3 Things We Noticed
1. The Bayern midfield
The Bayern midfield of Martinez, Thiago and Rudy brought more control to the match than the combination of Vidal, Tolisso and Thiago, who were allowed to start in the midweek encounter. A decisive factor was the better understanding of spaces by Martinez and Rudy compared to Vidal and Tolisso. The pressing in the centre, which is essential for the Leipzig style of playing, was skillfully avoided with lateral shifts to Alaba and Kimmich. It did not matter who was supposed to be lured into the RBL press trap, Bayern always succeeded in escaping from the trap.
The passing accuracy of the Bayern is of course difficult to analyse due to the early sending-off but Martinez impressed with 86%, Thiago with 92% and Rudy with 85% in the first 45 minutes. Their rate was 10-15% higher than that of Vidal and Tolisso on Wednesday.
Rudy and Martinez also were the ones who created the Bavarian victory. Rudy initiated the action leading to the red card and creatively freed up Robben in the tightest of spaces before the 1-0. Martinez greatly improved his packing rate with the assist for the 2-0 lead.
2. The squad
We have already mentioned it several times before, but the FC Bayern squad depth is rather limited this year. Carlo Ancelotti preferred to work with the smallest possible squad. Bayern are trying to operate with a minimum number of players, especially in the offensive. This can go well, but it isn’t guaranteed to. The injuries of Ribery, Müller and now Coman as well as Lewandowski leave a big hole. The tasks up to the international break are still an important away game in the Champions League and a big clash in Dortmund.
Of course, the high number of losses in offense are also bad luck, but the club missed the chance to lay the groundwork for the post-Robbery era prior to the season. A young player who could be used as a winger or striker would certainly be good for the squad. Maybe already during the winter break?
3. The experience?
In just the fourth duel with the record champions, it was already the third time that a Leipzig player had to leave the pitch early. Those red cards usually helped Bayern immensely. Leipzig’s playing style is a risky one. All three sending-offs were desperate attempts to stop a Bayern attack. Perhaps the inexperience of the Leipzigers may yet help Munich to win these duels. The emphasis here is on the word “yet”. Leipzig have been close. Probably closest in the cup game.
At the same time, however, Leipzig’s many red cards also show that their playing system is perhaps too risky against strong teams. RBL presses high up the pitch. Keita and co. at the same time go into tackles aggressively. Leipzig have shown in both duels that they can keep up with FC Bayern when at eleven versus eleven.
For Jupp Heynckes, the week can still be considered a success. The defensive has stabilized in recent weeks. The creation of scoring chances is now more sustainable. Only the conversion rate wasn’t great this time.
|FC Bayern München – RB Leipzig 2:0 (2:0)|
|FC Bayern||Ulreich – Kimmich (Rafinha, 84.), Boateng, Hummels, Alaba – Rudy, Martinez, Thiago – Robben (Tolisso, 86.), Lewandowski (Vidal, 45.), James|
|Subs||Starke, Götze, Süle, Wriedt|
|Leipzig||Gulacsi – Klostermann, Orban, Upamecano, Halstenberg – Sabitzer (Bruma, 46.), Keita, Demme, Forsberg (Laimer, 62.) – Poulsen, Werner (Konate, 22.)|
|Subs||Mvogo, Bernardo, Kampl, Augustin|
|Goals||1:0 James (19.), 2:0 Lewandowski (38.)|
|Cards||Yellow: Thiago (82.) / -; Red: – / Orban (13.)|
|Referee||Daniel Siebert (Berlin)|
|Attendance||75.000 (sold out)|