Bayern Munich paid price for familiar mistakes against Augsburg

Bayern Munich committed similar mistakes on Friday against Augsburg that also took place in previous poor results this season. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images)
Bayern Munich committed similar mistakes on Friday against Augsburg that also took place in previous poor results this season. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images) /

Bayern win… Usually. Not the most head-turning statement, albeit a bit too candid. Yet it isn’t untrue; Die Roten possesses a certain air of confidence, steeped in its storied history. The Meisterschale has been raised by the Bavarians for nine seasons in a row as they currently sit atop the mountain in their bid for the tenth. By all accounts, Bayern are winners.

Now, Off goes the crown. The lay of the land for Rekordmeister strikes a tinge of fear into the hearts of those who believe the above notion. The 2-1 loss against Augsburg on Friday amounted to a bunch of well, nothing. Defensive frailties are scarily seeping into Die Roten’s identity this season as both goals conceded were a result of the acres of space on the flanks. Iago’s crosses caused havoc as Mads Pederson and Andre Hahn converted in the first half. The Bavarian club’s showing on the other end of the pitch, however, was a significantly deeper letdown.

The usual flair presented itself just once in the first half, a moment of sheer brilliance from Thomas Muller to tee up Robert Lewandowski’s sole goal on the night. The rest was a series of drab attempts at progressive play, unfortunate miscues, and overall, a poor rendition of Bayern itself.

At halftime, there was no controversy regarding the score, Die Roten were rightfully on the losing end of the game. For the first time, prospects of a comeback weren’t as conclusive. A backline of Benjamin Pavard, Dayot Upamecano, and Lucas Hernandez found themselves stifled by Augsburg, stunting their fluidity.

A pivotal moment of the night came as Jamal Musiala and Alphonso Davies came on for a rather innocuous Marcel Sabitzer and Omar Richards. There was an instant shift in energy. Musiala and Davies almost liberated the side. There was pressure on Augsburg again. Chances piled on, increasing in the danger they brought. The historical confidence among the Bavarian faithful was rejuvenated, quite directly due to the impact of the substitutes.

The final few minutes saw Augsburg grip onto the lead as Bayern huffed and puffed in vain. Bayern fell victim to their identity. A night where the side missed the presence of one Joshua Kimmich, an integral part in the general functioning of the side. When Bayern can’t play like Bayern, the winning ways take over, regardless of its success at that moment. Die Roten fell into a rut, unable to claw out of their state of predictability in the front, and chaos at the back. The side adorned with the elites of the sport could not work around the fact that on the night, Augsburg had their number.

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Perhaps Davies and Musiala benefitted from coming off the bench, not necessarily a part of the monotony on a night where the gold standard stood rigid.

Augsburg rightfully take the plaudits, yet for Bayern, the experience came with a blueprint, one their opponents had figured their way out of. Clear signs that showed a Bayern side married to methodical chaos. It’s now on the players to recognize life beyond the routine.