At some point it made sense to think of a day in November 2019. Of course, the differences between then and now are huge, the general conditions, the table and the season situation, as well as the performance and the composition of the team. But still: Frankfurt has somehow become a cipher for Munich’s vulnerability.
Back then, in November 2019, FC Bayern lost 1: 5, it was Niko Kovac’s last weekend of service as coach, and shortly afterwards Hansi Flick took over to usher in the impressive sextuple season. On Saturday it was only a 1: 2 (0: 1), a close, but also a deserved one. Of course, that won’t have any consequences for the coaching post, but at least it has the consequence that the Bundesliga has become exciting again, contrary to expectations.
Two weeks ago, FC Bayern was seven points ahead of the competition. Now, with a win at Hertha BSC on Sunday, the Leipzigers can come close to two points on the Munich team, and the direct duel between the two top clubs is only scheduled for the beginning of April.
Flick run out of players and alternatives
In a way, that defeat in Frankfurt had been announced. The past performances in the league had already been rather mediocre, with the arduous 1-0 win in Berlin two weeks ago as well as the 3-3 win against Bielefeld on Monday. In between was the Club World Cup, which brought the next title, but also a grueling journey. The re were also various corona and injury cases from Thomas Müller to Corentin Tolisso, who will be absent for several months after his leg operation. And by the way, there was also an opponent in Frankfurt who has been one of the best in form in the league for weeks and has set up on a Champions League pitch.
“We had turbulent days and we are only human. We have to live with it,” said coach Hansi Flick after the defeat – even if he noted shortly after that he did not want to use the many games as an excuse for the result. But that he is slowly running out of players and alternatives, he emphasized last and again on Saturday.
The defensive, in which Jérome Boateng made his comeback and Niklas Süle took over the right-back part, revealed gigantic gaps that Frankfurt’s offensive players Amin Younes and Filip Kostic knew how to exploit.
The re was a lack of structure in midfield, and there was practically no good opportunity to score in the front for a little over half an hour. Leroy Sané in particular attracted attention with various sloppy actions.
After the break, the picture changes significantly
After goals from Daichi Kamada (12th minute) and Amin Younes (31st), it was correctly 0: 2 at the break, and it wouldn’t have been much missing, then even a third goal from Frankfurt would have been scored. “We didn’t learn from the Bielefeld game.
The re has to be aggressiveness on the pitch from the start. That’s not enough against such a team,” complained goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
After all, coach Flick and his team were able to point out afterwards that the picture changed significantly after the break – not least thanks to the inclusion of Leon Goretzka, who had recently paused due to a corona infection.
The Munich team were now clearly better than their opponents, Robert Lewandowski succeeded after a strong dribble from Sané with his 26th goal of the season to make it 1: 2 (53rd), and Goretzka and Kingsley Coman still had a good chance of the second goal.
“If we had played the way we did in the second half from the start, the winner would have been Bayern,” said Flick after the game. But it wasn’t as if his team had come up with outstanding opportunities every minute until the end. Rather, almost a quarter of an hour before the final whistle, she was even lucky that she could continue to hope for a turn in the game.
A very clear foul, but not a penalty for Frankfurt
Because when Eintracht counterattacked, Alphonso Davies stepped clearly in the heels of the substitute SGE striker Ragnar Ache. It fell down, referee Sascha Stegemann didn’t whistle, Ache stayed in the penalty area for the time being, the Cologne video cellar checked, and when Ache stood again, there was just a throw-in – it was a very clear foul.
The brutal Munich season rhythm continues on Tuesday: with the first leg of the first leg in the Champions League at Lazio Rome.