Bayern win in Stuttgart to Top Bundesliga Table
Julian Nagelsmann went with a very similar lineup to the one that dominated Union with Yann Sommer in goal, Josip Stanišić, Dayot Upamecano, Matthijs de Ligt and Alphonso Davies in defense. Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka took up their regular midfield spots behind Kingsley Coman, Thomas Müller and Jamal Musiala in attack as Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting started at striker.
The first half largely saw the two sides trade blows. Several mistakes coupled with the pressure applied by Stuttgart saw the Swabian side earn several excellent opportunities on the Bayern goal. However it would be Bayern who would grab the lead through de Ligt as the defender blasted a low shot from well outside the box that the goalkeeper seemed surprised by and thereby was unable to get enough on to keep it out 0-1 (39).
The second half started very similarly to the first with both sides having opportunities to get on the board. Again though it would be Bayern who would strike first as Musiala found Müller at the top of the box for a very nice one time pass to Choupo-Moting for an open goal 0-2 (62).
Stuttgart would make the match interesting at the end scoring in the 88th minute but it was too little too late as Bayern would hang on to win 1-2.
For much of the match Bayern were plagued by careless mistakes. Stuttgart did their utmost to take advantage of these errors but fortunately for Bayern there usually one or two players who were able to recover and prevent a goal.
While some mental lapses are to be expected during a long season, especially when high profile matches loom, they have to do a better job of focusing on the match at hand.
Stuttgart’s speed and intensity was enough to put Bayern’s defense under serious threat multiple times in this match. Not to disparage Stuttgart but it’s these types of errors that against better teams will be their downfall.
Despite those problems, there was still quite a bit to be encouraged by. Kimmich continued his excellent form contributing well on both ends of the pitch making some key passes and tackles.
Musiala, Coman, Müller and Davies all played well, leading the attack and creating nearly every major opportunity Bayern saw while they were on the pitch.
de Ligt made several big plays scoring the first goal, making a clearance off the line just before and holding down the backline as Stuttgart tried to capitalize on their chances.
Overall, most of the players who started today are in decent form, with the exception of those mistakes mentioned earlier, and the hope has to be that they will be sharper come Wednesday.
From an attacking perspective, the one area that continues to be a concern at times is the finishing. In recent matches, Bayern have created a lot of good chances. The buildup play and creativity around the box have been excellent.
However, they have still struggled at times to finish off those movements. Choupo has not occupied the area quite as effectively as he did late in 2022 and while he has still been efficient, Bayern need to get goals from more sources.
Coman, Müller and Musiala have done their best to fill the void, but they are not always the most efficient shooters of the ball and it’s not generally where their greatest strengths lie.
The return of Mané comes at a good time as Bayern need more options up front that have a nose for goal, especially with Gnabry’s form being so poor recently.