SC Freiburg will likely be feeling very aggrieved for the next week as the mid table side had a valiant point snatched from them right at the last by Bayern Munich, as Robert Lewandowski scored a sucker-punch winning goal in the 91st minute for the Bavarians.
With us having had to wait a month for the Bundesliga to return, Bayern did not disappoint their fans, even if it was a close call, as they managed to take the 3 points away from Freiburg yesterday evening.
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) January 20, 2017
However, although many might be questioning Bayern’s resolve as they really did struggle to maintain a lead against the underdog side for almost all of the match, Ancelotti is looking at the late result as a positive thing, stating that he is proud of his player’s continued efforts right until the last, which ultimately paid off:
“We faced a difficult opponent, but we didn’t play well, especially in the first half.
“But I did like the team’s character. Their will to win enabled us to win the game right at the end.” Via 90min.com
However, having said this, Ancelotti is not blind to the fact that the performance may be a slightly concerning one, and although Bayern went in before the winter break in fine form, yesterday evening saw a close call in which Bayern nearly threw away some more points against a side that they should have been looking to beat with ease. Where this has happened before in the season, and Bayern have thrown away points, they have opened the door for RB Leipzig to stick close to them:
“I wasn’t pleased with the way we played but obviously I’m very happy with the win. To start the second half of the season with three points means a lot.” Via 90min.com
Nevertheless, the win is a win, even if it was a pretty ugly one. Looking forward, however, the side will need to perform much better if they are to safely maintain the top spot and stave off any pressure from Leipzig.
Friendly matches aren’t often taken too seriously by the top European sides as they prefer to save their energy and top players for the more important clashes that come later in the season, avoiding fitness concerns and injuries.
Therefore, although it is only a friendly and the result doesn’t mean anything, 5-0 in a pretty impressive result in anyone’s eyes, which is what Bayern managed over Belgian side KAS Eupen at the Aspire Academy in Doha on Tuesday. Bayern seemingly are continuing with their successful performances under Ancelotti in the new year, something which they found at the end of 2016 having previous struggled. But finally, it seems the players have clicked under the Italian.
Only Joshua Kimmich and Juan Bernat played the full 90 minutes during the match, as Ancelotti made 7 changes at the half way point in the match, allowing everyone to have a run out bar the likes of Holger Badstuber who had left on loan to join Shalke, as well as Thiago Alcantara, Jerome Boateng and Kingsley Coman all out injured. The manager also rested David Alaba who has been suffering from an illness of late.
The 5-0 win is a good way to kick off the year, let’s just hope the players can carry through such results in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League. I think at this point it’s recognised that if Bayern don’t suffer another complacent set of form which resulted in them lacking their usual dominant edge, the side should have a grip on the title domestically. However, if they continue to play in the same way that they have been of late, they really can kick on to challenge the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona in the Champions League this season.
There was huge levels of anticipation on Wednesday, as the top of the table clash between RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich at the Allianz-Arena was to decide who would top the table at Christmas. That being said, with all the pressure on Bayern, the German Champions proved on the night why they are considered not only to be best team in Germany, but one of the best teams in the world, as they staved off their closest title rivals with a dominant 3-0 victory.
Bayern can be as happy with the performance as the result, as in the eyes of their manager Carlo Ancelotti, the side put in an immaculate shift in the match. The Italian later went on the praise the side for their efforts, particularly in the first 30 minutes. By this point the game was all but wrapped up, as Bayern were 2 ahead by the 25th minute through Thiago and Alonso, with Leipzig going down to 10 men on the half hour mark as Emil Forsberg was sent off.
Speaking after the game, Ancelotti said he was very satisfied with his sides performance, as follows:
“I am very satisfied.”
“We were very aggressive right from the start, we were in immediate control of the game and the early goal locked the game for us. We began at a higher intensity.
“Alonso did not play in a new position, he did his job very well and he is a quality player. Thiago interpreted his [attacking midfield] role very well.
“The players matched my expectations, particularly in the first 30 minutes – that was perfect. It was the best opening phase of a game this season and I am very happy.
“Victory gives us self-confidence. We had to improve and we improved.” Via 7msport.com
Leipzig undoubtedly would have been disappointed with the result, but manager Ralph Hassenhuttl has stated that his side can still be immensely proud of what they have achieved so far in the first half of the season, and the match will only serve as a learning curve:
“We are still very proud of what we have done so far, but being 3-0 down at half-time – it was a lesson.
“We played the best team and congratulations to Bayern. We did not play like a top team on the pitch, although not everyone was fit.
However, the manager was understandably disappointed in Forsberg for being sent off during the match, as although Bayern would likely have seen the game out with the way they were performing, it hardly did Leipzig any favours, as that moment rather killed what hopes Leipzig had left for the match.
“Forsberg knows he has not done a good job for the team. Now he is probably missing a few matches and that’s not good.
“He has, of course, apologised to the squad. We all make mistakes and we do not need to demonise him.” Via 7msport.com
Looking back at the result and the table going into the winter break, Bayern can be very pleased with themselves, as they both sit comfortably at the top of the table and have shown that they more than have what it takes to defeat the inform RB Leipzig, if it comes down to another match between the two sides.
Many would argue that Athletico secured the majority of the bragging rights over Bayern Munich, as their victory in the first of the two games in group D against the German Champions went a long way to securing a top spot finish for the side. However, Bayern can take a little rest bite from the duel as last night the side got their own back on the Spaniards, in a 1-0 victory at the Allianz-Arena.
Diego Simeone went into the match stating that sometimes bragging rights are more important than points in some instances, and Bayern can come away with a silver lining to their Champions League campaign so far in the fact that they evened the score.
The game was yet again a close match, where one moment was the difference between the two sides, as is often the case in these scenarios. And that moment came from a certain Robert Lewandowski who was able to net through a fantastic free kick from the edge of the area. The striker is getting used to scoring from set pieces of this kind, as the free kick was almost a replica of the one that he scored against Mainz at the weekend.
However, otherwise, Bayern certainly looked more settled and more of a threat in the match compared to the previous fixture between the two sides, as they had many other good opportunities during the match against the resilient side. Both Lewandowski were denied only by some last ditch defending, and Costa and Bernat also had good chances in the match, as well as Vidal’s scuffed shot causing a scurry around the goal mouth.
At the same time, Athletico were kept relatively quiet in the match. Unlike the previous fixture where they had multiple chances to hit Bayern on the break, the likes of Antoine Griezmann barely got a look in during the match. All credits due to Bayern in their defensive capabilities on the night, as they put in a strong performance – something that has been a rarity in defense of late.
Undoubtedly I imagine that i’m not the only follower of Bayern Munich that woke up this morning with a rather deflated feeling still hanging over from the night before. With so much on the line in Der Klassiker, it’s a tough loss to take, and the mood around the Bayern camp is likely to be rather gloomy at this current moment in time.
Firstly, the one nil loss in which Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s single goal was enough to get Dortmund over the line for a 1-0 victory against the German Champions has opened the door for Dortmund to come back into the title race. Previous to the match, Bayern were 6 points clear of Dortmund, and many believed that a victory would make it very hard for Dortmund to come back from a 9 point deficit, and they could’ve arguably been ruled out so early in the season. However, with the result swinging the other way, Dortmund can not only take pride in winning the derby, but now sit just 3 points behind title favourites Bayern Munich.
However, this is not the only knock that Bayern took in the match, as they lost their grip on the Bundesliga for the first time this season. Usually by matchday 11, Bayern are already sitting comfortable at the top of the table, but it is RB Leipzig of all teams that have overtaken the giants, now leading the Bundesliga by 3 points.
Because of this, many have come to question Bayern’s hold on the league, and whether the competitiveness of the Bundesliga has returned, as Bayern look more vulnerable than they have in recent seasons gone by. The champions are struggling to score whilst also regularly failing to keep clean sheets. Mats Hummels has even come out admitting that he feels Bayern have lost their touch a bit:
“It is true, we are not quite so dominant, so superior, as in the past few years.” Via indianexpress.com
With the Bavarians having only won two of their last 6 games, the giants currently hold a more than unwanted record, and it seems that the side will have to raise their performances quickly if they are to compete for the title this season, let alone in the Champions League.
With Bayern Munich having taken on fellow unbeaten side Hoffenheim at the Allianz-Arena yesterday afternoon, both sides managed to retain their runs this season to the delight of Hoffenheim and the dismay of Bayern. The sides shared the spoils in an exciting game that finished 1-1 on the day, and although Bayern can be happy they remain unbeaten just short of a third of the way through the Bundesliga season, another draw only frustrated the club and the fans.
The scoring was surprisingly opened by Hoffenheim in the 16th minute with a goal coming from Kerem Demirbay in the 16th minute, however, it was not long after that Bayern equalised as Zuber, unfortunately for the player, put the scores back level with an own goal.
The rest of the game saw Bayern creating the better chances, particularly in the second chance, but Ancelotti’s side were unable to break the deadlock to the disappointment of Ancelotti. However, the Italian believed his side played well in the match and feels they were unlucky not to come away with the three points on the day:
“We were having a few difficulties early on and struggled to deal with Hoffenheim’s pressing. But we showed more intensity, quality and a better attitude after the break. “I think a win for us would have been a deserved result if you look at the chances we got. But that’s football, sometimes you are just lacking luck.” Via clubcall.com
However, the result is not to take away from Bayern despite Ancelotti claiming Bayern were merely just unlucky, as they held firm against the German Champions. The team showed all the confidence of a side who had gone 9 domestic games unbeaten, and played with their attacking line much higher up the pitch than Bayern are used, putting them slightly off their usually dominant game where the lion share is played in the opposition half.
Whilst Bayern did create the lion share of chances in the game, including an agonising hit of the post from Muller in stoppage time, Hoffenheim did seem to settle into the game quite well and create a few good chances of their own. However, with a tough run on the horizon for Bayern, the side have to perform better if they are to come out the otherside still at the top of the table with the likes of Leipzig, Hertha and Dortmund all on their tail.
Although they are in second place, and there are still 2 games left to play in the Champions League group stage matches for Bayern Munich, the bavarian’s can happily say that they have already qualified for the last 16 alongside Athletico Madrid as both sides won in their matches last night, whilst fellow group members FK Rostov and PSV Eindhoven both still sit on 1 point.
However, despite coming away from the match with smiles all round for the bavarians, it wasn’t all plain sailing for the German Champions as they struggled more than had done in Bayern’s previous match against the Dutch side.
Just 14 minutes into the start of the match, PSV scored in a controversial manor, with their goal standing although it should have been ruled out for offside. However, thanks to the usual suspect Lewandowski, Bayern’s hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages on the night were saved, as the forward scored a brace to ensure Bayern’s progression.
Lewandowski first slotted home from the penalty spot to level up the scoring just past the half hour mark as midfielder Andres Guardado was guilty of a handball in the penalty area. However, With Bayern struggling to break down PSV for the rest of the night, Lewandowski came up with the goods once again to put German minds at rest with a goal in the 74th minute.
With Bayern now through the group stage, it is unlikely that the side will slow down too much for their last two games, as the German’s hope to qualify top of the group, in which they are still to play Athletico Madrid – a game which will decide who will have the overall bragging rights from group D. With Athletico having beaten Bayern both this year and last year, fans will certainly be hoping that their side can take revenge against the Spaniards.
With Bayern having defeated Augsburg 3-1 in the DFB-Pokal last week, Bayern repeated the same result today as they scored 3 times once again in the League, keeping them top of the Bundesliga as rivals RB Leipzig also won 2-0 in their match against Darmstadt.
The game was all but over within half an hour, as Lewandowski ended his goal drought to the delight of his manager and fans, with two efforts in the 19th and 48th minutes. The third Bayern goal came from Arjen Robben as the winger scored with a left footed effort into the bottom corner.
Augsburg got a goal in the second half as Ja-Cheol Koo also placed it into the bottom right hand corner past Manuel Neuer, but the goal was nothing more than a consolation effort, as the match was to finish 3-1 to Bayern. However, the goal has continued to show that Bayern Munich are vulnerable to conceding of late, having rarely kept a clean sheet in their more recent games – an area to improve for the German Champions.
Holger Badstuber made his first League appearance in the best part of a year, having come on as a substitute once again in the match, as he did so in Bayern’s midweek cup game to standing ovations. With most of Bayern’s squad back fit, there should be no excuses for not getting results from here on out.
Its good to see Bayern back to their best as they won comfortably once again in the match, keeping the intensity high and the pressure on their Bundesliga rivals, capitalising as the chances presented themselves.
Having gone three games without a win in all competitions, Bayern got back to their more characteristic ways last night as the side won 4-1 against Champions League rivals PSV Einshoven.
With the win bringing comfort back to the camp as Bayern showed a much better attitude and their normal intensity last night, what was more pleasing for the club was that both forwards, Thomas Muller and Lewandowski, got back to scoring last night with both players having struggled over the last few matches.
It took all of 13 minutes for Bayern to open to scoring against their Dutch opponents, as Muller netted from close range taking advantage of some poor PSV defending. Kimmich doubled the bavarian’s lead just 8 minutes later, as the young German continued his impressive scoring run this season. Bayern took a knock from here, conceding 5 minutes before the break courtesy of PSV’s Narsingh.
With many fearing the worst that Bayern would throw the game once more like they had against Eintracht Frankfurt at the weekend, but with Bayern continuing to dominate in the second half, lewandowski settled all fears with 3rd goal just before the hour mark, ending his short term goal drought. The scoring was then rounded off by veteran winger Arjen Robben, as the Dutchman scored once again for Ancelotti with an impressive lob in the 84th minute to finalise the 4-1 scoreline.
Despite having won, however, Bayern still have more work to do if they are to top the group, as they currently sit in second, 3 points behind Athletico who beat Rostov 1-0 last night. But regardless, with the side back to winning ways, Ancelotti seemed happy enough with his teams improved performance in the 90 minutes:
“We played with high intensity from the start. It was a good reaction, although we had some problems at the end of the first half and at the start of the second. But we took the match very seriously and professionally.” Via tsn.ca
Let’s hope Bayern can carry this through to the Bundesliga, as the side look to retain their position at the helm of the league as they are set to take on Borussia Monchengladbach this Saturday.
Having not won in their previous last two games, the bavarians once again failed to win this afternoon as they took of Frankfurt in their first game back to the Bundesliga following the international break.
With goals from fan favourite Arjen Robben and Frankfurt’s Szabolcs Huszti in the first half, Joshua Kimmich came up once more when Bayern needed it most, making it 2-1 in the 62nd minute after he tapped home. Furtermore with Frankfurt going down to 10 men after their goal scorer received a second yellow for an altercation with Bayern’s Renato Sanches just 3 minutes after the bavarians took the lead, Bayern looked good to see the win home and take the 3 points.
However, it was more frustration for Ancelotti’s men as they could not see the game home against the 10 man resilience of Frankfurt, when Chandler skewed his shot into the chest of Marco Fabian who knocked the ball past Neuer much to the surprise and frustration of the reds.
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) October 15, 2016
With roughly a quarter of an hour left on the clock after the travelling side leveled it up, Bayern could not capitalise to steal the victory as chances came and went from Thomas Muller, Robert Lewandowski and Renato Sanches.
However, it is not all doom and gloom for Bayern despite this fairly unwanted spell of games without a win: The side still sit top of the Bundesliga, two points clear of Cologne after Dortmund and Hertha battled it out, only to take a point a piece from the game. However, with Bayern having hoped to improve today following both criticism in the media and self-criticism from the manager and players, they failed to do so, extending what is an unwanted drop in form by the Bundesliga side who started so promisingly this season.
If they are to maintain their position at the helm of the Bundesliga, and ensure qualification into the knockout rounds of the Champions League, Bayern will have to improve over the next few matches and get back to their winning ways. Right now, it is safe to say they are not performing as they should be and have been in the past.
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) October 15, 2016