Overall, the 6-0 win over FC Schalke 04 was probably the most successful game of Thomas Tuchel’s era at FC Bayern Munich. Apart from the result itself, the game revealed other encouraging developments.
After the 6-0 win against FC Schalke 04, a feeling rippled through the Allianz Arena that FC Bayern Munich hadn’t felt for weeks. A feeling of lightness, of light-heartedness, of fundamental contentment. As the players did their lap of honor, the fans sang “super Bayern, super Bayern, hey, hey” – and they meant it. Of course, it was also said: “Only FCB will be German champions!”
Title rivals Borussia Dortmund are still only one point behind after the triumph against Borussia Mönchengladbach. With two wins from the final two games at home against RB Leipzig and away against 1. FC Köln, FC Bayern are German champions for the eleventh time in a row – despite a season that was devastating in many respects.
Thomas Tuchel’s tenure began a month and a half ago with a 4-2 win over Dortmund. At that time the atmosphere was just as relaxed as on this Saturday. In between, it was pretty dreary for weeks at FC Bayern. Out of the DFB Cup, out of the Champions League, blunders in the Bundesliga with the low point in the bankruptcy against FSV Mainz 05, most recently two lackluster victories against Hertha BSC and Werder Bremen. In addition, secondary theaters of war such as Sadio Mané’s physical attack on Leroy Sané.
FC Bayern vs Schalke “faster and more fluid than last”
At the Schützenfest against Schalke, all of that seemed very far away: the players looked fresh, the tactics worked, the opponent didn’t stand a chance, there were no scandals off the field. What was once taken for granted is currently considered special at FC Bayern.
From the start there was no doubt who would win this game. FC Bayern combined impressively forward, created numerous chances, even took some and at the same time didn’t allow anything at the back. “Today there was a completely different trait than in the games before. You could see that the team wanted to play forward and score goals,” praised President Herbert Hainer.
According to defense chief Matthijs de Ligt, the players appeared “with a clear head”. “Faster and smoother than last” was the presentation in Tuchel’s eyes: “It gives us a very good feeling, a relief.” For once, the trainer didn’t have to be the crisis moderator this time (which, by the way, he had done sovereignly in the past few weeks), but was allowed to announce good news.
FC Bayern: Thomas Tuchel’s courageous line-up
He also played his part in this by prescribing a courageous line-up for his team. In the 4-1-4-1 system, Kingsley Coman, Thomas Müller, Jamal Musiala, Leroy Sané and Serge Gnabry surprisingly played five instead of just four clear offensive players. The loser of this decision was Leon Goretzka, who did not return to the starting XI after serving a yellow card suspension – and based on the impressions of the game, he probably won’t do that against Leipzig in a week.
In his previous nine games as FC Bayern coach, Tuchel had only dared to play such an offensive line-up as he did now in early April in the 1-0 win in the Bundesliga against SC Freiburg. At that time the xG value was a strong 3.55, against Schalke it was even 5.33. In the pale performance against Werder last week, on the other hand, the team only scored 1.42 expected goals.
Compared to the time under Julian Nagelsmann, Tuchel’s general approach since taking office has been: defensive stability at the expense of offensive spectacle. At the Schützenfest against – admittedly desolate – Schalke, there was defensive stability and offensive spectacle together for the first time. The victory was a plea for more courage. “It was a little party today,” said Müller.
FC Bayern: Almost everyone collected a scorer point
After a few bank places, there was a lot of discussion about Müller and his future. Against Schalke, Tuchel ordered him back into the starting XI. Müller responded with his goal to make it 1-0, first on the pitch and then in interviews. This issue should now be settled, at least for the time being.
Aside from Müller, a number of other players also had a personal sense of achievement, and no one fell behind after a good overall performance. With the exception of keeper Yann Sommer, the two central defenders and Kingsley Coman, every starting eleven player scored at least one point. “It was good that many different players scored,” said Salihamidzic.
Right-back Noussair Mazroui, for example, confirmed his upward trend with a dedicated performance and his goal to make it 6-0. Temporary center forward Gnabry was better involved in the game than last, and he also managed a brace. With 13 goals, he can even dream of a top scorer, leader Niclas Füllkrug has 16. “I said to him at half-time: ‘Don’t come into the dressing room if you haven’t scored,'” revealed sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic afterwards.
The slightly troubled Musiala liked a slightly deeper role. And the substitutes recommended themselves for more: Mathys Tel scored to 5:0 – and problem Sadio Mané prepared Mazraouis 6:0.