MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 9: Simone Laudehr of Bayern Muenchen in action during the women Bundesliga match between Bayern Muenchen and SC Freiburg at Stadion an der Gruenwalder Strasse on September 9, 2017 in Munich, Germany (Photo by Mark Wieland/Getty Images)

Setback at home for Bayern women against Freiburg

Jolle Separator September 12, 2017

Before the game, Mandy Islacker was first awarded with the Golden Boot for her 19 goals in the previous Bundesliga season. At the time she was still netting for FFC Frankfurt. She already scored for Bayern, however, in her last game.

Three things we noticed

1. Freiburg mirroring Bayern’s formation

FCB women and SC Freiburg both in a basic 3-5-2 formationFCB women and SC Freiburg both in a basic 3-5-2 formation

Both Bayern and Freiburg set up in a 3-5-2 with a back three and two up front. While Bayern chose the slightly more attacking formation with one holding midfielder and two central midfielders with more freedom to get forward, Jens Scheuer shored things up behind his playmaker Julia Šimić in the number ten role with a double pivot of Lina Magull and Rebecca Knaak.

As a result both teams showed good distribution of space, yet found themselves in a lot of stalemate situations in midfield with their opposite numbers. Particularly in the initial phases, Freiburg were, due to their collective dynamic, better able to maintain possession and get into dangerous areas. Bayern didn’t make a bad fist of it either, but they only had consistent success here in the second half, and without a decisive breakthrough. Both Freiburg and Bayern showed that they were able to play the ball into space and get players free with short, swift passes in triangles, even in packed spaces – all in all, a highly attractive football match.

2. Freiburg demonstrate how to press high

From the first minute, the Munich women found themselves up against immense pressure. Freiburg’s strikers closed the centre backs down high up in Bayern’s half, pushing the build-up play to one side and isolating the Reds there, at times even outnumbering them. The guests’ midfield also pushed up constantly, filling gaps and giving Bayern only poor passing options if any.

Demann, Korpela and co. mostly kept cool heads and almost never gave the ball away in particularly dangerous situations. However, they were simply unable to implement swift build-up play going forward under such pressure. If Bayern were in fact able to combine well going forwards, then Freiburg were clever with their tactical fouling and defended with discipline in a unit. A superb team performance by the guests.

Bayern also attacked aggressively high up, particularly after going behind, but neglected to tighten the net just as consistently in the second line, meaning that Freiburg were able to get themselves free. In calmer build-up situations, SC passed the ball patiently back and forth within the back five, until a Bayern player could be lured out of the formation and then a gap could be exploited further forward. When Bayern pressed more, the Freiburg wing backs pushed further forward and Lina Magull dropped back into the back three.

3. Demann as a playmaking centre-back

For already the second time, Kristin Demann led the Reds out onto the pitch as captain. Whether that’s a new stimulus from the coach or just due to the circumstances is unknown. Demann brings the strategical and technical abilities as well as the calm and vision to make her ideal at centre back as well as in defensive midfield, where the game is organised and the transition situations between defence and attack are decisive.

She could convince the national manager Jones quickly to entrust her with the lone shield role in front of the defence at the Euros. Tom Wörle has also shown her a great deal of trust from the beginning. In Munich, where she only moved this season from Hoffenheim, she has taken on the role as the leading central defender. While in the past Bayern mostly lined up with two defensive midfielders, Wörle now plays more offensively and in the first two games had Melanie Leupolz as the lone holder in midfield. Against Freiburg Leupolz often pushed forward into the opposition’s formation, with Demann becoming the ball distribution machine in Bayern’s half. That only changed when the captain of recent years in Behringer came on and skilfully organised the game from defensive midfield as usual.

Competition, which all involved seem to accept professionally, is absolutely vital if Bayern would like to remain a top team. Freiburg are already on hand to take on Bayern’s role of bogey team for the favourites and surprise champions.

The international break has begun

For the two World Cup qualifiers against Slovenia (16/9 in Ingolstadt) and the Czech Republic (19/9 away), national manager Steffi Jones didn’t just call up Bayern’s players from the Euros in Kristin Demann, Leonie Maier, Sara Däbritz and Mandy Islacker, as Simone Laudehr, long sidelined, is now back in the squad. Melanie Leupolz hasn’t been able to play herself back into the frame just yet. Six players from SC Freiburg also got the call-up. The Germans will meet, among others in the Czech side, Bayern team-mate Lucie Voňková. Things get back underway for Bayern’s women in the Bundesliga on the 24th of September when they will host newly-promoted Cologne in Munich.

FC Bayern München – SC Freiburg
Bayern Korpela – Faißt, Demann, Wenninger – Lewandowski, Däbritz, Leupolz (59’ Škorvánková), Rolfö (59’ Behringer), Laudehr – Islacker, Voňková (67’ Roord)
Bench Zinsberger, Maier, Rolser, Beerensteyn
Freiburg Benkarth, Puntigam, Fellhauer, Schöne – Simon, Knaak (73’ Hegenauer), Šimić (90+1’ Minge), Magull, Lahr – Gwinn, Kayikçi (83’ Schiewe)
Bench Korenčiová, Bühl
Goals 0-1 Kayikçi (20’)
Cards Yellow: Laudehr (73’), Roord (81’) / Red: Lahr (87’)
Officials Ines Appelmann (Alzey), Fabienne Michel (Gau-Odernheim), Katharina Menke (Frankenthal)
Attendance 610

»Eier, wir brauchen Eier!«

— Oliver Kahn

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