After the cup match in December, Bayern hosted Darmstadt at home for the second time this season. Obviously, some of the focus was already directed towards Juventus and the CL game on Tuesday. The center of attention was Serdar Tasci’s first performance for Bayern after joining during the winter break, while the opponents arrived in Munich with half of their regular XI suspended.
3 things we noticed:
1. Tasci with a semi-good debut
He got 53 minutes to impress and had both good and bad scenes. Tasci fitted into the build-up just nicely. As already mentioned when he was signed, his passing and ball-handling are excellent. A passing accuracy of 93% and a successful long ball show that there were little adjustment problems. 47 touches up until his substitution underline that he wasn’t hiding during his first run in Guardiola’s system.
However, he had problems to defend against Darmstadt’s fast wingers. The loan signing struggled with adjusting to the high defensive line that Bayern use. The requirements for being a good defender are completely different in that system – you have to deal with a lot more 1v1 situations.
Tasci lacked timing in aerial duels with Wagner and his poor positioning caused the Darmstadt lead. He won 56% of his tackles and committed two fouls. In the end, it wasn’t a bad first performance – but it clearly showed that he isn’t ready for the Champions League yet. He will get his minutes in upcoming league matches – most preferably in the home games.
2. An improved Robben
The Dutchman took 10 shots on goal and confirmed his improved form, although without direct scoring participation. He played very actively and was a starting point for many attacks. While the stats show just one successful dribble, he nevertheless proved his worth in games without significant running and sprinting duels. Robben positioned himself cleverly in the right half space (and later on the left), causing trouble for Holland and Kempe to keep up with him and contain his involvement.
His biggest problem at the moment is his that he simply doesn’t score. Despite 22 shots on target since the winter break, he hasn’t managed to score a single goal. Against Darmstadt, there were several scoring opportunities for him again (minutes 24 and 58) but he didn’t convert. Arjen Robben needs to work on that, even more so since Costa and Coman are both struggling to contribute as well.
3. The comeback
Franck Ribery has returned home. For the first time in almost a year, he was back on the pitch of his Allianz Arena. The audience naturally celebrated his comeback with loud cheering. Without any hesitation he took over control of the game and created lots of attacking actions. Four chances were created by Ribery, and 2 of his 3 crosses found the target. After his earlier assist to Lewandowski was wrongly called offside, he crowned his comeback with the beautiful cross to give Lewandowski his goal in minute 83.
Ribery and Robben were a perfect match on the left side for 30 minutes. Bayern’s number 7 showed which role he could play for this team. Just like Mehmet Scholl at the end of his career, he could become the player to bring on for attacking pressure in the final 30 to 45 minutes. That’s only made more effective when the opponents were already exhausted by Costa and Coman. The only question is if he will be satisfied with that role.
|FC Bayern München – SV Darmstadt 98 3:1 (0:1)|
|Bayern||Neuer – Alaba, Tasci (53. Bernat), Kimmich, Rafinha – Vidal, Coman (53. Ribery), Robben (81. Alonso), Müller (67. Vidal), Costa – Lewandowski|
|Subs||Ulreich, Rode, Thiago, Götze|
|Darmstadt||Mathenia – Diaz, Rajkovic, Caldirola, Garics – Holland (87. Gorka), Jungwirth – Kempe, Vrancic (61. Rosenthal), Sirigu (73. Sailer) – Wagner|
|Subs||Zaluska, Ivana, Platte, Stroh-Engel|
|Goals||0:1 Wagner (26.), 1:1 Müller (49.), 2:1 Müller (71.), 3:1 Lewandowski (84.)|
|Cards||Yellow: Rafinha, Kimmich / –|
|Attendance||75.000 (sold out )|