In the quarterfinals of the German cup, Bayern got to meet an old friend named VfL Bochum. The kind of existing fan friendship had to be set aside for a day, as this match was too meaningful for both clubs.
The fifth-placed team of the second division had a successful start to the new year, as Gertjan Verbeek’s team beat the promotion candidates of SC Freiburg 2-0 at home. Some media even called them a dominating team of the second tier – the 90 minutes against Bayern showed that this claim wasn’t that crazy.
3 things we noticed:
1. Strong conversion rate
It took Bayern 34 minutes to record their first shot, taken by Arjen Robben. Just like against Leverkusen a few days earlier, they struggled to get into the match and create scoring chances. Bochum were very solid defensively, weakening Bayern’s wing play with a line of five. The build-up was disturbed as well, with the hosts using an occasional man-marking against the FCB midfield. Furthermore, they impressed the league leaders with some dangerous counter-attacks. Alaba for example played a careful first half, opting against vertical runs to create more space.
With the pitch in bad shape as well, it was important for Bayern to convert one of the first scoring chances. Once again, Thomas Müller and Robert Lewandowski proved to be a dangerous couple. Although it was more of a counter-attacking situation, they were outnumbered inside the opponent’s box – but that wasn’t enough to stop them from scoring.
That Bayern goal was a blow to Bochum’s strategy and confidence, ultimately resulting in a red card and a penalty call. Even though Müller’s penalty was saved, playing with only ten men weakened Bochum extremely.
2. Kimmich – solid as usual
It’s been about 300 minutes since Jerome Boateng’s injury in the match against Hamburg. In those 300 minutes, Bayern allowed three big scoring chances (2x Hoffenheim, 1x Bochum) – a quota of one scoring chance every 100 minutes, an excellent defensive number. Joshua Kimmich is largely responsible for that. He plays the hybrid role in central defense with an unexpected confidence and certainty. Against Bochum, he won 69% of his tackles. His only foul of the match happened late, when things were decided already. Kimmich showed a focused performance – the only bit of criticism aims at his tendency of going for the tackle too early.
Kimmich played a main role in the build-up as well, as 129 ball touches and a passing accuracy of 95% prove. Only six of his passes were misplaced. He saw about 20 more ball actions than the similarly involved Thiago and way more than Alaba, Alonso or Badstuber. Kimmich more and more turns into an important and reliable part of the team, both with and without the ball.
3. The advantage of early decisions
The relatively early decider, Thiago’s goal to make it 2-0 in the 61st minute, allowed Pep Guardiola to give some key players a bit of rest. Alonso was subbed off in the 64th minute, Lahm and Badstuber left ten minutes later. In Bernat and Rafinha, two players with a lack of match practice got to collect some valuable minutes. Considering how packed the schedule is going to be in the upcoming weeks, it’s a good idea for Guardiola to keep the playing time of Badstuber, Alonso, Lahm and Robben as limited as possible.
Alonso will be forced to miss Sunday’s match against Augsburg due to the sending-off against Leverkusen. The medical staff will have to pay close attention to Holger Badstuber’s fitness, as the workload has been a lot higher than intended. Bayern can’t afford to lose another defensive-minded player – despite the recent signing of Serdar Tasci.
|VFL BOCHUM – FC BAYERN 0:3 (0:1)|
|VfL Bochum||Riemann – Celozzi, Fabian, Bastians, Perthel (29. Simunek) – Losilla, Hoogland – Bulut, Eisfeld (46. Cacutalua), Haberer – Terodde (64. Mlapa)|
|Subs||Dornebusch, Terrazzino, Novikovas, Weis|
|FC Bayern||Neuer – Lahm (75. Bernat), Kimmich, Badstuber (80. Vidal), Alaba – Xabi Alonso (64. Rafinha) – Robben, Müller, Thiago, Costa – Lewandowski|
|Subs||Starke, Coman, Rode|
|Goals||0:1 Lewandowski (38.), 0:2 Thiago (61.), 0:3 Lewandowski (90.)|
|Cards||Yellow: Fabian / – Red: Simunek (43.)|
|Referee||Bastian Dankert (Rostock)|