Bayern Munich resumed Bundesliga action on Friday with a convincing 4-0 win against Bayer Leverkusen. It was a crucial win since Bayern needed to arrest the recent slump in the league. The Bavarian club had dropped points in draws against Union Berlin, Borussia Monchengladbach, and Union Berlin. Augsburg piled further misery on Die Roten by winning the Bavarian derby just before the international break.
Julian Nagelsmann was pleased with Die Roten’s performance against Leverkusen. The home side dominated from the word go and showed great efficiency in both boxes. The defending German champions now need to maintain this level of performance and go on a run across all competitions.
Along with collective improvement against Leverkusen, there were several positive individual performances for Bayern on Friday. Sadio Mane ended the mini-goal drought by scoring a fine goal to triple Die Roten’s lead against Leverkusen. It was Mane’s first goal since finding the back of the net against Bochum at the end of August.
The goalless run of five games caused a lot of criticism of Mane in the past few weeks. Hasan Salihamidzic publicly backed him to come good in the long run once he gets through the adaptation period. While talking to Sky Sports, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp also backed Mane to excel in Bavaria as he did for him at Merseyside.
"“Sadio will do that. He always does. Not every week, nobody does that. But in extremely high frequency. Sadio will perform because he’s world class.”"
Sadio Mane started the season on fire for Bayern. The 30-year-old striker managed to score in each of his first four competitive games. Along with the form of the team, Mane’s form also dipped after the win against Bochum on August 21.
The Senegalese forward was moved to the left flank by Julian Nagelsmann during the goalless run. Things were not working for Mane in this position until Friday. He scored the goal against Leverkusen after coming inside from the left flank. The goal did improve Mane’s confidence as his overall play in the final third was neat against Leverkusen.
In the long run, Mane’s best position for Bayern is likely to be the number nine role. He excelled in this position for Klopp at Liverpool last season. His finishing and movement make him a great asset in this position. Moreover, Sadio Mane also has great holdup play that helps him to bring other forwards into play.
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The Bavarian faithful will be hoping to see Mane go on a goalscoring run after his good performance against Leverkusen. The Senegalese forward is yet to open his account in the Champions League for Bayern. He will be hoping to change that stat when Bayern host Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday.