FC Bayern Munich: Liga Total Cup Recap, the Substitutes' Collective Hunger
FC Bayern took on Hamburger SV, their boogey team, in their first match in the Cup. This competition is unique and consists of a format where each team plays the other for 60 minutes.
Hamburg was extremely organized throughout the match and committed few errors.
Bayern put out a star-studded team. Manuel Neuer's defence consisted of Philipp Lahm, Daniel Van Buyten, Holger Badstuber and starlet Cuneyt Koz. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Luis Gustavo lined up with each other in defensive midfielder. Arjen Robben, Thomas Mueller and Franck Ribery lined up behind the main striker Mario Gomez.
Easy afternoon for Bayern?- Not a chance.
All in all, the afternoon was a torrid one. Neuer's mistake led to Bayern conceding the first goal from Heung-Min Son.
Poor Manuel Neuer was feeling the pressure. Some Bayern fans are still not very welcoming as far as Neuer is concerned.
The second goal came soon afterwards from Son after a mix-up in the defence. The right-back failed to tackle Dennis Diekmeier on the right flank. Diekmeier passed to Son who scored.
Bayern's display was average. There were a few moments of brilliance from the wing men and nothing more. Gomez looked like he was out for a stroll in the park. The team's units failed to link up properly.
Will Bayern do well this season?
Robben and Ribery really did not make things easier for Gomez who was having a torrid afternoon. Mueller, who had had a pretty poor afternoon stepped aside for Toni Kroos with 10 minutes to go.
From 20 yards, Kroos struck the ball. The ball hit one post, then rebounded and hit the other and just about went over the line.
Bayern deserved the goal but HSV deserved the win. Jupp Heynckes did not look too happy on the sidelines. The final score was 1-2.
The match for third place gave a better picture of Bayern. They played Mainz. Neuer's defence this time consisted of Rafinha, Badstuber, who was replaced at halftime by Gustavo, Anatoliy Tymoschchuk and Diego Contento.
David Alaba and Danijel Pranjic paired up in defensive midfield. Takashi Usami and Ivica Olic took the wings with Toni Kroos in between them and Nils Petersen up front.
Again Bayern fell a goal behind when the whole defence stood and watched Nikolce Noveski head in following a corner. Neuer was shouting at his defence afterwards and rightfully so.
Alaba lost the ball at a very important time in the second half but thankfully, Mainz failed to capitalize. The team looked more hungry and Olic was full of running but unfortunately the three parts once again failed to link up properly and Petersen was almost deserted.
Alaba scored Bayern's equalizer with a great header from a dazzling cross from Contento. Bayern continued to push and with little time left and scored when substitute Mueller was fouled in the penalty area.
Petersen took the penalty. In their pursuit for another goal, Bayern was caught at the back and conceded. Ujah equalized.
So it came down to spot kicks. Despite Petersen missing, Manuel Neuer kept Bayern in the shootout with a save. Ujah hit the bar, and Pranjic converted to give Bayern the win.
In this match, there were quite a few things to admire.
Usami looked good in spells until he tired in the second half. Kroos looked energetic in the first and might just click into gear at the start of the season.
Rafinha was quite impressive. The Brazilian was good in defence and should do Bayern proud.
Next up, Bayern takes on AC Milan on the 26th of July in the AUDI Cup. Don't miss it!
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