BOCHUM AGAINST FC BAYERN
FC Bayern swept over VfL Bochum on Sunday evening and gave the unfortunate Revier club seven goals. After the 7-0 win and the associated record start to the new season, one thing is clear: FCB have taken another step forward. Also because there seems to be a different spirit in the team. One player in particular was symbolic of this. Three things that stood out.
Three games, nine points, a goal difference of 15:1! That’s FC Bayern’s starting record, which is frightening for the rest of the Bundesliga. The permanent dominator gave VfL Bochum a whopping seven goals on Sunday evening – and thus provided a novelty in the German upper house. A team has never recorded 14 goals after three games.
Leroy Sané (4th), starting XI debutant Matthijs de Ligt (24th), Kingsley Coman, Sadio Mané (42nd, 59th/FE) and Serge Gnabry (76th) were responsible for the Munich goals on Castroper Straße. Bochum’s Cristian Gamboa also scored an own goal (69′).
The reasons for the impressive early form and the apparently loose compensation for Lewandowski’s departure are manifold, they were all reflected against VfL. Symbolic of the “new” face of FCB was Sané, who got his chance after three competitive games as a reservist – and promptly took advantage of it.
In addition, the term “settling-in period” does not seem to be familiar to the two most notable newcomers.
Three things that stood out.
1. SANÉ AS A SYMBOL FOR THE “NEW” BAVARIANS
No sooner had the season started than there was another heated debate in the Bayern media environment: Leroy Sané. The German national player had not been considered for the starting XI in any of the three previous competitive games.
The reason: Sané’s competitors Jamal Musiala and Serge Gnabry showed convincing performances and gave coach Julian Nagelsmann no reason to make any changes. Musiala had to pass against Bochum due to an adductor strain , Gnabry initially sat on the bench because he also recently had to deal with an injury (bony tear on the wrist).
The big chance for Sané. In the past he often had the reputation of being phlegmatic, but not far from his hometown of Essen, the 26-year-old showed that Nagelsmann can count on him. In contrast to previous appearances, in which Sané had both a hanging shoulder and a hanging head, he sparkled with enthusiasm against Bochum.
It wasn’t even four minutes before Sané put the ball in the VfL box. Although he didn’t make it onto the top scorer list again after that, he still managed to impress over the full distance. Nobody shot at the opponent’s goal more often (5), no Bayern player made more assists (4).
He did a good job on defense too. Sané won 58.3 percent of his duels and won seven balls (second best value after Joshua Kimmich (10)). He received special praise from his coach: “His performance was very good,” said Nagelsmann, adding: “He’s been criticized again in recent weeks. Of course he’s a player who polarizes with his style. But he’s a outstanding footballer.”
Nagelsmann continues: “If he’s 100 percent up for it, he’s one of the best players in Europe.” Unlike in many other games, Sané was noticeably “in the mood” against Bochum. Nagelsmann hopes it stays that way: “We shouldn’t talk so much about myself, not so much with him either. You just have to let him do it.”
Despite the disappointment of not having had a chance in the first few encounters, Sané gave the impression that he was kneeling in. An indication that it fits within the team as a whole. Nagelsmann at least let it be known that the spirit is now better than last year: “This energy, that everyone treats everyone to everything – that wasn’t always the case last season.”
Sané symbolized the “new”, even scarier face of Bayern.
2. 50 GOALS AWAY – SO WHAT?
With Lewandowski, the absolute top scorer left the club after eight years, the one on which the entire game was geared. The Pole scored 50 goals in 46 competitive games last season. Goals that Bayern will be sorely lacking – at least in theory.
In all competitions (including the Super Cup), the Munich team scored 20 goals in the first four games of the new season. The departure of Lewy and the arrival of Mané, it seems, have not made Bayern any less harmless.
On the contrary: the offensive seems much more flexible and less predictable.
Completely independent of who is playing. After Musiala and Gnabry had initially been given preference, this time Sané and Kingsley Coman, who had missed the first two Bundesliga games due to a red suspension, whirled. The duo immediately lined up as best they could and internalized the changed philosophy without any problems.
“We’re moving a lot, we have a lot of opportunities to go forward. That’s a plus point,” said Coman, the goalscorer who made it 3-0 in the meantime, soberly summarizing the situation in attack.
Of course, Bayern lost quality with Lewandowski’s departure. However, if something is compensated for in such a short time that can hardly be compensated for, then this speaks for both the coach and the team.
3. “SETTLING-IN PERIOD” IS A FOREIGN WORD FOR MANÉ AND DE LIGT
Mané and Matthijs de Ligt were the most prominent names who moved to the Isar in the summer. Anyone who had expected that the duo might initially have to contend with teething problems will find themselves taught better after just a few weeks.
While Mané started in every competitive game anyway and scored three goals in four games, de Ligt celebrated his starting eleven debut for his new employer in Bochum. The Dutchman, who came from Turin for around 70 million euros, needed – like Mané – no adjustment period.
Although the 23-year-old was not faced with the most difficult tasks by VfL, his debut as head of defense was more than gratifying from his point of view. One goal self-scored, none conceded, most clearing actions (5).
“If you score your goal as a defender in the first half, you still want to keep the zero until the end,” he said after the game at “DAZN”. He added: “It was important to stay focused until the end. We did that. We put on a lot of pressure and ended up scoring seven times.”
Nagelsmann was also satisfied: “He was informed relatively early on that he was playing today, then he injured his hand. He played well, just like the other three in the back four. He’s developing really well,” he said the 35 year old.
Regarding Mané, Nagelsmann had recently found only words of praise anyway: “He doesn’t want to shine and draw everyone’s eyes to himself. He feels good when he does a top job and doesn’t always lead the way with interviews or Instagram posts,” said Nagelsmann . “That’s why he’s very well received.”