Three Key Observations from Bayern Munich’s 2-2 Draw with Bayer Leverkusen

Title: Three Key Observations from Bayern Munich’s 2-2 Draw with Bayer Leverkusen

  1. Tactical Frustration Under Thomas Tuchel: Bayern Munich’s recent 2-2 draw with Bayer Leverkusen has left fans frustrated and raised questions about Thomas Tuchel’s tactical approach. While Bayern is undoubtedly a superior team compared to Leverkusen, the match’s outcome suggests that the team is not performing up to its full potential under Tuchel. The xG (expected goals) statistics highlight the difference in quality between the two teams. The primary concern lies in Bayern’s inability to effectively utilize its attacking talents, including Thomas Müller, Serge Gnabry, and Leroy Sané, who struggled to create chances for Harry Kane. Moreover, Joshua Kimmich’s dual role as a deep-lying midfielder and forward-pressing No. 8 and the disorganization in the defense, especially on set pieces, reflect systemic issues that ultimately trace back to the coaching.

Tuchel was brought in not just to make big signings but to extract the best from the squad. However, the team’s recent performances have felt lackluster, irrespective of the opponent. The upcoming match against Manchester United could prove pivotal for Tuchel, as there are already murmurs about Xabi Alonso taking over if results don’t improve.

  1. Mathys Tel’s Impact: Amidst the tactical frustrations, one bright spot for Bayern Munich has been the emergence of Mathys Tel. Tuchel has shown astuteness in his utilization of the young talent, capitalizing on Tel’s strengths as a footballer. Tel often comes on as a late substitute when the game is finely balanced. This timing allows Tel to shine, as the team is pushing for a goal, and he has a knack for making game-changing contributions. Being brought on when the team is already comfortably ahead or starting from scratch would not provide the same opportunities. As a substitute, Tel is not burdened with the sole responsibility of being the primary striker, allowing him to play more freely. Tuchel’s management of Tel has been an improvement over his predecessor, and Tel is rewarding the faith shown in him with solid performances.
  2. Reevaluation of Fan Scapegoats: Since Tuchel’s arrival, a section of Bayern Munich fans has been quick to scapegoat certain players for the team’s performances. Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Thomas Müller, and Dayot Upamecano have all faced criticism at various points. However, the Leverkusen match showcased the individual qualities of these players. Kimmich, in particular, was the midfield linchpin, and Bayern struggled after his substitution. Müller created several scoring opportunities and orchestrated counter-pressing efforts. Goretzka battled hard in midfield and scored a crucial goal. Despite a few nervy moments, Upamecano held his own against challenging opposition. It may be time for fans to reconsider their targets for criticism and focus on the collective performance, as the Champions League looms, demanding a higher level of performance than what Bayern displayed against Leverkusen.

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