Bayern Edge Arsenal to Reach Semi’s

Marc Separator April 18, 2024

Tuchel certainly wasn’t afraid to make changes to the lineup and left more than a few of us scratching our heads when it was announced. In goal was Manuel Neuer. The defense consisted of Joshua Kimmich, Eric Dier, Matthijs de Ligt and Noussair Mazraoui. Konrad Laimer and Leon Goretzka started in midfield with Leroy Sane, Jamal Musiala and Raphaël Guerreiro in attack behind Harry Kane.

Bayern came out playing well and Mazraoui and Guerreiro even created a goal chance on their own early in the match seemingly validating the questionable lineup decision. Bayern would go on to have several decent chances most notably Goretzka hitting the bar and Guerreiro hitting the post on the rebound.

From the 30th minute till around the 60th, neither side really seemed to do much of anything. Both sides played rather sloppy football and it was starting to feel like a battle of attrition.

However in the 63rd minute Bayern would end up finding the only goal of the match as Guerreiro put in a perfect cross to an on running Kimmich who headed it home. Tuchel would ultimately go ultra defensive having four central defenders, two full backs and two defensive midfielders (playing deep) to hold on to the fragile lead for the last 20 minutes.

Three Things We Noticed

Guerreiro Delivers

While I still think there are questions about whether he should have been starting as a left winger, there is no question that he was the best player on the pitch for Bayern today. Guerreiro seemed to be directly involved with every dangerous situation that Bayern had in front of goal.

It seems obvious at this point that the Portuguese player needs to be included in the lineup in some form whether it is in midfield, left back or apparently even as a left winger. He has provided link up play and creativity going forward when others have looked lost.

Most likely that all will and should come down to matchups but I have to admit that I wouldn’t mind seeing a Guerreiro/Pavlović midfield pairing over the coming games.

Kimmich Comes Up Big

It has been a long and frustrating year for Kimmich. He has had to deal with poor form, a coach that doesn’t think he’s right for the position he plays, fans turning on him, being moved to another position and lots of criticism from all sides. For all the criticism he has received this year, Kimmich once again came up with an important goal in a big game.

This has become a bit of a trend throughout his career. In games that Bayern need to win where they are struggling to find the goal, Kimmich has made it a habit to come out of nowhere and drill one into the back of the net when they need it.

While this doesn’t negate all of the negatives this season, it was certainly nice to see him have a good moment and remind us all that he’s still a good and important player in this squad.

Up Next Real

Bayern would be forced to wait an extra 30+ minutes to find out who they would be playing in the next round as it took extra time and penalty kicks to decide the tie between Real and Man City. Ultimately Real pulled through and reinstates the most played matchup in European competition.

Bayern will go in as heavy underdogs and rightfully so. It will take a lot for Bayern to get a result over two legs to reach the final in London. Not least of which will be luck. However, it also should not be ruled out.

This competition has a way of turning things on its head. Bayern know that this is the only competition they have left. Tuchel will be almost entirely focused on this match over the coming couple weeks. Maybe a few more players will get healthy in that time.

Real meanwhile will still likely have to focus on getting results in the league. Will it be enough for Bayern to pull off the upset? Who knows. But it should be an interesting match when they meet up April 30th.

»Eier, wir brauchen Eier!«

— Oliver Kahn

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