy of 90% and a strong presence in the air. Offensively he can occupy several players by himself at set play situations and even get a shot off, or create space for other players. A blocked shot, four tackles, five interceptions and six clearances were especially important for Guardiola’s team in the strong phase of Werder Bremen. Javi Martínez reached his top form for the games against Atlético Madrid just in time. Since the current performance level of Jérôme Boateng is a great unknown, Martinez’ impact is very important for the defensive.

3. Bayern with yet another mixed performance

Bayern presented themselves once more this season in not the best conditions. Although they started the match very concentrated and earned the 1:0 lead, they afterwards missed the chance to decide the game quickly. The pace was no longer as high, and only few chances were created. Werder Bremen was able to create a strong offense in the closing stages of the first half, but particularly after the hour mark. Viktor Skrypnyk’s plan worked in many phases of the game. Although they often had problems defensively when Bayern managed to create 1v1 situations after fast switches. But Werder managed to get into good offensive situations with their high pressing. Several times Werder was able to disrupt the structure of Bayern’s build up game so that Bayern was forced to play long balls. The best example of this was the great opportunity of Yatabaré in the 40th minute when the goal after Neuer’s turnover was only prevented, because the shot came too late and inaccurate.

In the second half it was again the usual problems in the game of Bayern: inaccuracies in the final third, easy turnovers by Thiago – and this time also Vidal – and the lack of clear scoring chances. Although Werder offered a lot of space, Bayern was unable to create great opportunities and often only created good ideas that were not well played. Several counter attacks were not properly finished and many crosses did not find a teammate. Bayern had 30 minutes of control, and then gave the game recklessly out of hand. Bremen’s high pressing was good, but Bayern’s solutions also were far too little. In the phase between the 60th minute and the 2:0 by Thomas Müller Bremen would have deserved the equalizer, because they had seized control over the game as well as good opportunities at the Allianz Arena. In the end Bayern only had 13 shots and only three of them on goal. A passing accuracy of 84% also shows that Werder Bremen has made a lot of things right in their pressing this evening.

The loss of control, which Guardiola’s team suffers in the League, should not happen in the Champions League. Had the referee made the right decision in 71th minute, there would have been no penalty and Werder would probably have had a chance. Both goals coming from dead ball situations clearly show what a hard time Bayern had. It was a very happy ending for them, which should be understood as a warning signal. Losing the focus after scoring the lead will be difficult against any opponent, and especially against teams like Atlético Madrid.

FC Bayern – Werder Bremen 2:0 (1:0)
FC BayernNeuer – Lahm, Martínez, Alaba, Bernat (58. Benatia) – Alonso – Coman (67. Vidal), Götze (60. Thiago), Müller, Ribéry – Lewandowski
BenchUlreich – Rafinha, Rode, Costa
Werder BremenWiedwald – Gebre Selassie, Djilobodji, Vestergaard, Sternberg – Grillitsch – Yatabaré (Öztunali), Fritz (83. Kleinheisler), Junuzovic, Bartels – Pizarro (73. Ujah)
BenchTremmel – Galvez, S. Garcia, Fröde
Goals1:0 Müller (30.), 2:0 Müller (71./penalty)
CardsYellow: – / Fritz
RefereeTobias Stieler (Hamburg)
Attendance75.000 (sold out)

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