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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Matchday 24: FC Bayern in goal mood – double packer Pavard “outstanding”

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Three days after a big Champions League win against PSG, FC Bayern are back in the Bundesliga with lots of goals. Pavard celebrates the first brace. A man from Augsburg advertises a Flick nomination.

At the end of a perfect week, the stars around double packer Benjamin Pavard were only too happy to dance as the acclaimed “Super Bayern” in front of their fans.

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A big win against Paris Saint-Germain and a goal-rich win three days later against the uncomfortable FC Augsburg also made coach Julian Nagelsmann rush out of the Allianz Arena with two bags. “We did the job we had in the week,” said the coach after an entertaining 5: 3 (4: 1).

After a generous rotation, newly promoted João Cancelo (15′), Benjamin Pavard (19’/35′) and Leroy Sané (45′) were in a goal mood, as was Alphonso Davies (74′). “In the end we took a few gears out, but that was okay,” said Nagelsmann.

Before these goals, the Munich team had to digest the goal after just 120 seconds with a contrite expression from Bayern fright Mergim Berisha. The U21 European champions, who campaigned for themselves just under a week before the national team were nominated by national coach Hansi Flick, also reduced the deficit to 2: 4 (60th penalty kick) in front of 75,000 spectators. “He’s a very good player. He does it well with his body and is very good in front of the box,” said Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic. At the consolidated top of the table of the series champions, however, Berisha’s appearance did not change anything, nor did Irvin Cardona’s 3: 5 (90 + 3).

Salihamidzic praises Pavard

Salihamidzic preferred to praise another two-goal scorer: Benjamin Pavard. The French world champion of 2018 played his first brace as a professional in a small goal frenzy. After a free kick by Joshua Kimmich was blocked, Sadio Mané acrobatically re-armed the ball with an overhead kick, Pavard refined it. The Frenchman’s next goal was a rarity because it fell after one of Kimmich’s corners, which was so often unsuccessful. Although Matthijs de Ligt’s header was blocked, Pavard was there with a scissor hit.

“I’m really happy that Benji is doing so well. In the last four to six weeks he’s been one of the outstanding players here with us,” said Salihamidzic. “He comes to training every day with a smile. He’s happy, working, cheerful and in good shape.”

After Pavard had repeatedly flirted with a change, it seems that the collaboration, which was dated until 2024, will be extended. “We will see everything else,” said Salihamidzic. Pavard tapped the club crest on his jersey as he celebrated the goal. Those who wanted could understand this as a commitment to a longer future together.

Cancelo, Sané and Mané also shine

“I think Hasan can see for himself that Benji is performing well, that he always wants to win. Now he’s scored goals, too,” said Nagelsmann. He was pleased that newly called up stars Cancelo, Pavard, Sané and Mané shone as goalscorers or assists. Only Serge Gnabry didn’t succeed.

Unlike the two successes in the two round of 16 games without conceding a goal against the PSG squad around Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé, the zero against Berisha & Co. did not last. FCA rewarded themselves for a brave approach with an early lead. The tactic was at the expense of the defensive in the fifth away bankruptcy this year. “We played with an open mind, played very bravely. I think the approach was clear to everyone from the start. Putting ourselves at the back is not in our DNA,” said coach Enrico Maaßen.

Source: Stern

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