FC Bayern Munich: A 2-0 Loss To Schalke Isn't the End of the World
Bayern went down 2-0 to Schalke despite playing the Royal Blues off the pitch in the first half.
Manuel Neuer was the hero for Schalke and made countless world class saves. Two goals from Schalke in the second half via Benedikt Howedes and Jose Jurado won the Royal Blues the game.
What baffles me most is Louis Van Gaal.
Anatoliy Tymoschuk was having his best ever days in a Bayern shirt in defensive midfield. Danijel Pranjic, despite not being the best defensively, was consistently providing quality crosses into the box to Mario Gomez and company.
Just as he had done prior to the game against Dortmund, Van Gaal wrung the changes.
Van Gaal allows his favourites to play. Tymo is not his favourite. He knew that he couldn't drop Tymo in place of his favourite Dutch man, Mark Van Bommel.
So, he simply brought Van Bommel into Tymo's position and moved Tymo to central defence.
And thus, Bayern had a new defensive partnership in a match they desperately needed to win. Breno and Tymo lined up alongside each other to stop Raul and Klaas Jan Huntelaar. Raul didn't quite read the script and created Jurado's opener by completely swapping Breno aside.
Also, Manuel Neuer seems to really want to head to Bavaria. The fact that Bayern traditionally enjoys buying players who perform well against them is no secret. Tymo's Zenit side brushed Bayern aside in the UEFA Cup in 2008. Tymo was in Bavaria by mid 2009. Neuer time and again denied Toni Kroos and Mario Gomez. He showed just why he is Germany's Number One ahead of a good keeper like Rene Adler.
Will Bayern grab a CL berth at the end of the season?
It seems like opponents have figured out how to defeat Bayern. What is more worrying is that when Bayern go behind, they fail to come back more often than not.
This was not the case last season when they fought tooth and nail until the final minute in every game. They went 3-0 down at Old Trafford but still fought back to win the tie.
The team is mentally weak, but things should improve with the come-back of Arjen Robben, Holger Badstuber and Miro Klose.
The Champions League has provided Bayern with comforts that the Bundesliga has not provided them with. They qualified after four match-days and despite losing in their last outing, they are guaranteed top spot in their group.
They take on FC Basel on Wednesday to end the group stage campaign. Thomas Kraft will start the game ahead of Hans Joerg Butt.
Basel is a tough nut to crack. Van Gaal might choose to start Andreas Ottl and a fit-again Miro Klose in the game.
Van Gaal, though, does not think like most rational and sane people and might try out a strike partnership of Daniel Van Buyten and Gomez, something he did with few minutes left on the clock against Schalke.
Bayern will most probably draw 1-1 against Basel. At the moment, Bayern isn't flying high. They might not win another salad bowl at the end of the season, but there is still plenty of time to grab a Champions League berth.
And, anyways, they have already won the salad bowl 22 times. They don't need to win the Bundesliga every year, do they?
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