FC Bayern Munich: Aftermath of the Defeat to Dortmund and a German Cup Tie
Louis Van Gaal's stubbornness saw Bayern lose 1-3 to Borussia Dortmund at the Allianz Arena despite having the ball to themselves 70 percent of the time.
Nuri Sahin broke Juergen Klopp's glasses in glee, moments after breaking Bayern's title challenge. Philipp Lahm, who opened his mouth not too long ago and was fined, had some choice words for the coach.
All three goals in the Dortmund game had resulted due to Bayern giving away the ball.
The first goal saw Bastian Schweinsteiger give the ball away to Kevin Grosskreutz, while the second one saw Mario Gomez give the ball away. The third resulted from a corner when Schweinsteiger failed to get on top of Mats Hummels. But Schweinsteiger is not to blame. He was having to play two roles—that of the central defensive midfielder and that of the central defender.
Bayern took many unnecessary risks at the back. Louis Van Gaal's lack of a Plan B was clearly visible. Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Thomas Mueller and Mario Gomez were effectively out of the game from the first minute.
Had Van Gaal allowed Holger Badstuber to stay at left-back and allowed Luis Gustavo to continue in midfield, the outcome might have been slightly different. What was more baffling was the fact that he took Luis Gustavo off instead of the tired Schweinsteiger.
Will Bayern beat Schalke?
Bayern needs to beat Schalke—and the win won't come unless Van Gaal rotates.
Following the match, Lahm said: "We have to reconsider the way we build up play. We have already spilled too many points and conceded too many goals because of mistakes we made building up play from the back. We often take too many risks in defence. On other occasions, we make life unnecessarily difficult for ourselves.
"We shouldn't always insist on looking for a teammate when we have the ball at the back. Every now and then, it's necessary to just clear the ball and then fight for the loose ball in midfield or up front.
"We aren't consistent enough yet to play for three different trophies right until the end of the season."
Schalke is having a torrid season in the Bundesliga. They can't string three wins together. The board is tired of Felix Magath and the fans want to see the back of him as well. But matters have been different in cup competitions—they're back to the same stage of the German Cup where they lost last year, and face the same opposition.
Manuel Neuer will be the man in focus in this one. He is unhappy with the numerous problems at the club and might decide to head for Bavaria soon. Thomas Kraft, the current number one in Munich, was offered a contract extension to 2013. He flatly refused and rightly so. Despite the fact he's playing very well, the board won't stop talking about Manuel Neuer.
Schalke lacks co-ordination. Neuer previously said in an interview that, at times, almost nobody makes themselves available for a pass and he has to lob the ball to the strikers up front. It was his error that allowed Jens Hegeler to score at the weekend for Nuremberg. He will have to be at his best for the Bayern clash. However, he is the man who single-handedly thwarted Dortmund.
Most teams by now know that Van Gaal has no "Plan B". They know that defending against Bayern and keeping Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben out of the game ensures that they can easily break down Bayern using counter-attacks. Felix Magath is smart and he will have Bayern figured out.
However, Schalke are in as much turmoil as Bayern are currently.
Prediction: Bayern will take care of Schalke and will not fall by the wayside against the Royal Blues for a second time this season
Final Score: Bayern 3-1 Schalke (after e.t)
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