FC Bayern Munich: Herr Franck Sends Sorry Hoffenheim Home
Bayern Munich's slip-up in Europe hardly affected their league form. The Allianz Arena continues to be a hunting ground for Bayern, especially after defeats.
The win, though, didn't come easily. Hoffenheim rarely posed a threat up front—they focused on breaking up Bayern''s play (and players). Markus Babel sat on the sidelines having to deal with another defeat against the team he once starred for.
Bayern did not look as good as they can be, especially in the first half. Jupp Heynckes decided to start Javier Martinez once again. However, he partnered with Bastian Schweinsteiger this time.
Schweinsteiger looked fresh and determined, and he hit some beautiful passes. Franck Ribery opened the score by dribbling past a couple of players and shooting past Koan Casteels after receiving a pass from Thomas Muller.
Matthias Sammer and Jupp Heynckes celebrated the goal together in a refreshing moment for everyone. One can tell that there is too much bickering in Bayern when Uli Hoeness of all people decides to call for calm. Hoeness had his microphone stolen by a little boy during his interview after the game, by the way. Sammer's role in the club isn't clear yet.
Going back to the game, Muller was substituted with a horrendous gash under his eye. Xherdan Shaqiri came on for him. In the second half, Bayern improved further. Toni Kroos set up Ribery for his second goal.
Kroos had a wonderful half despite not being able to find the target (maybe because his hair gets in his eyes). A goal would have done his performance justice. Bayern couldn't get a third due to their wastefulness from set pieces.
The deliveries from Kroos and Holger Badstuber seem to be good ones. It just seems that the organization in the box isn't right. The players allow themselves to be marked easily. Deliveries from crosses are good, too, but the result is the same.
Schweinsteiger set himself up correctly for one delivery, but the ball on that occasion was over-hit in the match. Shaqiri could be used to deliver from set pieces for a change, because Bayern has to start making use of set-piece situations.
There was more variety in Bayern's play compared to the game in Borisov. That can obviously be attributed to Schweinsteiger's presence on the pitch (and the pitch itself).
The defence was impressive and dealt with everything neatly. Manuel Neuer came out of the box once and was fortunate to not concede, because his clearance wasn't great. One can't blame him for small lapses because he is rarely involved. He was involved on Tuesday, though, and that didn't work out well.
Rafinha was finally able to set foot on the pitch after returning from injury. David Alaba has returned from injury and won't be rushed to international duty. He will be playing a practice match during the international break. We can look forward to having a better defence soon, as he will be in the squad presumably after the break.
The fact that there are no further injuries after this match is surprising. Hoffenheim almost tried to injure opposition players deliberately. Kroos had an injured hand after a Hoffenheim player stepped on it. Mario Mandzukic was hurt, too. Sebastien Rudy, who I think is at least a decent player, also resorted to fouling.
Mandzukic drifts in and out of play similar to Gomez. It seems to me that Bayern is perhaps best suited to a striker who just knocks in goals now, because no striker can seemingly get involved in the attacking play too much. The other option is of course to play Thomas Muller as a false nine. As far as I can remember, Heynckes did try that in a match, and it paid off.
Bayern played possession football in this match. Bayern currently has on average around 65-percent possession in their matches. That's even more than that of the last two seasons!
Bayern equaled a record they themselves set after this match—seven straight wins at the start of a season. Losses will come, but now, Bayern has quite a bit of breathing space. As of now, Bayern has a 10-point lead on Dortmund and a five-point lead over Frankfurt.
Frankfurt is playing Monchengladbach at the moment and losing. I would consider that rather surprising, as Gladbach is having a rough time in all competitions this season (even if one considers Frankfurt's role as the surprise package). Dortmund will play Hannover later today. They lost this fixture 2-1 last season. Hannover hasn't lost their previous 21 home games. That streak includes two wins over Bayern, 3-1 and 2-1.
Finally, this is the time of the Oktoberfest. Bayern usually excels at this time of the year. Nobody knows this better than Bastian Schweinsteiger. This is what he had to say:
“We can’t complain about a record of seven wins. It’ll be nice and relaxed at the Oktoberfest now, because we’ve been playing well, with the exception of the game against Borisov. If it was up to me, we’d have the Oktoberfest more often, because we always do well when it’s on.“
Let me hear your thoughts on the game.
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