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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

19th matchday: Bayern first again: Strong response to Neuer-Krach

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4:2 at VfL Wolfsburg – FC Bayern Munich’s reaction to a turbulent weekend is a strong statement. It’s 3-0 after just 19 minutes. But the debate about Manuel Neuer remains.

Energetically as rarely Julian Nagelsmann high-fived each of his players. That too was a statement – just like this game.

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With a turbulent 4: 2 (3: 1) at VfL Wolfsburg, FC Bayern Munich gave a sportingly remarkable response to the big row over their captain Manuel Neuer on Sunday evening. The national goalkeeper had massively criticized the club management this weekend and Nagelsmann immediately hit back together. Only the team was unfazed by the fuss and impressively regained the briefly lost lead in the Bundesliga from 1. FC Union Berlin.

“At the end of the day we have to concentrate on the sport,” said Joshua Kimmich, who saw yellow-red in the 54th minute, at DAZN after the game. “We did that today, we won today. At the end of the day, that always gives the club the most peace when we win the games.” Nagelsmann sees his team on the right track after three draws in the league and progression in the cup: “I’m never 100 percent satisfied and neither are the players, we always want to have something to do. If you look at the game as a whole it was a very important win and therefore an important step.”

Three quick Bayern goals

Two goals from Kingsley Coman (9th/14th minute) and a header goal from Munich’s new record field player Thomas Müller (19th) achieved a wow effect in less than 20 minutes. Jakub Kaminski from Wolfsburg took advantage of the fact that the Bayern game lost pace and sharpness shortly before half-time to make it 1:3 (44th).

After the break, the game even threatened to tip over. National player Kimmich saw the yellow-red card after an unnecessary foul on Maximilian Arnold. Micky van de Ven and Mattias Svanberg (50th) had a great chance to make it 2:3 for VfL, who never gave up. Ridle Baku failed after an hour from close range (61′). This took revenge from Wolfsburg’s point of view when Jamal Musiala scored to make it 4-1 (73′). Svanberg’s goal (81′) no longer jeopardized Munich’s victory. “There was a lot in it, I think you could see that we have the desire to win,” emphasized Müller.

“Being shown how to score goals”

The Wolfsburg, on the other hand, were annoyed by the numerous good opportunities that were missed. “It didn’t feel like the result,” said Arnold. “We were shown how to score goals.” From the point of view of ex-Bayern coach Niko Kovac, the result did not reflect the course of the game: “We left a few things behind.”

One of the winners of this game should also be Nagelsmann. Neuer’s attack in the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” and the international sports portal “The Athletic” revolved around the separation from his close friend and goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic (“I had the feeling my heart was being ripped out”). But she also provoked the question of whether the currently injured goalkeeper would have dared to do something like that with Pep Guardiola, Jupp Heynckes or another coach than the 35-year-old, who is no longer undisputed within the team.

However, Nagelsmann found the right way to deal with this sportingly piquant situation after three Bundesliga games without a win. He also criticized Neuer before the kick-off at DAZN (“wouldn’t have given the interview”). However, the coach found more balancing words than CEO Oliver Kahn (“Neither does him justice as captain nor the values ​​​​of FC Bayern”) and sports director Hasan Salihamidzic (“He put his personal interests here above the interests of the club”).

Nagelsmann changes the system

Above all, Nagelsmann let his team play in their preferred 4-2-3-1 system, which was different from the convincing 4-0 cup win at FSV Mainz 05. Leroy Sané was allowed to act on the wing instead of in the center, Jamal Musiala back in the tenth position.

A place was also found for club icon Müller – this time as a center forward instead of the ailing Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (gastrointestinal). The 33-year-old played his 427th Bundesliga game in Wolfsburg and is now, together with Gerd Müller, the outfield player with the most top-flight appearances in the history of the German record champions. Only goalkeepers Sepp Maier (473) and Oliver Kahn (429) played more often.

Another Munich problem, in addition to the drop in performance after half an hour, was the bank, which was severely thinned out after eight injuries and illnesses. After Serge Gnabry, Nagelsmann, outnumbered, initially only brought on comparatively inexperienced players such as Josip Stanisic and Mathys Tel.

But Kimmich’s dismissal sharpened Bayern’s senses rather than turning the game around. In the 64th minute, the 17-year-old Tel missed the big chance to make it 4-1. Musiala then raised after a dreamy solo. Shortly after Svanberg’s Wolfsburg goal, Yannick Gerhardt’s supposed 3:4 did not count because of a foul by Baku.

Source: Stern

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