The FC Bayern Munich presented themselves in the Bundesliga opener against Borussia Mönchengladbach changeable and only got one point. Nevertheless, this performance was no less impressive than Borussia Dortmund’s gala against Eintracht Frankfurt. A comment.
Nobody really knew exactly how this could actually happen, but suddenly Yann Sommer was the protagonist of this evening. His legs and arms shot around and mostly landed exactly where a degree from FC Bayern was just flying to. In the end, the Borussia Mönchengladbach keeper had eight saves, four of them against Robert Lewandowski.
Where did this flood of goalscoring opportunities for FC Bayern suddenly come from in the 1-1 draw? And the dominance anyway? Do you know more? Wasn’t FC Bayern just extremely desolate in the initial phase? Hadn’t the players in red lined up one ball loss after the next, outbid each other with positional errors, just looked tired and lacked any offensive esprit?
Yes they did. But as players in red they were also identified as those of the nine-time-in-a-row champions FC Bayern. Not only are they the most talented group of footballers in the country, they are also the most resilient. Corresponding evidence they have provided in abundance in recent years, the next against Gladbach followed.
Looking at the developments at FC Bayern since the start of preparations, the first quarter of an hour of the opening game and the subsequent reaction of the team, it can be said that this appearance should have frustrated the competition, which was lurking for an end to Munich’s permanent dominance. This performance was no less impressive than Borussia Dortmund’s 5-2 gala against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday evening, after which captain Marco Reus warned Konstanz and referred to the Munich team.
The performance of FC Bayern was of course impressive not because of the performance itself and certainly not because of the point gain, but because of the way in which the imponderables were dealt with.
FC Bayern: Personnel problems on some levels
If there was a pre-season simulator as a computer game, FC Bayern’s preparation for 2021 could be used as a blueprint for the highest difficulty level 10/10 (“professional”). More complicated is actually not possible.
A new coach (the most expensive in human history) was available at the start of preparation in early July, but no team. Because a number of key players were on the extended EM vacation, Julian Nagelsmann had to temporarily fill the squad with up to ten in-house talents. At first he was unable to get to know many of his future regular players, or to familiarize them with his ideas.
But even since the EM drivers returned drop by drop at the end of July, the squad has been narrow, even narrower than last season. And even then, coach Hansi Flick was happy to be angry about exactly this fact. The departures David Alaba, Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez are opposed to the additions Dayot Upamecano and Omar Richards. Returning to this was potential sales / rental candidates Michael Cuisance and Chris Richards.
The squad was further thinned out in the course of the preparation due to a considerable bad luck with injuries. Lucas Hernandez, Benjamin Pavard, Marc Roca and Corenin Tolisso were absent against Gladbach, Alphonso Davies had just returned from an injury.
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FC Bayern: The inevitable cold start against Gladbach
FC Bayern won none of the four test matches. With Manuel Neuer, Niklas Süle, Joshua Kimmich and Thomas Müller, four players from the starting XI of the Gladbach game did not complete a single minute of preparation. The DFB Cup game against Bremer SV was supposed to offer the opportunity to bring in a potential regular eleven, but that had to be postponed due to a corona case with the opponent.
The inevitable cold start against Gladbach followed. In the initial phase, FC Bayern played as confused as if the circumstances were almost feared, and found no means against courageous, enthusiastic and highly pressing Gladbachers. The logical consequence was the early deficit by Alassane Plea.
And then? In a miraculous way and without a single player really being outstanding, FC Bayern soon developed astonishing dominance and numerous scoring opportunities. As reliable as ever, Robert Lewandowski equalized shortly before the break. Before and after that, he also missed a chance for a winning second goal, which in the end would have been well deserved.
The team saved two controversial penalty scenes from a possible new deficit shortly before the end of the well-known and much-cited Bayern-Dusel, administered by referee Marco Fritz and the VAR. In spite of everything: everything as always.