3 Things We Noticed: FC Bayern – VfL Wolfsburg 2-2 (2-0)

Tobi Separator September 22, 2017

Friday night Bundesliga action! A rare event for the record champs, unless they play yet another season opener. Today’s opponent was the wild card from Wolfsburg, including their recently appointed coach Martin Schmidt.

FC Bayern vs VfL Wolfsburg, basic formationsFC Bayern vs VfL Wolfsburg, basic formations

3 things we noticed:

1. Castrated offense

It is more than telling that it was Boateng and Hummels, the two center backs, who led the team in touches. Bayern’s attacking assemble failed to succeed against Wolfsburg’s solid system. In possession, it was a U-shaped festival until a desperate vertical ball ended every attack.

While Müller and Robben in particular moved around a lot, that was pointless without any creative passing whatsoever. Bayern performed with such a lack of creativity that they failed to create a single real scoring chance in the opening half.

In the second half, there was a lot more space available – space that wasn’t used. The few opportunities were wasted, mostly erratically. The midfield pairing of Vidal and Rudy couldn’t control the match, the motivated Kimmich was too isolated.

2. Concealed defense

Wolfsburg’s system surely included the plan of executing deadly counter-attacks out of the settled defensive order. However, the guests were incapable of doing that, which caused the recently weak Bayern counter-defending to not be tested properly.

Nevertheless, the Bavarian defensive order was far from solid, except for Jerome Boateng’s tackling skills. The injury-ridden defender repeatedly turned into a wall for Origi to run into. Old-time Boateng is worth a lot and this match let us spot a glimpse of that.

Unfortunately, the defenders didn’t feel the safety of being backed up by a keeper in control. Sven Ulreich acted nervously and continuously failed to catch the ball properly. The first Wolfsburg goal was just the culmination of his performance – a keeper who’s got a long way to go mentally.

It’s quite the art to concede twice against this Wolfsburg.

3. Paris calling

It’s only matchday two of the group stage but the CL matchup against PSG is being talked up – for the wrong reasons. Against Wolfsburg, Bayern managed to destroy any positive trend they had fought for in previous games.

A question mark in goal, a far from solid defense, a tiring midfield, an uninspired offense – just a lapse or is there more behind this?

No question, the starting lineup in Paris will be a different one. James Rodriguez convinced too much against Schalke, Franck Ribery did too little against Wolfsburg. Thiago of course always helps this team.

That being said, if the next performance is a similar one, there’s a painful experience coming up for all to see on an international stage.

What’s needed is a proper reaction and the desire to prove that this match was just a one-time mistake. We’ll stay tuned.

FC Bayern München – VfL Wolfsburg 2:2 (2:2)
Bayern Ulreich – Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Rafinha – Rudy, Vidal (63. Tolisso) – Robben (85. James), Müller, Ribéry (85. Coman) – Lewandowski
Subs Früchtl, Friedl, Martinez, Süle
Wolfsburg Casteels – Verhaegh, Tisserand, Uduokhai, G. Itter – Camacho (73. Didavi), Guilavogui – Arnold – William (46. Blaszczykowski), Malli – Origi (85. Bazoer)
Subs Grün, Knoche, Ntep, Hinds
Goals 1:0 Lewandowski (33., penalty), 2:0 Robben (43.), 2:1 Arnold (56.), 2:2 Didavi (83.)
Cards Yellow: Vidal / Tisserand, William
Referee Christian Dingert (Lebecksmühle)
Attendance 75.000 (sold out)

»Eier, wir brauchen Eier!«

— Oliver Kahn

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