Champions League: FC Bayern Munich vs. RB Salzburg- Report and Observations.
Bayern Munich and Red Bull Salzburg met for Match Day 3 from the 2020-21 season of the UEFA Champions League.
It was a gloomy night in Salzburg with rain and heavy shower, but the Bayern players ensured that the weather doesn’t touch the fans. And the delightful performance from the Bavarian side saw them fly past their neighbouring country opponent in an emphatic 6-2 victory.
The match started tough on a very poor note for Bayern as Salzburg grabbed an early goal from Mergim Berisha in just the fourth minute of the match.
Bayern for the first time this season became trailing in the Champions League. Though that did not trouble the players and fans as soon the team started its attacking job.
Just in the 11th minute Serge Gnabry almost got the equalizer. The efforts could not lead to a goal, as Andre Ramalho made a heroic block.
A minute later, Salzburg found them in an uncomfortable position as Lucas Hernandez came down in their box in a clumsy manner leading to a penalty though afterward, the decision got upturned.
Luck did not keep supporting Salzburg as in the 21st minute Muller was tackled in an untidy manner leading to a penalty. Robert Lewandowski did no mistake to open his scoring charts and equalize the score.
After drawing level, both the teams started to commit forward in numbers. The spirited defence of both teams had a tough time keeping out the attacking onslaught. The heroics of Manuel Neuer and Bayern defenders ensured they concede no more. But luck did not stay on Salzburg’s side once again.
Robert Lewandowski wonderfully created a chance- though from an offside position which got unnoticed. The pass met Muller who drilled it in the net with power. It proved too tough for the home side to keep the shot out as defender Rasmus Kristensen headed it home down in his own net.
The second half remained increasingly a Bayern affair until the 65th minute. Jesse Marsch introduced Masaya Okagawa and the move immediately paid off and Masaya equalised just the next minute.
The introduction of fresh legs changed the dynamic somewhat as at one point it looked like Salzburg could go away with all the points from the day.
But such a cherished choice was not met by Bayern. Soon the ruthless side of the Bavarians came out, as they got determined to not only win the match but also do so in their preferred style.
Hansi Flick made his ambitions known and introduced new changes to make his wants fulfilled. Soon in the 79th minute of the match, Jerome Boeting headed home an incredible corner from Joshua Kimmich.
The young German midfielder did not remain satisfied with just one assist as he again stepped up 4 minutes later, to create Bayern fourth goal for Leroy Sane. Determined Bayern kept the onslaught going as Javi Martinez produced a perfect cross between two Salzburg players to find Lewandowski's head.
The day got even better for Bayern as Lucas Hernandez added his name to the score chart almost in the dying seconds of the game.
An incredibly enchanting match ended with a perfect victory for Bayern. Here are a few of the observations from the game:
The score line didn't tell the full story:
A scoreline of 2-6 should be speaking of itself. But last night that was far from being true. It was Bayern who was dominated by the opponent for a large part of the match. The high press and attacking football of RB Salzburg made it a horrible day for Bayerns.
Every match Bayern looks very shaky at the first and then slowly settles down to play their own brand of football. Salzburg completely knew where the loopholes wherein the product from the brand and made most use of it.
Salzburg used Bayerns numeric advantage in attack to their advantage. They did not go about pressing anywhere on the pitch. The press of the home side was precise yet perfect.
The match well showed Bayern can be vulnerable at times. But to do so, teams would need to keep their composure for all and each of the minutes of the match.
Any loss of concentration for a second can prove very costly against Hansi Flick’s side. The Austrian side could not keep their focus in the later minutes of each half, and Bayern made most out of this situation.
Goals motivate the Bayern players more than anything else:
Goals are in plenty when Bayern plays and they seem to be the life-line of the players. As soon as they conceded in the early minutes of the match, the visitors got desperate to equalise. Bayern did so, and like their characteristic style of play did not hold back and immediately wanted to lead.
In the second half, the team looked a bit un-motivated and way-ward. But the equalising goal just had polarising effects and what followed were 4 goals in a span of 11 minutes. And once Bayern starts scoring, they continue to do so until the whistle goes. Simply, Bayern players are motivated by goals like nothing more.
Motley Day in Defence:
Bayern Munich defenders endured a tough night in Salzburg. The attack of the home side led by Dominik Szoboszlai kept creating a nuisance for the Bavarians.
Lucas Hernandez remained a stand-out performer as usual. He delivered a solid display along with his late goal. But the rest of the defence looked fuzzy.
The physical presence of Niklas Sule was missed badly. But probably more missed was Leon Goretzka. The opponent constantly found space between the midfield and defence.
Also, the absence of Goretzka drew Joshua Kimmich further back, preventing him from playing his free-style football.
Benjamin Pavard did not have the best of games. Jerome Boating too was not of the level he was last year. David Alaba though did not commit any mistake, but the off-field contract issues seem to keep troubling him.
Robert Lewandowski remained the fulcrum of attack. He passionately defended his team whenever needed. At times he came back enough till the defensive midfield.
But Serge Gnabry went an extra mile. He may not be able to register himself on the shore chart but that never meant he had a bad game in any means. Gnabry at times dropped as deep as to tie up with the back four.
In any counter-attack from the opponent, he went and joined the defenders. It was an incredible display to see, two attacking players contributing so much towards the team’s defence.
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