Bayern Munich flounder without versatility against Gladbach

Bayern Munich once again conceded poor goals against Borussia Monchengladbach. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images)
Bayern Munich once again conceded poor goals against Borussia Monchengladbach. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images) /

Around the 69th minute, the game in a sluggish lull, Benjamin Pavard gets the ball on the right. He looks around for an outlet in vain. The look of frustration plastered over him on a night that has gotten exhaustively repetitive for Bayern Munich. It was Die Fohlen once again who triumphed over the Rekordmeister, remaining unbeaten against them this season in all competitions.

Hobbled is an understatement, Bayern was without 12 of their core. A make-shift structure hoped to barge through their opposition with relative conviction. Memories of the 5-0 drubbing in the DFB Pokal haunt both teams alike. A humiliating blemish for one, the start of a wretched run of form for the other. Yet, form has never been a factor between the two sides.

What stood out in an otherwise abject result was the sudden turn of events. A comfortable start for the Bavarians saw them take an early lead with Thomas Müller finding Robert Lewandowski. The scintillating turn and finish from the Pole flamed memories of the Ballon D’or snub ever so briefly. Marc Roca marshaled the midfield aptly with Joshua Kimmich drifting further ahead to fuel the press. Marcel Sabitzer on the flanks fit into a new role as the side surged ahead to cement a win, proving a bogey team is but a fallacy.

Just nine minutes later, out of seemingly nothing, a cross, dealt with by no one in the Bayern backline, finds its way to Florian Neuhaus who finishes past Sven Ulreich for the lead. Just four minutes after, a corner is headed in by Stefan Lainer. Just like that, Bayern was trailing. However, It was far from a flash in the pan. The usual Bavarian rally was ambushed by Gladbach’s pressure. Chances seemed to fall for them whilst Bayern faced the reality of the situation.

Bayern is a sum of their parts. Each cog missing takes away from an overarching ability. The reliance on the Müller-Lewandowski duo shone brightly in a game without the added pace of Leroy Sane, Kingsley Coman, and Alphonso Davies. The perennial defensive frailties reared itself again.

Next. Takeaways from narrow defeat against Gladbach. dark

A lackluster side had no aid from the bench and no room for adjustments for Julian Nagelsmann. In the dying minutes of the affair, it was Gladbach with the intent. Bayern had retreated back into their trenches, quiet confidence in their ability when healthy. Yet, in the new dystopian realm of the pandemic, versatility and adjustments are key.

Perhaps a loss to a ‘bogey team’, perhaps a defeat to circumstances more than the opposition. Julian Nagelsmann has a task to rally a historic side from what is rather than what could be. History suggests winners have always found a way, Bayern will soon learn on what side of history they fall.