Bayern Progress Against Chelsea

Marc Separator August 8, 2020

That miracle was not on the cards. Robert Lewandowski was brought down by the Chelsea keeper in the box in the 9th minute and Lewandowski converted the penalty that basically put any small hopes of Chelsea to rest. 14 minutes later, Perisic made it 2-0 before Abraham added a consolation goal in the 44th minute.

The second half was pretty quiet. Neither team really appeared too interested in expending much effort. Bayern would bring in Niklas Süle and Correntin Tolisso to get some real action for the first time in months. A few minutes after his introduction, Tolisso would get on the end of one of his classic runs into the box to make it 3-1. Lewandowski would finish off the match with his second goal on an assist from Odriozola.

The Imperious Lewandowski

I think by this point we’re all aware of how good a season Lewandowski is having. He has been an absolute machine. Almost to the point where it’s surprising that anyone besides him actually scores. However he took it to yet another level tonight. Not being content with scoring 2 goals, he also felt the need to set up the other two.

With the Pole in this form, Bayern have the most dangerous offensive player in world football right now. There’s obviously no telling what will happen this season, but that bodes well for the Bavarians going forward.

Warm Up

After a month off, this was Bayern’s chance to get back in the swing of things with a little bit of comfort. The 3-0 lead allowed for them to play with a bit more freedom than could have been the case otherwise.

It’s hard to say exactly how much rust the Munich team had as Lewandowsi’s early goal took any remaining doubt out of the competition. The first half Bayern looked reasonably good. A little less crisp and sharp than they were a month ago but that’s to be expected. This game then provided a nice opportunity for them to regain a bit of that cohesion and rhythm prior to the single knockout stage.

What’s next?

Bayern will face Barcelona in the next round in Lisbon. While the Catalan’s have not been at their best this season, they are still a force to be reckoned with. Any team with Griezman, Suarez and especially Lionel Messi will always be a tough team to face.

To add to that difficulty, there are several players that either missed out entirely on today’s game or appeared to pick up injuries during the match. Of coure Pavard is out long term. Coman sat out with a nagging muscle problem. Boateng left the match not long after going down holding his knee. Davies exited shortly before the full time whistle with apparent cramps. While many of them will hopefully be fine for Friday’s match, it is still something to watch out for.

Despite all of that, Bayern will still be considered favorites going into the tie. They have been in good form since Hansi Flick took over. They have dominated nearly every opponent they have faced. If they play to their capability and with the same style and confidence they have have since January, there is every reason to believe that they can beat Barcelona and continue to progress towards a 6th Champions League title

»Eier, wir brauchen Eier!«

— Oliver Kahn

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  1. Succinct and to the point analysis. I completely agree with you on pretty much everything you’ve said. If Messi doesn’t have one of his more lunatic days, Bayern will go through to the semis.

  2. […] Bayern progress against Chelsea | Marc […]

  3. Considering it was a “warmup” game (big lead, first competitive game in 1 month, first game with Kimmich at RB, Thiagoretzka in midfield since a long time), I think it was a very good game. There were a few defensive lapses, it’s concerning but hopefully they will be ironed out after shaking of the rust, and more concentration due to bigger opponents.

    One of the thing that stood out to me was the fact the Lucas Hernandez did not feature any minute this match. We know he’s not first choice this season, but considering what have been recently said about him in the media, plus his potential importance in the next round(s) (e.g. switching temporarily to a back 3, or going defensive for a short period to protect a lead …), it was surprising to see all 5 subs were used, but he was still on the bench. It would be quite a setback to him mentally, unless he was not fully fit that we didn’t know.

    Thinking about next season, the current back 4 is working well, signs are that Alaba is staying (yes yes yes please!!!), and even if Boateng slows down (further), there is Sule who was surprisingly sharp in his short cameo in the match, plus it’s the right CB position. And if (if if if) Bayern buy a good right back (à la Sergino Dest), chances that Pavard occupying this CB spot for a lot of minutes. So what is Luca’s prospect here? On the media they’re protecting him and saying all the right things, but I don’t really see his place in the team. Could it be just because they can’t find anyone crazy enough to pay 80 millions for him nows so we don’t lose money (and face)?

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    1. I largely agree with what you say. There were some link up issues and just a general bit of rust. Hopefully they’ve now played enough to get that out of their system.

      Regarding Hernandez, I’m not sure I’d make the leaps you have. Of the CB options for next season, Boateng is the one I think is most likely to leave followed by Alaba. I don’t really think there’s much chance of Lucas leaving this season, especially given the loss they’d have to take. However, I also don’t think they should try to sell him. This season was a tough one for him. Every time he got healthy he got injured again. Then Boateng, Alaba and Davies all started playing at a ridiculously high level and there was no way back for him. The same would likely have been true for Sule as well if he had come back in May/June. However, I think there is every chance that Hernandez can win a starting spot next season. The talent is there. It’s really about him staying healthy. This season reminded me a lot of some of the seasons Thiago had back in 2015/2016. He simply could not stay healthy and everyone was wondering if Bayern would sell him and were concerned about his ability and where he fit in the squad. The last few years have proven that keeping him was the right decision and I think it makes sense to give Lucas that chance as well.

      However, I do agree with you that there is going to be a lot of competition at that spot. Bayern are kind of dragging their feet with the RB search. I think there’s a chance it’s because of how well Pavard has played this season and the overloaded squad available at CB. I think they will definitely bring in someone who is capable of playing RB, but I’m not sure they will be the first choice there. It seems more likely that they bring in a younger player who can compete but does not expect to start. Whether any of our CB’s leave depends on what offers Bayern receives for them. I think they would prefer to sell Boateng, because of age, but whether anyone is willing to pay for him is to be seen. Alaba could very well look around the squad and decide that he wants a more guaranteed spot too, even if his is the most secure at the moment. But 2 positions for Alaba, Sule, Hernandez, Pavard, Boateng and Nianzou is not sustainable. Of those players, the only one who probably wouldn’t expect to be a regular starter is Nianzou.

      One final thing. I would not expect to see Bayern shift to a back three at any point. The only slight possibility would be in the last few minutes with a 1 goal lead and probably them being down to 10 men for some reason. I don’t personally hate the idea of a back 3, especially next season given all of the players we have available, but I sincerely doubt that we will see Bayern switch to that formation anytime soon.

      Thanks again for reading and your comments!

      1. Thanks for your reply Marc, I didn’t mean we should give up on him now, rather on the contrary. The thing is, as much as I like him, and want him to be a key stone of future Bayern, I like Davies and Alaba even more. With the current system, and considering how uncomfortable he was when he played at Boateng spot, him cementing a starting spot would mean at the expense of either Davies or Alaba, of whom I don’t see will slow down anytime soon. So it would be rather a change in system (hence the back 3 question), or a change in squad personnel (a.k.a Alaba leaving but it doesn’t look like that way for the time being) or shifting Davies somewhere but why do that to one of the most promising and entertaining left back in the world?

        P/S: I even forgot Kouassi in my previous comment. It’s just so competitive. Another point you mentioned: I also advocate for Pavard staying at right back, he provides balance to our play, and Bayern would not have to pay big for a 1st class right back. But I heard he wanted CB spot?

  4. No problem at all Hien, I’m glad to converse! I do completely understand your perspective. As things sit right now, it is hard to imagine how he wins regular playing time. However, there are so many different external factors that are not predictable at this time, that I think it makes sense to hang on to him for at least another season. Lets face it, injuries will almost certainly play a part. He will certainly get an opportunity at some point next season and if he makes the most of it, he could easily reestablish himself as first choice. Look at Boateng. He was pretty much the last choice going into the season and now he is the undisputed starter next to Alaba. Alaba and Davies also flourished in roles they weren’t supposed to be in. I also wouldn’t rule out Davies moving entirely either. Kimmich was also one of the top RB’s in the world and we moved him to the midfield. If for instance, there was a string of injuries on the wings, it’s not inconceivable to me that he moved up to be a LW and Alaba moved back wide or Hernandez started at LB. To be clear, I don’t expect that to happen but it is conceivable.

    I had not read that Pavard desired to move to CB. If that’s true and depending on how insistent he is on it, that could cause some more personnel issues. I also think it would be massively detrimental to his career, at least as long as he’s at Bayern, but also in terms of the French National team. It is much more likely that he’ll play at RB in both places than at CB at this point given the plethora of options in both squads. It will be very interesting to see how Hansi handles this next season. In a way you could say he’s been fortunate that the squad nearly picked itself because of injuries. However, when everyone is healthy, some of these players are certainly going to be unhappy with the amount of time they are given. Whether he can maintain the same level of support and harmony within the squad when that happens will tell us a lot about how well he’ll do going forward.

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