Bayern loses “Finale Dahoam” on penalties
Article written by Daniel.
Similar to the entire pre-season, Kovač sent his team on the field in 4-3-3, but due to the lack of rotation the day before it was a starting XI full of youth players. So with Neuer, Süle, Pavard and Tolisso only 4 players remained, who really belong to the first team of the upcoming season.
In front of Neuer defended Süle, Pavard, Davies and Kehl. Will, Johansson and Tolisso played in midfield, while Arp was supported by Singh and Nollenberger. In contrast, the Spurs, with the exception of Nkoudou, were all players who could be trusted by Pocchetinos in any Premier League match.
The Londoners therefore started stronger and had the first chance: After Walker-Peters beat Davies, Neuer had to parry Moura’s header from the shortest distance. After Bayern successively played their way into the game, they still had to put up with the deficit in the 19th minute. Nkoudou fueled through Bayern’s right side and crossed flat into the middle, where Erik Lamela snuck away in Davies’ back. Afterwards the game went into the break without any highlights.
In the second half, Kovač brought Boateng for Süle and Zylla for Will in addition to the usual goalkeeper change. In the 59th minute Kane set up the free-standing Eriksen from the edge of the penalty area, who did not hesitate and netted in for the 2:0.
Thiago, Sanches and Alaba then came on for Tolisso, Nollenberger and Johansson. Immediately after these changes, Davies, who was now playing higher with Alaba in the game, managed to forward Boateng’s strong vertical pass onto the previously invisible Arp, who suddenly had plenty of open field in front of him, was able to hold his own against two defenders and scored the goal. A remarkable action.
Bayern were now even better and in the 70th minute Kovač increased the share of pros with Lewandowski and Müller. Coman also came, but immediately got injured again and had to leave. A diagnosis is still pending, but at least he was able to walked around on his own on his way to the locker room. In the 81st minute, new right-winger Müller crossed the ball into the back of the Spurs defence, where Davies first touch was not ideal, but then was able to place the ball with his right (!) food from a good 25 meters in the back of the net. That was already the final score, which is why it went into penalty shootout.
After Alaba and Eriksen missed, it took seven rounds. In the end it was Jérôme Boateng who made the decision in favour of the Spurs with his mistake and ended an entertaining evening. But as FUMS magazine already wrote: “If the Reds lost a “Finale Dahoam” against a London team, they statistically always won the Champions League the following year.
Those who were uneasy when they saw the starting XI could feel relieved in a certain way: Although there was hardly a player who would push for a bigger role in the next season, there was little to see of Kick & Rush and a haphazard bolting.
Instead, the impression of the previous preseason was confirmed: The Reds played decently with flat passes and good positioning up to the final third, without resorting to unplanned 60-meter shots. But it was hardly really dangerous, because although you had the impression that most of the players knew what they had to do, it often failed because of its execution. In one situation the sharpness of the passing game was missing, in the other the players were held in check easily by their more experienced opponents or the mostly physically slimmer players just bounced off the board completely.
One can perhaps exaggerate that in comparison to many games in the past season much quality without plan was replaced by little quality with much plan. With such an unimportant game this is even a good sign when looking at the bench.
Alphonso Davies played an eventful game. It began at a low when he was repeatedly confronted with defensive problems in the first minutes. The Canadian was not only involved in Tottenham’s first big chance through Moura, but also in the first goal conceded. One gets the impression that he doesn’t quite know how to act defensively. How and where one has to stand, where one’s gaze should look in order not to disregard opponents and a general uncertainty about how one has to go into duels as a defensive player.
As a left full-back, he is something like the prototype of the modern full-back. Fast as an arrow, strong on offensive, actually even more of a winger, focused on one foot, but with many defensive problems. A full-back type that Bayern fans are not used to after years of Lahm, Alaba and yes, Kimmich too. Davies doesn’t lack talent for this position, however, but time, experience and coaching. The coach has to show him how to behave in duels on the sidelines, how to avoid losing the overview, so that no player can sneak into his back anymore. Davies also should work on his passing sharpness, too often his passes were either too weak or too strong, so that he created problems for the pass recipient.
He is currently the third solution for the left-back position, and it seems unlikely that Kovač will be able to rely on him in important games. In his defence, however, it must also be said that his supporters were Johansson and Nollenberger and not Sanches and Coman.
Despite all criticism, his game in the 1st half was not only marked by problems. Small actions in this game, that are the regular for Alaba, showed that he has real potential in this position. Just when he came into the opponent’s half and didn’t have the feeling that a bad pass was directly fatal now, he unfolded. Good dribblings and courage shaped his game. Courage, which was not self-evident for such a young player after the initial problems.
Overall, he is undoubtedly the Bayern player of the match, in positive and negative terms. With the change to his accustomed left winger position his self-confidence and impact on the game increased, while the mistakes decreased. He set up Arp’s goal, he scored the equalization with a stunning screamer.
Kingsley Coman’s unwanted cameo finally exposed Bayern’s personnel planning. From an already much too thin squad with Thomas Müller as the first alternative for the winger positions, a squad is now emerging, where Müller is unintentionally forced to provide the regular winger, while Davies, who spent almost the entire pre-season as a left-back, is now something of a first and last offensive joker. And if Gnabry’s problems are of a serious nature, the joker may even become a regular player and even before a single competitive game is played, a Bayern coach is quickly confronted with the situation of once again not being able to make a single offensive change.
Jan-Fiete Arp has one really strong action in each game, but often this action was his only one. When he scored the 1:2 today everything was right from movement, ball shielding to the finishing, but otherwise he was as invisible as the phantom Roy Makaay on his best days. The self-critical statement that he noticed that the level was still too high for him speaks for his character, but unfortunately it also corresponds to the facts.
After the departure of Ribéry and Robben, the squad is frighteningly thin on offence. There is a lot of talk about Sané, but two new wingers are actually needed. Coman and Gnabry’s simultaneous injury underlines the need for further additions. Both players have suffered multiple injuries, the Frenchman in the last two years and the German in his Arsenal time. But also at Bayern he dropped out every few games in the first half of the season, so that he really only got going in the second half. These injuries would also be tolerable if there were alternatives, but they are not to be found far and wide.
Although the announcement of the transfer of Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey is obviously a false report, it speaks volumes in this situation that it actually seems a logical idea to engage a player who had not only presented himself in a questionable manner, but who also did not achieve much on the pitch in the past season.