More Dropped Points
Thomas Tuchel made a couple of changes to the lineup that played on Tuesday with a starting eleven of Yann Sommer, Benjamin Pavard, Dayot Upamecano, Matthijis de Ligt, Joāo Cancelo, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Leroy Sané, Thomas Müller, Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry.
Pavard scored the opener following botched corner and misfired shot from Coman that happened to find the sliding Frenchman to make it 1-0. Bayern largely dominated the ball and Hoffenheim did next to nothing offensively. However, it only took one moment for that to change.
Müller committed a foul just outside the box. Andrej Kramaric stepped up, curled it over the wall and just past Sommer’s outstretched hand 1-1. Bayern would have a few more half chances but never came close to getting the winner.
Three Things We Noticed
Things have obviously not gone to plan for Bayern since Thomas Tuchel took over. In that time, Bayern have two wins, two losses and a draw. They have scored a total of seven goals with four of them coming in one match.
Of those goals, only three of the seven have come from offensive players and all came against Dortmund. In total, it has now been 400 minutes since an attacking player has scored for Bayern. In fact in the last nine matches Bayern have scored 17 goals. Ten of those have come from defenders or midfielders.
The offense has been next to nonexistent for the better part of 2023. Every match seems to see one or maybe two players that find their way into reasonably dangerous areas throughout the match, but none of them are able to do a thing with them.
It’s almost become comical to me that people insist on focusing on one or two individuals when the entire collective at this point is not performing. But more importantly, I think Bayern’s management is really the ones to blame for this.
We’ve discussed it at length throughout the season but things are getting to a breaking point. There is no conceivable way that those in charge at Bayern can look at the results or performances this season and come to the conclusion that they haven’t made a massive miscalculation on going into the year with no striker.
They’re honestly extremely lucky that Choupo has done as well has he has, given that he was a plan B option to begin with and only started playing as a result of injuries. They’re lucky that Musiala has performed to the level that he has providing eleven goals this season.
This team is not built like Klopp’s Liverpool in recent years. Sané and Gnabry are not Salah and Firmino. Mané is in a new system and not getting any younger. Müller has always been at his best playing behind a striker.
Not to mention that Naglesmann and Tuchel don’t play the same system that Klopp does. The players at Bayern are not used to playing without a target man up top. There’s a reason that Lewandowski had scored so many goals over the last three years and why things turned around when Choupo came in this season.
This team is built to succeed with a striker up top. They have players that can score the occasional goal. They have a lot of players who can create opportunities. But when you remove that focal point, the team became a ship without a rudder.
This summer has to result in Bayern bringing in a striker. And not the cheapest palatable option they can find. It’s not going to come cheap. They are going to have to commit money that they probably don’t want to. But Choupo is not the answer. Tel is too young and at the moment is not the answer. That is reality and at some point they have to face that.
So that leaves a difficult task. Tuchel has to find a way to navigate the rest of this season with a squad that is clearly not performing well and that has a critical deficiency.
Luckily for Bayern, Dortmund managed to squander a 2 goal lead against a 10 man Stuttgart today and then another 1 goal lead with seconds left resulting in Bayern maintaining their two point lead at the top of the Bundesliga.
At this point the Champions League is all but over following their three goal loss, so now all attention has to shift to the final title they are competing for.
After today, it appears that Dortmund may once again fold under the pressure and gift the Bundesliga to Bayern, but this may be the first time in their 10 year run that they don’t really deserve to win.
However, they will probably hold on to win their eleventh straight title and that does mean something as much as many others would like to say it doesn’t.
For now, they’ll have to focus on the impossible task that faces them on Wednesday. A good showing would go a long way. This team needs some confidence desperately. The match against City is an opportunity to gain a bit of momentum heading into the final run of the Bundesliga.
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This is such a good quote:
“It’s almost become comical to me that people insist on focusing on one or two individuals when the entire collective at this point is not performing.”
Let’s hope they were saving their energy this weekend for the return leg.
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