Five observations from Bayern Munich’s (fortunate?) 2-0 win over FC Barcelona in the Champions League

Julian Nagelsmann channels his inside Real Madrid

What a theft. And no, I’m not speaking about Arjen Robben or Franck Ribery right here. FC Barcelona got here to the Allianz Arena and stamped their authority on the sport. In the first half, that they had Bayern Munich by the throat. It was completely one-sided. Robert Lewandowski was fed possibilities on a platter.

Final rating? 2-0 to the Bavarians.

This outcome has huge Real Madrid power, to be trustworthy. Remember all these instances Bayern performed Zidane’s Real off the pitch, however ended up on the flawed finish of the rating? That’s what occurred right here tonight. Bayern Munich bought crushed at this time, however the crew held the line. By holding the scoreline shut, it was at all times going to be anybody’s sport. And then, in the second half, the Bavarians sprung — from a nook no much less! Run of play? What’s that? Doesn’t matter in any respect.

Football is such a humorous sport. You can dominate 90% of a match however lose all the things in simply 4 minutes. That’s what occurred to Barca at this time. It’s gotta sting for them, nevertheless it feels completely wonderful to lastly be on the finish of considered one of these outcomes.

Heroic defending saves the day

The protection was heroic.
Photo by Jose Hernandez/Anadolu Agency through Getty Images

This sport was a boxing match and Bayern had been on the receiving finish. Barca had been throwing uppercuts and haymakers all evening lengthy. Bayern needed to hold on. Dig in. Grit their enamel and climate the storm. All ready for one single alternative — the knockout punch.

This type of outcome would not occur with out some heroic defending. That’s not hyperbole, the defenders WERE heroes at this time. Alphonso Davies in all probability had the greatest particular person efficiency all through the sport, profitable virtually all his main duels even after Xavi switched Raphinha and Dembele’s flanks. He terrorized that Barca proper flank and was a vital outlet for the crew in the first half, when each different avenue appeared closed.

Lucas Hernandez was merely in the approach of all the things. His manhandling of Robert Lewandowski late in the second half sums up his sport. The Frenchman was imperious, a shifting wall that appeared to only be in the proper place at the proper time for the total evening.

Dayot Upamecano didn’t get the Hollywood spotlight reel of his colleagues, however spared Manuel Neuer a number of blushes by recovering the ball from some botched passes. And lastly, Noussair Mazraoui needed to come on chilly after the sudden harm to Benjamin Pavard, and he proved his value with a medical defensive efficiency that can certainly get him extra minutes in the beginning XI.

Overall, standing ovation for all 4 of those males. They made this outcome potential.

Leon Goretzka proves his value

In the first half, Barca had Bayern on a leash. The physicality of Pedri, Gavi, and Busquets was overrunning the midfield. Judging by Nagelsmann’s nervous expression on the sidelines as Joshua Kimmich and Marcel Sabitzer struggled to advance the ball, he didn’t anticipate this.

Leon Goretzka’s halftime substitution modified all that. His look meant Bayern now had a correct ball service in the midfield, in addition to a participant who might win these pesky second balls that had been going astray in the first half. Goretzka’s top and physicality additionally helped the Bavarians stamp some type of authority on a sport that had been slipping away up till that time. His arrival leveled the enjoying discipline in what had been a principally one-sided affair in the middle of the pitch.

Were the haters proper about Robert Lewandowski?

Another massive Champions League sport, one other poor efficiency from Robert Lewandowski. The former Bayern man wasn’t missing possibilities, however he could not appear to seek out the web even as soon as. You had the impression that Barca had been desperately searching for one thing … for that single inroad that will let the floodgates open. Lewandowski was their software to do exactly that, and he failed.

Maybe he simply is not lower out for this sort of sport?

Consequences for the future

This sport will price Bayern Munich. The efficiency in the first half was poor. Certain gamers, like Thomas Muller and Sadio Mane, had very lackluster outings. Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez each went off injured and may very well be taking a look at prolonged spells on the sidelines. Dayot Upamecano took a knock to the knee and limped out of the stadium.

Julian Nagelsmann’s job is getting harder by the minute.

There are critical points in assault. The passing is lower than snuff. Manuel Neuer’s distribution appears to worsen by the sport. And the midfield logjam is not getting any simpler to determine after Goretzka’s efficiency tonight. Performances are wanted, and shortly.

For Barca, this can be a studying expertise. You can make certain that when Xavi traces up his crew towards Bayern at the Camp Nou, his new-look aspect can be even higher and able to avenge this (considerably unlucky) defeat.

They are in all probability going to problem Bayern for the high spot in this group. Inter, sadly, are leagues away from each FCBs, and Plzen is not even enjoying the similar sport. You have to offer credit score to the approach Barca have rebuilt. Last 12 months, Bayern performed two lazy matches the place the 3-0 wins had been mainly an afterthought. Now, Barca simply went toe-to-toe with this crew in entrance of a full crowd at the Allianz Arena.

They’re actually going to make a sport of it at Camp Nou.


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