They emerged victorious from a must-win game against Sand, with a dominant yet tight 1-0 win.
In case you missed it
Right from the get-go, Bayern took the reins into their hands. Sand resorted to standing firm in a 4-4-2, only occasionally using strikers Jovana Damnjanovic and Nina Burger to take Bayern’s build-up play out wide, and lurking on the counter. The guests set about trying to bring their two forwards into the game with long balls. Damnjanovic, who will be wearing a Bayern shirt starting this summer, was able to claim said passes well several times, and start dribbling. Burger, too, had some good moments in front of the Bayern goal, but all in all the away side weren’t able to put Tom Wörle’s team under sustained pressure. Nina Burger had the best chance with a header, when Schnaderbeck got caught under a high cross.
Bayern did indeed continually give Sand chances to go ahead with some misplaced passes, but they were always able to put out the fires collectively. But the home team had some difficulties going forward too. They had more of the game, were more often on the ball and were able to enjoy more space in midfield than their opponents. But they didn’t seem to have many clear-cut chances in the opposition area.
Lisa Evans and Sara Däbritz were regularly able to break through the defensive lines. Lewandowski joined in with the attack and chalked up several headed chances and a powerful strike in the first half. Some more chances came about from set-pieces, but nothing clear-cut.
Bayern raised the pressure in the second half, poco a poco. Sand stuck to their game-plan and were increasingly boxed in. Miedema had more and more dangerous moments in the box. And then Caro Abbé scored the winning goal, poking home after Carina Schlüter had only pushed away Däbritz’s shot (81’).
— WomensSoccerUnited (@WSUasa) 2. April 2017
— Patrick (@RatedRHero) April 2, 2017
Not a convincing performance, but a good one, rewarded with three important points.
3 things we noticed
1. Wörle rotates
There were four new names in Bayern’s starting line-up in comparison to the matches against PSG. In came Manuela Zinsberger in goal, Viktoria Schnaderbeck as the left centre-back as well as Lisa Evans and Vanessa Bürki up front. In terms of positions, even more changes were made. Against Sand Katharina Baunach and Gina Lewandowski took on the wing-back roles. Both did play against PSG from the start, but with Baunach in defensive midfield and Lewandowski as the left centre-back. Faißt and Rolser made themselves comfortable on the bench; Tinja-Riikka Korpela and Leonie Maier even got the day off. This allowed Nora Holstad to return to the squad after a long injury lay-off.
2. 3-4-3 at first, 4-2-3-1 for closing attack
In terms of formation, Wörle started out by sticking with three at the back. However, Bayern kicked off with a clear double-pivot in midfield, consisting of Melanie Behringer and Sara Däbritz. In attack they operated with a flexible three-pronged attack, with Evans, Bürki and Vivianne Miedema constantly switching positions. Miedema was often to be found on the left wing, while Bürki occupied the central defenders in the middle. Evans had opportunities to use her pace on both wings.
Both wing-backs constantly joined in with the attack, employing diagonal runs through the half-spaces into the centre, and so played a big part in how Bayern’s game had a zippy feel to it. Bürki also swapped with Däbritz regularly, giving Sand’s tight banks of four some problems as far as their marking was concerned.
Around the 60th minute, Bayern changed to a 4-2-3-1. Wenninger moved into central midfield. Lohmann came on to play from the right wing. Sara Däbritz was then behind the striker, combining with Miedema up front, who was now leading the line. Both centre-backs were often the only two holding their positions, with Baunach for example making lots of runs forward, but then also tracking back to cut out counter attacks. This was how Bayern increased the pressure on Sand, forced free-kicks and eventually got the ball in the back of the net.
3. Long balls for the three-pronged attack
Quite a few one-twos between Däbritz and Miedema particularly remain in the memory. But Bayern did also try to bypass the midfield and put Sand’s defence under pressure with some long balls. Even if the initial ball was lost, the Reds were clearly in good enough positions to collect the second ball and advance while the defence wasn’t quite organised.
Anne van Bonn, only 5 foot 5, played at centre-back for Sand – she’s normally a playmaker from defensive midfield. Bayern’s talented midfield pivot and the multi-faceted three-woman attack was a good line-up to exploit that. Fox-in-the-box Miedema had an excellent game in terms of her positional play, Evans had the necessary speed and Bürki can use her pace and power to trouble the opposition. However, Sand executed their plan well, and were able to repel most attacks tidily.
With this result, Bayern tightened their grip on third place in the table. Further up, Wolfsburg and Potsdam swapped places. VfL hauled themselves up to top spot with a 4-0 win against Hoffenheim, while Potsdam threw away two points with a 1-1 draw in Essen. After the international break Bayern will travel to MSV Duisburg on the 23rd of April, Potsdam welcome SC Freiburg and Wolfsburg will have to play away in Frankfurt.
|FC Bayern – SC Sand|
|Bayern||Zinsberger – Schnaderbeck, Wenninger, Abbé – Baunach, Däbritz, Behringer, Lewandowski (56. Evans) – Bürki (57. Lohmann), Miedema, Evans (70. Rolser)|
|Bench||Weimar, Romert, Holstad, Faißt, Wieder|
|Sand||Schlüter – Sandvej, van Bonn, Caldwell, Savin – Chojnowski (60. Santos de Oliveira), Igwe (85. Vetterlein), Meyer (82. Nikolić), Aschauer – Burger, Damnjanović|
|Goals||1-0 Abbé (82.)|
|Cards||Yellow: – / Sandvej (82.)|
|Match officials||Riem Hussein (Bad Harzburg), Christina Biehl (Siesbach), Sabine Stadler (Fulda), Fabienne Michel (Gau-Odernheim)|