Bayern Dominate Wolfsburg In Home Win
Julian Nagelsmann sent out the same lineup from the previous week with Manuel Neuer, Benjamin Pavard, Dayot Upamecano, Lucas Hernández, Alphonso Davies, Joshua Kimmich, Marcel Sabitzer, Thomas Müller, Jamal Musiala, Serge Gnabry and Sadio Mané.
Wolfsburg showed up to play from the jump. The first 15 minutes saw the visitors push Bayern in their own half for the first time this season with perhaps their best chance of scoring from a near own goal by Davies.
However, that momentum would prove to be short lived. By the 20th minute Bayern had taken control of the match and by the 33rd they got their lead. In an absolutely fantastic effort, Musiala somehow maintained control of the ball and shook off two defenders despite falling to the ground him self and then finishing in the low bottom corner 1-0.
The momentum built from there for Bayern and it seemed inevitable that they would add to the score. It would ultimately take 10 minutes to get that second goal, this time through Müller after he got a toe to a Kimmich shot and deflected to the back of the net 2-0.
After the half, Bayern pushed and nearly scored several times but Wolfsburg managed to do enough to keep them out in the end as the match finished 2-0.
I think many of us expect that this season the role of star will float around game to game. It’s unlikely at least that there will be a single focus point like there was for the last eight years with Lewandowski.
Today those stars came in the form of Musiala and Davies. Both players were tremendous on the day, especially in the first half.
Jamal was once again exquisite with the ball at his feet, dancing around Wolfsburg defenders as though they were meaningless statues. His movement and runs constantly created problems, even before he scored that fantastic goal.
The same goes for Davies. After an almost blunder in the early parts of the match, his runs on the wing were mesmerizing. It was reminiscent of the Davies that burst on to the scene in 2020.
When Davies is making these types of runs, it really does feel like Bayern at their best. His dynamism causes chaos for the opposing defense and almost always frees up one of the many attackers for Bayern.
Between the two, it seems likely we will see more games this year where they are the real difference makers. Added to the already overflowing list of offensive players, I’m getting increasingly hopeful about the team’s prospects this season.
It’s been a few years since Bayern has really pushed in team movement’s and goals on a regular basis. The last time I really remember them doing so was actually under Pep.
However, the two matches this season as well as the preseason has seen an increase in regularity of the team dribbling, passing and generally cutting up the opposition defense through team work.
At least four or five times today, they completely diced up their opposition and if not for a few poorly timed runs, could easily have scored another two to three goals.
While it’s still early, this is the one area where the lack of a Robert Lewandowski might actually prove a positive. With this team, there is no central figure that you’re constantly looking for up top. That makes playing too and from the other ten players much easier in a sense.
It also feels more how Nagelsmann prefers to set up. The variability and less reliance on a single player I think suits the manager far more than being locked into one focal point in attack.
The first clean sheet of the season came today and on the heels of two consecutively well defended matches. While they gave up a garbage goal in the first match, today they remained focused throughout and managed to keep a clean sheet.
The defense has been and will likely continue to be a major point of focus at Bayern. The last several years have exposed the backline significantly and many questions have been asked during that period.
With the signings they’ve made recently and the resurgence of Upamecano this season, things appear to be looking up. Of course it’s still early but so far this season, it’s really hard to find much fault in the play out of Munich.