The 3-0 win against Arminia Bielefeld went down a bit at FC Bayern Munich on Sunday, but the topic afterwards was the previous Champions League exit and the upcoming title match point against Borussia Dortmund. The weightings were different.
“The last few days have been difficult emotionally,” said Thomas Müller in the mixed zone of the Bielefeld stadium when Leroy Sane passed. With an interposed “Mah” he obviously wanted to disturb the explanations of his colleague. But he simply mowed back with a grin and continued talking while Sane strolled towards the team bus.
This scene was a good example of the current situation at FC Bayern: After the 3-0 victory at Arminia Bielefeld, Bayern weren’t quite sure whether they were still struggling with the surprising elimination in the quarter-finals of the Champions League against FC Villarreal, or should be happy about the victory. Whether joking or mourning was the order of the day.
“In retrospect, we will still be angry,” said Müller. “But you have to accept it at some point and draw your own conclusions from it.” Exactly this question of the right conclusions has been the focus of FC Bayern in the past few days and will also be the focus in the coming weeks, internally and of course also publicly. Everything has to be questioned: the club management, the coach, the team.
FC Bayern: Reaction from club management, coach and team
In the person of Oliver Kahn, the club management took a detailed position on Sunday afternoon in the Sport1 double pass. Instead of being sober and factual as usual, the CEO commented remarkably resolutely on a wide variety of focal points: his rather taciturn role interpretation, Hasan Salihamidzic’s transfer policy, outstanding contract extensions, hostility on the Internet, the quality of the squad and its future.
In the afternoon, coach Julian Nagelsmann and his team showed their reaction by winning 3-0 in Bielefeld. A strong opening was followed by wild minutes just before the break when Tanguy Nianzou almost conceded a goal and was sent off. When he made a mistake against Masaya Okugawa, his narrow offside position helped him, and when he elbowed Fabian Kunze, the referee, who controversially left it with a yellow card, helped him. Serge Gnabry made it 2-0 before the break, before FC Bayern won the game 3-0 thanks to a goal from substitute Jamal Musiala.
“The first 20 minutes were good. We have to be 4-0 or 5-0 there. After that it was normal play when the opponent was down. It wasn’t a great treat in the second half, but it doesn’t matter now “said Nagelsman. In fact, hardly anyone was interested in the game afterwards, instead it was about the last game and the next one and how they actually feel at Bayern in between.
FC Bayern: Different handling of the CL-Aus
Captain Manuel Neuer spoke with an almost stoic expression: “We are still disappointed, but what else do you want to do? You have to look ahead. Looking back is useless.”
His possible future captain successor suffered visibly more. “It was very difficult for me to deal with it. It’s difficult to process. It’s still in the back of your mind,” said the chronically ambitious Joshua Kimmich, who was one of the best after disappointing performances in Bielefeld. “We were knocked out of the cup early and out of the Champions League too early. In the end we have to win the championship, but maybe that’s not enough.”
Müller showed the disappointment much less, regardless of Sane’s amusing mane. Instead of mourning the end, he preferred to extensively advertise the upcoming match point game against Borussia Dortmund. Should FC Bayern win against BVB next Saturday at 6.30 p.m. in the Allianz Arena, the championship title can no longer be stolen from them three games before the end of the season.
“It can now be an emotional highlight again. You don’t have that situation so often that you can win the championship against your direct competitor Dortmund in a home game. We can create something historic. We’re hot for it,” said Müller. For FC Bayern it would be the tenth championship title in a row, no club in the top 5 European leagues has ever achieved that.
Thomas Müller’s form crisis is prolonged
A surprisingly good-humoured Nagelsmann saw it similar to Müller after a few jokes in the mixed zone. He praised the match point game against Dortmund as “a good coincidence that doesn’t happen that often”. For a win, however, his team would have to “play a little bit better”.
Also and especially Müller, whose blatant form crisis extended in Bielefeld. In the Bundesliga he was without a goal for the sixth time in a row, but Musiala, who came on for him, did better again. However, Müller may soon come to a successful conclusion on the negotiating table, at least he announced an agreement on a contract extension beyond 2023.
All the hustle and bustle around Säbener Straße doesn’t seem to bother the 32-year-old, as he was socialized with FC Bayern in the 1990s when he was FC Hollywood. “It’s more fun and more circulation when not everything is rosy at FC Bayern,” said Müller, laughed and shortly afterwards followed Sane in the direction of the team bus.