Bayern against Ajax: Bayern lulls itself

Bayern against Ajax: Bayern lulls itself
  • Bayern have to settle for Ajax in the second group match of the Champions League with a 1: 1.
  • Mats Hummels succeeds, but the Dutch can compensate immediately.

From the stadium of Benedict Warmbrunn

One last time Thomas Müller looked after the ball, once, at least once he had to fly into this damned goal, at least now, since there were only four minutes left to play. Müller saw that the ball flew high, he saw that it could be scarce. Then he saw that the ball flew over the crossbar. Müller landed rudely on his knees and palms, but slowly he straightened up again. He started walking heavily. Then he raised his right thumb upwards.

It was a lonely thumb in the Munich night. Gestures of satisfaction were otherwise unrecognizable at this hour, at least not by the players of Bayern.

The team played 1-1 (1-1) on Tuesday evening in the Champions League against Ajax Amsterdam. It was an evening when not much worked at Bayern, where there was a lack of speed, joke, sometimes even skill. The team had gone as a favorite in this game, she also had numerous opportunities. And yet, in the end, she could be happy that at least that tie had remained.

Bayern had not won two games last week, for the first time in almost a year; through the 1: 1 against Augsburg and the 0: 2 in Berlin, the team had given the standings to Borussia Dortmund. Nonetheless, coach Niko Kovac admonished him to be calm, and he essentially reduced the two winless games to a point of analysis: that his players were missing too many scoring chances, that they were too rarely seeking a direct conclusion. It was an analysis that remains valid after this Tuesday night in the Champions League against Ajax Amsterdam. And that falls too short.

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After just three minutes Bayern had two decent scoring opportunities, both remained unused. After a fine combination, Franck Ribéry hit the outside net (2), while Arjen Robben's long-range shot deflected Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana to the corner (3 '). The corner brought nothing, but a few seconds later Robben struck a cross into the box, on the head of the lonely Mats Hummels, the lead (4th). Three chances, one goal, an acceptable chance.

For just under fifteen minutes, it now looked as if it would be a cozy evening for Bayern. Ajax was in the middle open, the attackers of the guests were risky far ahead, between offensive and defensive gaped a huge gap. And in this pushed the Bayern again and again. The opportunity utilization remained acceptable, which was mainly because there were no opportunities that someone could have used. In the 19th minute, Thomas Müller tried a quick shot, directly to Onana. And somehow this shot was for the general view of FC Bayern on this evening. The team actually played like one who adjusts to a leisurely evening. She was wrong.

The Ajax offensive players, who were so risky ahead, provoked the FCB defenders from the middle of the first half more and more errors. Everywhere were the Ajax attackers. And the Munich defenders in between nowhere. In the 20th minute goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was able to fend off a long-range shot from Hakim Ziyech to the corner. Two minutes later he was beaten nevertheless.

At a pace more akin to a leisurely holiday walk, the entire FCB defense trotted after their opponents and the ball. Nicolás Mazraoui was quicker than Javier Martínez, Jérôme Boateng turned away from the trajectory of the ball beaten by Dusan Tadic, and then Mazraoui ran away from David Alaba. A placed shot, Neuer was a chance.

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It started now the worst minutes of Bayern in the first weeks under Niko Kovac. The team seemed shocked by this balance. Especially the center-back Boateng and Hummels made numerous inaccuracies. Alaba ran one more time after the ball. And the huge gap, which now gaped sometimes in the game of Bayern. The ironic thing was that Kovac's theory still existed.


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