Bayern Win in Home Opener
Thomas Tuchel went with nearly the same lineup as the week before with the exception of Jamal Musiala who was sidelined with an injury. Sven Ulreich, Noussair Mazraoui, Dayot Upamecano, Kim MinJae, Alphonso Davies, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Leroy Sané, Serge Gnabry, Kingsley Coman and Harry Kane filled out the starting eleven.
The match seemed to go Bayern’s way at nearly every turn as they would ultimately win 3-1 thanks to an own goal that Sané was heavily involved in and two from Kane.
On the surface it might seem a little ridiculous to be concerned about the attack for a team that has scored seven goals in two games, but that’s exactly where we’re at.
For most of this match, Bayern struggled to create goal scoring opportunities that posed any threat. The two early goals came as a result of a healthy dose of luck with an own goal and a hand ball penalty at the edge of the box.
While the offense has at times found pockets of space behind the defense, they have largely failed to create anything from them. Instead they have mostly either hit long shots from outside the box or pulled it back into the dreaded ‘U’.
Some of this is likely due to the team and Kane getting used to each other but I still have some doubts that go beyond that.
In Tuchel’s time at Bayern, I have not seen a tremendous amount of improvement on the attacking end. In fact, I’d say if anything they have even regressed since Nagelsmann left.
The hope is that more time under Tuchel, Kane and lineup consistency will ultimately lead to better rhythm on the attacking end but so far they have relied far more on luck and a superior talent than spectacular buildup.
That said, these three have seemed to team up better than anyone else on the pitch at the moment. Davies, coming off a fantastic first match, played in yet another great ball for Kane who chipped the keeper with the only goal from open play today.
Despite a lot of luck on the own goal, Sané did well to force that situation and deserves credit in the outcome. He has been exceptional so far this season and honestly was unlucky not to have added to his tally hitting the post late in the second half.
When those three have been able to find room on the counter, that is when Bayern have been at their most dangerous so far this season. Hopefully with time Coman, Gnabry, Müller and Musiala, when he’s back, will find a way to integrate themselves into the flow that those three have found early this year.
Another area of concern for me so far this season is the lack of pressure on the ball when Bayern on defense. In general, they have allowed a lot of time and space for the opposition to work with.
Yes there’s a long season ahead and I don’t necessarily think a constant high intensity press is the most advisable option defensively, but I also don’t think they need to allow the opposition 20 yards and seemingly unlimited time on the ball even around their own box.
I’m assuming this is a decision by Tuchel, but it is a curious one that could eventually lead to trouble against better teams. Bayern have an will likely continue to have openings at the back on the counter due to the high line, but if you couple that with more time and space on the ball, it seems like a matter of time before teams start picking them apart.
Hopefully this is something that will be addressed over time. With new faces and perhaps players still working their way into shape a bit, Tuchel could be building up the intensity. Otherwise, things could get really interesting when the better teams come around.