Bayern 3 – 0 Lazio: Mini tactical analysis

miasanrot Separator March 6, 2024

This article written by Pepe Salazar

A Simple But Important Tactical Adaptation

The main tactical adaptation we saw today was very Nagelsmann-like: Tuchel decided to use a 3-1-4-2 / 3-1-5-1 in possession. He only does this in desperate situations, as it is a risky move, because it puts the CDM under great pressure and responsibility in all phases of play, and Pavlovic responded with a great performance.

Besides playing with a single six, today’s move placed Kane and Müller in the CF position, with two wide players and two inside forwards behind them. This move worked; Bayern was able to reach the goal line more often and play diagonal passes into the box, creating dangerous situations where even players like Guerreiro were able to take shots from decent positions.

That’s what changed tactically. Individually, despite the questionable results and under-performing xG, since it was announced that Tuchel would be sacked in June, the team has shown more physical intensity and commitment. Tuchel has not lost his mind but he’s become a little bit less conservative, and these factors came into play in today’s win.

Mini tactical analysis

At this point Bayern’s tactics look more or less the same on defense so I’ll focus on what mattered; the tactical switch from an attacking 3-2-5 / 2-3-5, to a riskier 3-1-5-1 / 3-1-4-2. Lazio as it was predicted, sat in a 4-4-2 low block waiting for a chance to counter but they were in general very poor when they had the ball, also due to Bayern’s defensive intensity.

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3-1-4-2. Pavlovic is the center of everything. He connects the defensive and attacking units, like a true 6. Kimmich played inverted, overlapped, and attacked through the flank. All attackers played in very mobile positions, where Musiala, Müller and Sané were free to exchange positions and even roam free at times.

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3-1-4-2 (Variation). Positional play does not mean static positioning. When players do switch positions, a general structure is still in place. When Kimmich overlapped, Goretzka dropped into the LCB position (also in the build up), which allowed Guerreiro to stay forward as a LW. This also meant Sané was able to move into the right halfspace next to Musiala.

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3-1-5-1. Despite the risk of leaving huge gaps on the flanks while playing with substitute fullbacks, the 3-1-5-1 was effective in troubling Lazio’s defenders. If Kimmich didn’t overlap, Müller dropped from a second striker position to a RW role. Musiala and Sané switched between dropping closer to Pavlovic, and if Goretzka attacked the halfpsace, Kimmich the played in a more defensive role. Pavlovic and Guerreiro were the two players who didn’t move from their original positions, but besides that, most of the team was very willing to move around, making it difficult for Lazio to keep their mark.

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3-1-5-1 (Variation). A “balanced” lopsidedness was supported by Kimmich and Goretzka allowing each other to occupy central spaces, almost taking turns to attack. Kimmich was allowed to occupy central positions but also overlap when needed. The same happened with Musiala and Sané, both “taking turns” to drop deep to function as the link with Pavlovic in the build up, possession and counter attacks.


Deserved win. Simple but effective tactical adaptations. A balanced demonstration of team work and not just individuals “doing their job.” I think last match against Freiburg was disappointing because two mistakes cost conceding two goals, but today everyone looked sharp and focused during the entire match. It was good to see that even Kane was defending and trying to get the ball back in the 88th minute. Goretzka was often dropping into defensive positions instead of always running into the box. Kimmich was both inverting and overlapping and defending the best that he could. I don’t think this win means that Bayern will win every match from now on, far from it, but with the recent ups and downs, whether it’s a win or a draw or even a defeat, what I like and want to see is Bayern continue to play like a team, which they did today.

»Eier, wir brauchen Eier!«

— Oliver Kahn

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