Late Winner in Gladbach
Thus Thomas Tuchel’s now thinned out squad traveled to Mönchengladbach to take on die Fohlen in what has been a terrible match up for the Reds in recent years.
Tuchel lined up very similar to recent matches with Sven Ulreich in goal, Noussair Mazraoui, Dayot Upamecano, Kim MinJae, and Alphonso Davies in defense. Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka started in midfield with Leroy Sané, Thomas Müller and Kingsley Coman playing behind Harry Kane in attack.
Gladbach would open the scoring the 30th minute off a corner which was headed onto Ko Itakura 1-0. Sané however would level the match in the 58th minute as Kimmich played a great ball to the winger who brought it down well and finished to make it 1-1.
Finally, Bayern would take the lead through Mathys Tel in the 87th minute off a corner from Kimmich leading the Munich side to a 1-2 victory.
For the first 25 minutes on Saturday, I actually had a relatively positive impression of Bayern’s performance. This to me was not so much a statement on how well Bayern were playing in this match, but more of an indictment on how they have played in Tuchel’s time in charge.
Personally, I felt like there was some positive possession and movement in and around the box. The possession felt a little more useful than it has usually. However, Bayern were still far from dominating the match and it only took one moment for things to start looking grim again.
Realistically, it has been a long time since Bayern has looked good. It has been a long time since they have dominated another team. It has been a long time since it has felt like they had an identity. This match felt very similar to most recent matches. The difference so far this season compared to last is that they’ve managed to win.
Today is the first time I can remember Tuchel making changes in game that I thought positively benefited the team. Laimer coming on for Mazraoui made sense as the Moroccan was on a yellow and pushed his luck a few times.
Choupo and Gnabry coming in for Müller and Coman also made sense. Neither of the substituted players had a significant impact on the team today so bringing on fresh players and a different formation was an excellent idea.
Then Tuchel brought on Tel for Goretzka which would ultimately prove decisive on the day as Tel would head home the winner. All of these changes seemed to have a positive impact the all seemed to contribute to the result and it’s the first time I can remember that being the case under Tuchel.
It’s no secret that Gladbach has been a thorn in Bayern’s side for quite some time. So much so that getting three points from a match against them really feels huge in terms of the season.
It wasn’t the greatest match that Bayern have played but given the circumstances, it was a really encouraging performance.
Things didn’t even go entirely Bayern’s way as they would go down 1-0 due to well headed corner that ended in the very top of corner of the goal. While the defending could certainly have been better, it was also one of those goals where you have to tip your cap to a certain extent.
But the difference this match is that Bayern didn’t fold after going down. The second half of the first 45 minutes was not the greatest performance but they continued at it after the break and ultimately managed to both tie the match up and find a winner late on.
This is the type of game that it’s easy to imagine going the other way. A “Bogey” team that you go down to relatively early at the start of the season. Getting three points in these circumstances feels bigger than the actual outcome.