Draw Ends Champions League Season
Thomas Tuchel made a couple of changes once again starting with Yann Sommer, Benjamin Pavard, Dayot Upamecano, Matthijis de Ligt, Joāo Cancelo, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Leroy Sané, Jamal Musiala, Kingsley Coman and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting for this match.
Bayern in general played better in this match than they have since their matchup with Dortmund. However, it was City who had the best chance to score in the first half as they were awarded a penalty from an unfortunate handball on Upamecano. Håland however stepped up and put it over the bar leaving it level.
In the second half though, Håland would end up getting his goal as he put the contest beyond reach with a 57th minute strike. Bayern would get a consolation goal and draw the match through a penalty taken by Kimmich after a handball on Akanji in the 81st minute and the match would end 1-1.
Until this offense manages to score a goal, it’s hard to not talk about it. We are now to 490 minutes of football without a goal from an attacking player. In that time they have scored four total goals. That is not good enough for any team let alone Bayern.
Today again was an example of the primary issue that is plaguing Bayern. They simply lack a goal scorer. Coman carved up the City defense for the majority of this match, but the only ones who were available were Sané and Musiala.
Sané yet again had several golden opportunities to put the Munich side up but never really came close to even threatening Ederson. Musiala unfortunately slipped on his chance and while he did recover, the best of the opportunity had already passed him by.
Bayern somehow managed 19 shots and seven even made their way on target but that almost feels generous based on what we watched. This was a team that never really looked like they were destined to score.
I think it’s time that we all accept that the current players are simply not enough. Things worked out well for the stretch when Choupo was healthy and in the form of his life, without that though they are completely lost.
One player that has managed to avoid my inquiry this season for the most part is Goretzka. The other problems in the squad have generally kept the focus off of the midfielder but it’s getting to the point where he can no longer be ignored.
His performances over the last few months have been mediocre to dreadful. For the most part, he has been unable to positively contribute to the team anywhere on the pitch and that has been a part of the reason why they have struggled with pressure as much as they have.
His positioning seems to be random at best. His passing is almost always backwards unless he’s making a run on the box. I can’t remember a single moment defensively where he did anything to help the back line. And I can’t remember a single moment where he was really threatening to score.
So what exactly is he bringing to the table at the moment? This is not to say he’s no longer capable but it’s hard to understand why he’s an automatic selection week in and week out.
That is not a tenable situation going into next season. If they are unconvinced that Gravenberch is an option, then they need to bring in a player that they are actually willing to play alongside Kimmich. Maybe Konrad Laimer is that person. Maybe he isn’t.
But between health and form, Goretzka can no longer be relied upon to be the only option to play alongside Kimmich in the midfield pairing. Even for this season, serious thought must be given to either giving Gravenberch that chance or shifting the formation to one defensive midfielder.
Well here we are after the three week stretch that we all knew would define this season. And it’s pretty much worst case scenario. Since Tuchel has taken over, we beat BVB and Freiburg in the Bundesliga, have been bounced out of both cup competitions and drew with 13th place Hoffenheim at home.
When you bring in a coach at the most critical time of the year and frame it as a move to “save the season”, it’s not unreasonable that people expect results. They did not deliver on those expectations.
Worse still, their narrow two point lead at the top of the Bundesliga is a result of Dortmund’s incompetency, not Bayern’s performance.
In fairness, I never once believed that the move was about this season. I still maintain that they brought in Tuchel because they were afraid this would happen regardless and didn’t want to lose their preferred Nagelsmann replacement to a rival. But as I said at the time, that’s an extremely negative view for the board to have taken at that point in the season.
Tuchel was never going to be able to do much with this squad. In fact the best thing he could probably do was to make as few changes as possible so as not to cause complete chaos.
I also in no way put this string of results on him, but neither can you put it on Nagelsmann. A this point the only parties that get blame are the players and the board. They are the common link here and honestly they both deserve to share the blame, though the board more than even the players.
Between the chaos they created three and half weeks ago to the idiocy of heading into this season with no replacement for Robert Lewandowski, they have a lot to answer for and a lot of soul searching to do.
This summer is going to require some overhaul. I don’t think to the extent some are making out, but there is no question that they need to freshen things up.
One or two of Sané, Gnabry and Mané almost certainly have to be on the move. They absolutely must bring in a striker. They have to find more midfield depth that they are actually willing to use. They have to figure out what their long term plan is at goalkeeper.
If things progress as they should, this will not be a quiet summer in Munich. Tough decision will be made. There will probably be some discontent and maybe even some people leaving on not great terms. But they absolutely cannot go into next season with as many question marks and problems as they did this season.