Hello Bayern II
With Manuel Neuer and Robert Lewandowski left out of the squad and Jerome Boateng, Thomas Müller, Benjamin Pavard, Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman on the bench, Hansi Flick had plenty of room to use his reserves. This match, with Bayern having already confirmed their place in the round of 16, was aimed at giving the necessary rotating players some playing time against top-level competitions and a rest for their stars and regulars.
Among the number of rotating actors such as Bouna Sarr, Douglas Costa and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, new debuts were made by Bright-Arrey Mbi and Alexander Nübel.
We’ve shown David Alaba the role of captain, which could bode well for the way Hansi Flick views him, amid questions surrounding his future.
Atletico play hard
It took them 25 minutes, but Atlético were the only team with a substantial threat to the net with Joao Felix crushing the ball into the back of the net in the six-yard box. Niklas Süle took a long time to get in place behind Félix to prevent the goal.
Otherwise, Atlético was able to exploit the space of a questionable defense of Bayern Munich. It took Bayern until the 31st minute to get their first chance via a glorious run from Jamal Musiala.
Tale of two halves (again)
In what seems to be a more routine aspect of these matches, Bayern have started extremely slow and a bit sloppy. Although they were solid for long periods of time, they also gave up a relatively easy goal and were constantly forced to come back with speed to stop Atletico’s counterattacks.
That being said, a good part of it could be due to many young players making their European debuts and a contingent of players who are not used to playing competitively with each other. Once Müller and Serge Gnabry came; However, Bayern started to feel more like Bayern, creating more chances, being more dangerous and actually forcing Jan Oblak to work a bit. Müller is literally Bayern’s heartbeat and if it wasn’t for my own bias for Neuer to be the captain, Müller would be the next best choice.
Late luck saves Bayern
Müller, what can I say? He had to save the draw for Bayern on his own, right? Taking the penalty instead of the resting Lewandowski, Muller passed it past Oblak’s outstretched arm to make it a 1-1 draw for Bayern. And to think that Joachim Low thinks the German national football team is somehow better off without him.