Bayern Munich had a dominant 3-1 win over Manchester City Wednesday, but not everything went according to plan. Jerome Boateng was booked for a red card toward the end of the match and will be forced to miss the squad's next UEFA Champions League match.
Few would argue against the call, which occurred in the 86th minute on a tackle of Yaya Toure. Fox Soccer Trax described the play:
Wild. Boateng is forced to bring down Yaya on a clean break, and that's a professional foul to prevent the goal. Always a red.— FOX Soccer Trax (@FOXSoccerTrax) October 2, 2013
This ended up preserving the lead against one of the top Europe opponents to gain a commanding lead in Group D. While this forces Boateng out of the next match against Viktoria Plzen on Oct. 23, Bayern should not have much of a problem winning without him.
Although Boateng is clearly one of the better centre-backs in the world, Bayern Munich played a fantastic match without a strong performance from the young player against his former team. He missed a 50-50 ball, and as Henry Winter of the Daily Telegraph pointed out, he was the last man on Alvaro Negredo's goal:
1-3. Great strike. Negredo turns away from Boateng and scores— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) October 2, 2013
Obviously, this is not a true concern for a player who has many more good days than bad ones. However, it shows that the German squad can still shut down an elite opponent when a key player is less than perfect.
The strength of Bayern Munich is in the midfield, led by Franck Ribery, Bastian Schweinsteiger and others. These players can make sure to control the possession for most of the match and prevent any opposing squad from getting opportunities on the attack.
If the club has to replace Boateng for one match, his absence would hardly be noticed. The team can replace him with either Jan Kirchhoff or veteran Daniel Van Buyten and barely miss a beat. Each of these players have contributed at times in Bundesliga this year, and Kirchhoff came in as a sub in the most recent UCL match.
Will Bayern Munich struggle without Jerome Boateng?
To make things even better, Viktoria Plzen are arguably the weakest club in the group. The Czech squad has already lost to CSKA Moscow and Manchester City, two teams that Bayern have defeated. They also allowed a combined six goals in these two losses.
The Germans should be able to score at least two or three goals in a win and not have to worry about much of a counterattack. If the defense remains a concern, the midfield would have little trouble staying patient and controlling possession for close to 70 percent of the match.
Boateng would be missed on a long-term basis, but this red card will not affect the team too much in the next UCL match.
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