Thursday, April 8th, 2021
Outstanding, tragic and absurd
A crazy horror show by FC Bayern
A crazy horror show by FC Bayern
By Tobias Nordmann
FC Bayern have to worry about defending their title in the Champions League – already in the quarter-finals. In the first leg against Paris St. Germain, it sets a wild home bankruptcy. But that’s not the only hot topic on a strange evening.
It was about Jérôme Boateng. And Manuel Neuer. And about Hansi Flick. And Hasan Salihamidzic. And about Thomas Müller. It was also a bit about Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Joachim Löw. And of course also about the Champions League. This also includes FC Bayern and Paris St. Germain. About Kylian Mbappé and Mauricio Pochettino. Hello? Still there? Okay, everything is a bit too much, but well, that’s how it was on this Wednesday evening in the Munich arena when the German record champions met the billion-dollar troops from France in the quarter-finals. The result, it went 2: 3 (1: 2), was (almost) the most insignificant thing on an evening that ended in a strange gap for Bayern, somewhere between outstandingly good, catastrophically bitter and absurdly funny.
Hello? Still there? Okay, it’s actually a bit much. And requires a high degree of critical observation. Well, the result is pretty stupid. There is so much agreement among everyone who is fond of FC Bayern. And it is not a perceived truth, but one that is well based on facts. The men of coach Flick shot 31 times at the Paris goal without the injured world footballer, goal machine, fable record hunter Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnarby, who tested positive for Corona, only twice did the ball land where it should land. In the web.
The fact that Choupo-Moting scored one of the two goals, the 1: 2, was a nice story, because Choupo-Moting had only moved from the French capital to Munich in the summer. And there in his assigned role as a replacement for Lewandowski so far solid, but rather inconspicuous. The fact that Müller scored the second goal was also a nice thing. At least for the supporters of the eternal comeback saga about the national team.
Löw saw Müller and Draxler
Their chief manager, Joachim Löw, was once again in the stadium and saw what this miller can do: score goals, scurry around, not be deterred by a heavily bleeding wound and initiate a pressing. But he also saw how Müller shot the ball himself in the leg from a good position shortly before the end. Somehow it fit in with this strange evening, on which Löw said by the way that after the last embarrassment with the national team against North Macedonia he had not (yet) thought of an immediate resignation. Well, that was about as surprising as the announcement that he had not (yet) decided whether to take Müller to the farewell European Championship.
This topic is also unanswered for Julian Draxler, who was not allowed to take part in the last meeting of the DFB team for ages. He himself would like to, but let’s see. There are fewer question marks behind Niklas Süle, the prevented defense chief of FC Bayern and the national team. He couldn’t answer against Paris why he absolutely has to. He rather raised the question of whether he really has to be there. When Mbappé conceded the first goal, he was far too passive against passer-by Neymar and was then too far away from the goal scorer.
The mistake would not have stuck very much if Neuer hadn’t let the shot flow through the middle under him. Bitter thing. It was even more bitter at the 2-0 win by Marquhinos. After a cleared action, Süle switched off completely, trotting forward as the last man with his head hanging. Yes, with the head drooping! Neymar pushed the ball back into the danger zone, goal. New ones without a chance. But the question of guilt was already resolved.
That Süle also had to go down injured, as did Leon Goretzka by the way, which in turn annoyed Joshua Kimmich loudly because his team played five minutes outnumbered – such an evening (keyword: Süle) couldn’t be worse. Boateng came for him. According to Uli Hoeneß, he is no longer a man for the DFB-Elf. And according to sports director Hasan Salihamidzic, no longer a man for FC Bayern. What the world already knew thanks to the “kicker” was confirmed by the Bosnian before kick-off. Garnished with the spicy information that Flick was involved in this decision. The fact that he had made a flaming mini-plea for the defender the day before – probably just a communicative misunderstanding. Or a contradiction. And with it new Zoff potential in this relationship, which in the best of cases is just complicated. It’s probably much worse.
“Have to work on efficiency”
Well, Boateng played very well for a long time. As he mostly does under Flick. But that he acted rather stiffly against the supple Mbappé in the decisive 2: 3 and also let himself be tunneled, well. Almost sultry bitter. Also curious: The 22-year-old’s second goal was already the 50th goal in Munich’s 42nd competitive game. Numbers that are usually attributed to FSV Mainz 05 or Arminia Bielefeld. They didn’t want to make it a topic afterwards either.
Müller, for example, then started a hymn-like lament at the top game and usury of opportunities. “We have to score a lot more goals. If it goes 5-3 or 6-3 for us, no one can complain about the chances. Now we’ve put the egg in our own nest.” Flick was a little less categorical: “With the chances we had, we could have achieved a good result despite the three goals we conceded. We have to work on efficiency. You don’t like to lose (Editor’s note: It was his first Defeat (!) In the Champions League at all). But the way the team played football was great. “
“I’m staying” is missing
Yes, Flick and FC Bayern, that’s really a fine sporting relationship. If it weren’t for the constant dissent with Salihamidzic (see above) on transfer policy. According to “Sport Bild” they are supposed to burden the coach so much that he thinks about his future in Munich beyond the summer. How’s it going? “The same every time,” he commented on Sky. “You can always ask me. I’ve said everything about it,” he said. Just no “Yes, I’ll stay.” Incidentally, no one else says that about Flick at Bayern. Lothar Matthäus interprets this as a sign of separation in the summer – well, he knows his way around divorces (sorry). Absurd everything.
Hello? Still there? Okay, everything is a bit too much. But there is one more thing – and that is the one with Pochettino. Apparently he still doesn’t understand how to defend against FC Bayern. Although he did not concede seven goals this time (!) As in this surreal horror show, the 2: 7 defeat on October 1, 2019 in the group stage with Tottenham Hotspur, it was not much more skillful in defensive performance this time either. After all: the horror is the actually outstanding FC Bayern. And the monster task in the second leg next Tuesday. Hello? Still there? Well done now.