Bayern Munich: Julian Nagelsmann pleased with defensive improvement

Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann pleased with defensive improvement. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)
Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann pleased with defensive improvement. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images) /

The last few weeks have been fruitful for Bayern Munich, both in terms of performances and results. After enduring a winless run of four league games in September, Julian Nagelsmann has managed to get the team back on track in the Bundesliga.

Die Roten currently sits second in the Bundesliga, a point behind leaders Union Berlin. The Bavarian club booked a place in the third round of DFB Pokal after beating Augsburg last week. Rekordmeister has also managed to seal the top spot in the Group C of the Champions League by winning all of their five group games.

The positive results in all three competitions have come on the back of an unbeaten run of eight games since the end of the first international break of the season. Die Roten won seven out of these eight games, dropping points only against Borussia Dortmund in the final minute of the game.

There has been significant improvement across the pitch for Die Roten during this unbeaten run. The most notable improvement has been in the defense since Bayern has managed to keep five clean sheets in eight games across all competitions. While talking to the media on Friday (via iMiaSanMia), Nagelsmann had a lot of praise for the team’s successful efforts to improve defense.

"“The guys are doing exceptionally well. We made a big step against Barcelona. It’s also a learning process for me. I’m also rather nervous when the opponent is in our half. We showed against Barcelona that we can also suffer at times and be patient.”"

Die Roten struggled to keep clean sheets in the second half of last season. They were facing similar problems in September when teams were getting a lot of chances on the counter. However, there has been significant improvement in the past four weeks as Die Roten is conceding very few chances.

In terms of counter-pressing, Bayern can win the ball quickly to disrupt the attacking moves of the opposition. The performance against Barcelona on Wednesday highlighted Die Roten’s willingness to defend on the front foot and give the opposition very little time on the ball. The Spanish side failed to create many clear-cut opportunities on Wednesday due to the solid defensive structure of Die Roten.

Bayern now needs to make sure that the current run of performances is not an anomaly. They need to be consistent defensively and collect as many clean sheets as possible. A strong defense will make sure Die Roten will go deep in the cup competitions and retain the Bundesliga title. They have enough firepower in the final third, so it is crucial to shut the shop at the back and provide an ideal platform for attacking players.

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The next test for Die Roten will be at home as they host Mainz on Saturday. The defending Bundesliga champions have the chance of making it three league clean sheets in a row if they keep Mainz quiet on matchday 12.