Tactical Insights

Daily Schmankerl: The aftermath of Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid in the Champions League; A ranking of Joshua Kimmich’s potential landing spots; Robert Lewandowski to stay with FC Barcelona; Arsenal eyeing Juventus star Dušan Vlahović; and MORE!

Bayern Munich and Real Madrid battled to a 2-2 draw, which left some fans of the Bavarians thinking about what might have been.

Even with that, Bayern Munich turned in a warrior’s effort against Los Blancos and came very close to putting Real Madrid in a hole heading back to Spain for the return leg.

As of now, this is anyone’s tie, so let’s get down to it — here are some quick hitters on the match:

  • As always, let’s start with a look at Thomas Tuchel’s starting XI:
  • The surprise inclusion to the XI was Thomas Müller, who not many folks expected to start. Raphaël Guerreiro, Aleksandar Pavlović, Alphonso Davies, and Serge Gnabry all started on the bench with Leroy Sané and Konrad Laimer deemed healthy enough to start. Noussair Mazraoui over Davies was not wholly unexpected, but a bad look for the Canadian, who has been closely linked to a transfer to Real Madrid. Finally, Kim Min-jae (yikes!) got the start over Matthijs de Ligt, who did not even dress for the match due to an injury.
  • As expected, the teams took some time to feel each other out, but Bayern Munich was the early aggressor of the two sides. Harry Kane had a decent look in the 6th minute, but just could not get a good enough piece of it to be a serious threat to Andriy Lunin.
  • Minutes later, Sané airmailed a good attempt, while Kane sent a long-range (thing not far inside midfield) over the crossbar as well.
  • It was clear, Bayern Munich had the energy and the power of the crowd on its side. Real Madrid was like a boxer just trying to withstand a flurry of punches in the early stages of a fight. The big question was really just if the Bavarians were going to be able to maintain the high level of urgency and intensity that is normally required to fend off Los Blancos.
  • As far as the start goes, it was the most Bayern-like opening to a match that we have seen all season.
  • If the Bayern Munich attackers could hit the broad side of a barn in the first 16 minutes or so, it really could have been 3-0.
  • Interestingly, Müller appeared to be functioning as a striker, with Kane as the No. 10. Kane had resumed his role sitting deeper in the buildup. It was not always like that during the match, but it was an interesting look.
  • Then it happened…Kim Min-jae got caught woefully out of position and Toni Kroos (you knew it would be him), slid a perfect ball into Vinicius Jr., who had ample time and space to beat a helpless Manuel Neuer.
  • Unfortunately for Min-jae, that was not the only blunder he would make.
  • You could feel some of the collective energy zap out of the crowd and the team, but both would rebound.
  • Tuchel made a couple of changes, including taking Goretzka out after halftime. It is unclear why Goretzka was removed, as he was having a solid showing, but it could have been an injury or Tuchel playing a hunch. Some unconfirmed reports indicated that Goretzka had a thigh issue. Either way, the Bavarians came out with a renewed vigor.
  • Sané knotted the game at 1-1 with a strong goal in the 53rd minute (Konrad Laimer had the assist). A few minutes later, Jamal Musiala drew a penalty, which Kane neatly deposited to give a Bayern Munich a 2-1 lead in the 57th minute. Everything was coming up Bayern Munich!
  • Until it wasn’t…
  • As Bayern Munich was keeping things under control, Rodrygo got the best of Min-jae, who took a needless foul in the box (Dier was closing in to help his teammate out). Of course, Vinicius buried the attempt to make it 2-2 and make me feel like freaking MacBeth for predicting a 2-2 draw on the Bavarian Podcast Works — Preview Show.
  • Laimer — again — played like a man possessed. What an effort from the Austrian!
  • Müller was excellent as well.
  • The inefficiency of Bayern Munich’s attack with converting chances is a bit of problem, but they are creating a fair amount of opportunities. Sané and Musiala need a little extra work on their finishing. Every shot will matter in the return leg.
  • That said, Sané and Musiala were disruptive to Real Madrid and deserve a lot of credit for their efforts in that respect. The duo gave Real Madrid headaches all night.
  • Overall, Bayern Munich played really well. Unfortunately, this will be known as the “Kim Min-jae Game” because he was at the center of both Real Madrid goals. Sure, this was a lost opportunity to have firm control over the tie, but what this also showed us is that Bayern Munich can outplay Real Madrid over 90 minutes. It will not be easy at the Bernabéu, but victory is within Bayern Munich’s grasp — and this team has the look of a group capable of going into Spain and making history.

If you missed our Initial Analysis, Match Awards, Observations, or Postgame Podcast, give them a look or a listen:

Goal took a run through the possible transfer options for Bayern Munich star Joshua Kimmich and this is how the list played out:

The No. 1 destination…Arsenal FC (remember them?). Here is what Goal had to say about it:

Arsenal are in a tricky position heading into the summer transfer window. Thomas Partey’s return to the first team in recent times has been a roaring success, with his presence at the base of midfield freeing up Declan Rice and elevating Martin Odegaard to an even more inspirational level.

However, the Ghanaian’s fitness issues mean the Gunners may decide to move him on in the summer, which will leave a sizeable hole in the middle of the park. Kimmich could be the man to fill that void.

Full of energy, blessed with an excellent passing range and a devilish football IQ, he would be a perfect fit for what Mikel Arteta likes his teams to do. His ability to invert when played at full-back will also have the Gunners boss salivating.

While he would represent a slightly different flavour of signing to what sporting director Edu normally goes for, if Arsenal want to take that final, decisive step and start winning trophies regularly, Kimmich might be their perfect, missing piece.

Eh…I think Manchester City is a better fit for Kimmich than anywhere else if he has to leave Bayern Munich.

Bayern Munich are about to face Real Madrid in their first Champions League semi-final since 2020. However, that’s not what everyone is talking about. Uli Hoeneß made some inflammatory comments about Thomas Tuchel in the German media and the coach decided to respond in kind. This sort of row is nothing new at the club, but the timing does threaten to derail the club’s most promising CL campaign in years. Is the toxicity at FC Hollywood going too far?

In this episode, INNN and Samrin discuss the following:

  • Why did Uli Hoeneß say what he did?
  • How this stunt will be seen by coaches and clubs across Europe.
  • Uli being Uli — is it time for him to change?
  • Why Bayern Munich seem to be having such a hard time finding a new coach.
  • Misgivings about hiring Ralf Rangnick.
  • How the controversy and the coaching situation could affect the Real Madrid game.
  • How will Thomas Tuchel choose to tackle Madrid? What are his options?

Arsenal FC and Manchester United are reportedly joining Bayern Munich in having interest in Real Madrid outside-back Ferland Mendy:

Real Madrid have some difficult decisions to make ahead of the summer transfer window. It is widely reported that Carlo Ancelotti plans to bring in some world-class talents, with Endrick confirmed to join and Kylian Mbappe expected to sign. Another player who is closely linked with a move to the football capital is Alphonso Davies, the speedy Canadian full-back who represents Bayern Munich.

Should Alphonso Davies sign for Real Madrid, it would render one current full-back as surplus to requirements because there is no way Ancelotti would make a statement signing this big, only to use Davies as a rotational player. Unfortunately for Ferland Mendy, it is likely to be him who misses out on a place in the starting lineup, as the current starting left-back.

Ferland Mendy’s situation is currently being monitored by some huge European clubs, most notably those in the Premier League. According to a report by L’Equipe, Ferland Mendy is currently a transfer target for historic Premier League trio Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United.

As per Pain in the Arsenal, Arsenal could do with signing a new left-back as this position has been plagued by injuries in recent seasons. Zinchenko is not the type of player that Mikel Arteta thought he was when he signed and his back-ups are not fit to start for a Premier League competing team. Therefore, Mendy would improve their squad.

Serbia head coach Dragan Stojković would have loved to have Aleksandar Pavlović in the fold for his squad, but the youngster opted to play for Germany. Stojković said it would have been great to have Pavlović, but there is no resentment over the decision.

“We’ve had him on the list for two years. We tried everything, from December we were in contact with his family, later his agent got involved, and then Aleksandar himself. I think there was big pressure [on the DFB] and Nagelsmann had to call him when they saw that Serbia was not kidding and really wanted him. People in Serbia shouldn’t be angry. It’s not right to say that we lost him because he never played for our youth teams. His decision is what it is – we respect that and wish him all the best. No hard feelings,” Stojković said.

Bayern Munich played well in patches as they defeated sixth placed Eintracht Frankfurt, 2-1. These are some of the topics we discuss in this podcast:

  • Bayern’s good start and Konrad Laimer’s role in the opening goal
  • How many goals has Harry Kane scored from the penalty spot? (Less than we thought)
  • Eintracht Frankfurt’s problems this season and whether sixth is justified for them
  • Why today wasn’t the worst day for Frankfurt despite the end result
  • A few thoughts on Bayern’s overall performance
  • A quick look forward to the Real Madrid game including who might start (and who will not)
  • Harry Kane’s chase for Robert Lewandowski’s record
  • A look at the rest of the results in the Bundesliga so far this season

Former Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski looks like he is in for a longer stay in Catalonia with FC Barcelona:

It still feels Lewandowski will eventually find his way to MLS at some point.

Arsenal FC is still kicking the tires on a move for Juventus striker Dušan Vlahović:

Arsenal must fork out €60m to have any chance of signing Juventus striker Dušan Vlahović.

Bayern Munich fans…the future is now!

Or soon…or maybe a little later…but either way, the club does appear to be well on its way to hiring its next coach — Ralf Rangnick, a name that was not necessarily at the forefront of anyone’s mind just a few weeks ago.

With all of that going on, let’s get to it and discuss what we have on tap for this edition of the Bavarian Podcast Works — Weekend Warm-up Show:

  • Rangnick to Bayern Munich…how are we feeling about that (if it goes down)?
  • It is still a little odd that Hansi Flick never made it into serious consideration.
  • Is there any truth to the rumors that Rangnick is a short-term solution until Jürgen Klopp (or maybe even Xabi Alonso) becomes available.
  • Should fans believe the Frenkie de Jong rumors this time around?
  • After the Eintracht Frankfurt game, it is time to switch quickly into “Real Madrid Mode.”

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