FC Bayern Clinch at Bremen
However, despite an impressive showing, Bayern were the team who came out top, thanks to a fantastic Jerome Boateng chip over the top of the Bremen defense to a waiting Robert Lewandowski who brought the ball down with ease and calmly put it in the back of the net. Alphonso Davies was sent off for a second yellow card in the 79th minute which gave Bremen a few chances, the most dangerous of which was a flicked on header that produced a superb diving save by Manuel Neuer.
For the third consecutive match, Bayern were not at their best. Whether it was the short rest, the rain, the pressure that Bremen put on them or something else, Bayern struggled to dominate this match the way that you would expect them to given their relative table positions.
Once again there seemed to be a bit more disconnection between players. Passes were not as sharp as they were prior to the Frankfurt match. The wings look pedestrian. They struggled to break down the defense through the middle. It is not coincidence that the lone goal was the result of a pass over the Bremen defense. Most of the big chances in this game came from similar balls and Bremen deserves a lot of credit for that. They did a great job of applying pressure and blocking the passing lanes, but it does not explain quite as well the lack of dynamism on the wings.
I can only assume that Gnabry is not yet fully healthy. He has not looked anything like his normal self since returning from a back injury last week. Coman was more involved but still did not break down the Bremen defense the way he can when he’s at his peak.
Davies and Pavard are equally culpable here though. Neither of them had what I would call a brilliant match though Pavard was certainly much better than Davies who of course got sent off. Their defensive work was generally decent to strong, but there were only a few times where either played a significant role in the attack.
In recent weeks, the younger players in the squad have been some of the most important in each match. Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Alphonso Davies have all had huge games where they seemed to carry the team on their backs at times. Today however was all about the older generation.
Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng and Robert Lewandowski were the unquestioned stars and leaders of this match. Each of them had all around solid matches even outside of the big moments. It was especially noticeable as several of those younger players were surprisingly quiet. Davies did not have a great game even ignoring his two yellows. As mentioned above, Gnabry and Coman were hardly involved at all. Kimmich and Goretzka were solid, but struggled to impact the game the same way they had over recent weeks.
However, the veterans picked up the slack. Lewandowski was excellent in front of goal and had one or two chances that he just missed getting on the end of. Manuel Neuer made some very important clearances and saves while roaming all over the field as is his wont.
However, Jerome Boateng once again stood out deserves heaps of praise. He has been a revelation since the return of Hansi Flick and a rock at the back along side David Alaba. The chemistry between the two of them has been incredible and has resulted in the most stable back line we’ve seen in a few years. To top it off, his pass to Lewandowski for the goal was perfection. Given his status within the club back in November, this turn around is nothing short of remarkable.
As mentioned above, this victory clinched the Meisterschale for the eighth consecutive season, extending their record for yet another year. While so many in and around the Bundesliga will lament yet another victory for the Reds, the club and players won’t care and neither should we the supporters.
Despite opinions to the contrary, there will come a time when Bayern do not win the Bundesliga title. It very well might have been this year if the board had not made a managerial change and Dortmund and Leipzig had not faltered. Even now, those two teams have both the talent and money to give Bayern a legitimate run in the league in the next few years.
We as fans of Bayern should appreciate and enjoy this unprecedented run. Winning the league is always a huge accomplishment. It requires far more consistency and stamina than the cup competitions where luck can play such a huge role. While we would all love to see another Champions League and DFB Pokal, the Bundesliga title remains the most important title in the hearts of the Bavarians. Now the team can start to focus on getting ready for their July 4th Pokal Final and the return of the Champions League in August. Until then, we have another two Bundesliga matches to hopefully break a few records!