Xabi Alonso vs Thomas Tuchel, who will come out on top? (Update: No one …)
Initial reactions and observations
- While the scoreline reads 2-2, Bayern Munich absolutely deserved to win this game. The team created more chances than Leverkusen and were only denied by a dodgy ref and some spectacular saves by Hradecky.
- This does not mean that Thomas Tuchel will get off lightly. The problems are subtle but there’s still there — chief among them the way the midfield is set up.
- For all the concern about Dayot Upamecano’s defending against powerful forwards, he did fine against Boniface on the night. A solid performance from him under challenging circumstances.
- Thomas Tuchel better beat Manchester United, or there will be hell to pay.
Full time: Bayern Munich 2-2 Bayer Leverkusen.
90’+3’ — Penalty to Leverkusen! And Palacios scores!
86’ — GOOOOOOOOOOAL! Leon Goretzka makes it 2-1! With Tel making the assist.
78’ — Florian Wirtz hits the post!
69’ — Sub: Mathys Tel is ON! Serge Gnabry is off.
60’ — Sub: Kimmich and Muller come off for Musiala and Mazraoui.
45’ — The second half is underway!
Halftime observations and analysis
- This is a game of momentum where both teams have dominated phases. 1-1 between Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen seems like a fair scoreline but both teams will think that they should have scored more.
- Leroy Sane’s corners are so much better than the ones by Joshua Kimmich.
- Lucas Hradecky is having a Sommer game. The saves on Muller, on Gnabry, on Goretzka … he’s prevented Bayern from running riot in the final 10 mins of the half.
Halftime: Bayern Munich 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen.
32’ — Boniface gets it in the net, but it’s offside.
25’ — Goal. Griamldo equalizes from a direct free kick.
7’ — GOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Harry Kane makes it 1-0! Great corner by Leroy Sane!
Kickoff: We’re underway in Munich!
One hour until kickoff: We have lineups! Joshua Kimmich manages to start despite being doubtful for the game, and Thomas Tuchel has dropped Noussair Mazraoui for Konrad Laimer — a bold choice. Bayern Munich will have Harry Kane up wop supported by Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane, and Serge Gnabry. Matthijs de Ligt still doesn’t make the starting XI.
Everyone more or less agrees that Bayern Munich is the best team in Germany. When you have a team with star players like Harry Kane, Thomas Müller, Alphonso Davies, Jamal Musiala, and the like — there really is no contest.
However, if you ask which team plays the best football in Germany right now, the answer would probably be Bayer Leverkusen. Xabi Alonso has transformed that team since he took over, shooting up the table and collecting wins like they’re candy. His Leverkusen side play some excellent football, which Julian Nagelsmann found out first hand right before his sacking — back in March, die Werkself registered a shock 2-1 win over a high-flying FCB, which eventually led to the shock departure of Nagelsmann and the chaos that followed.
Thomas Tuchel will be desperate to avoid the same fate. With many of his players only just returned from international break, he had very little time to prepare — but that won’t be an excuse if his team fail to pick up all three points.
It’s Bayern time.
While you’re waiting for the game, why not check out our Weekend Warm-up Podcast? Listen to it below or on Spotify.
Location: Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Time: 8:30 pm local time, 2:30 pm EST
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