Bayern Munich stutter against Union Berlin at Allianz Arena

Bayern Munich struggled to create chances against Union Berlin. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
Bayern Munich struggled to create chances against Union Berlin. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images) /

The miserable week for Bayern Munich ended with 1-1 draw against Union Berlin in the Bundesliga. Die Roten got the lead courtesy of a moment of brilliance from Jamal Musiala, but a defense lapse gave Union Berlin a late goal to take one point from the game. Courtesy of this and other results, Die Roten’s lead at the top is cut short to five points.

Hansi Flick numerous changes to the starting XI that featured on Wednesday in the Champions League. The back four was completely changed as Josip Stanisic was handed a debut in defense, while Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez form a central defensive partnership. Bouna Sarr started in the right-back position. Tiago Dantas got his first league start in the midfield, replacing injured Leon Goretzka. Jamal Musiala replaced Leroy Sane in the attack.

Union Berlin made three changes from last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Hertha Berlin. They reverted to back four and Christopher Lenz replaced Nico Schlotterbeck in the defense. The other two changes were Marius Bulter and Keita Endo for Christian Gentner and Julian Ryerson.

The game started quite slowly for the home side, which is fairly understandable due to the number of changes made by Flick. Rekordmeister were missing that cutting edge in the final third. The first genuine attempt for Die Roten came in the 17th minute when Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s shot was saved by Andreas Luthe.

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Musiala was the brightest player on the pitch for Rekordmeister, but the overall gameplay in the final third looked laboured. Meanwhile, Keita Endo was the most dangerous player for the visitors. The home side definitely looked more spent after the midweek defeat against PSG.

After the half-time talk, there was much more impetus in Die Roten in the final third. They kept on dominating the possession and looked more direct while going forward. Leroy Sane created some dangerous chances with his crosses.

The goal eventually came through Bayern’s best player on the mark. After a quick free-kick from the left flank, Muller shows great awareness in the box to set up for Musiala. The teenager sold a dummy to one player and then hammered the ball into the net.

Once Rekordmeister got the goal, Union Berlin woke up. They kept pressing high up the pitch, while the home side didn’t manage to hold the ball in order to kill the game. After a couple of close misses, Union Berlin eventually got the equaliser in the 85th minute. A quick thrown was the undoing of the back four as Marcus Ingvartsen bundled the ball in the net after a square pass by  Robert Andrich.

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Die Roten did try their best to get back in the game, but things were just not clicking for them on Saturday afternoon. Kingsley Coman came off at halftime due to an injury scare in the first half. Flick will be hoping that he gets few players back for Tuesday. The fate of the title race remains in Rekordmeister’s hands, so there is nothing to worry about for Flick after the draw against Union Berlin.

"Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1)NeuerSarr-Boateng-Martinez-StanisicKimmich-DantasComan-Muller-MusialaChoupo-MotingSubstitutes: Nubel, Pavard (↓Boateng (66′)), Sane (↓Coman (46′)), Nianzou (↓Musiala (74′)), Vita, Alaba (↓Choupo-Moting(58′)), Oberlin, Scott (↓Dantas (66′))Union Berlin  (4-2-3-1)LutheTrimmel-Friedrich-Knoche-LenzPromel-AndrichBulter-Kruse-EndoMusaSubstitutes: Karius, Schlotterbeck, Griesbeck, Gentner (↓Endo (80′)), Teuchert (↓Kruse (72′)), Hubner, Ingvartsen (↓Bulter (67′)),  Pohjanpalo (↓Musa (72′)), Ryerson (↓Lenz (67′))"