Courtesy of a solid October and November, Bayern Munich will be ending the year at the top of the points table in the Bundesliga. Die Roten went six points clear at the top of the Bundesliga after clinching a comfortable 2-0 win against Schalke on Saturday. Serge Gnabry and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting were the goalscorers in Bayern’s dominating performance against Schalke.
Julian Nagelsmann went with a very attacking lineup against Schalke as Leon Goretzka operated as the lone defensive midfielder in a 4-1-4-1 formation. Joshua Kimmich started in the right-back position, while Jamal Musiala was often dropping in the central midfield during the game.
It was a fiery start to the game as both teams tried to play on the front foot in the final third. However, both teams struggled to create clear-cut chances. Serge Gnabry had a great opportunity to open the scoring when he was unmarked in the box for a cross from the left flank. The German forward failed to place his header in the top corner.
Die Roten was dominating possession, but Schalke was able to stop the visitors from creating chances. The Bavarian club was recycling possession without breakthrough from open play. Choupo-Moting came close to scoring from a set-piece in the 33rd minute. Kimmich’s pin-point delivery and Choupo-Moting’s smart run at the near post created this opportunity. The Cameroon forward’s clever header was pushed onto the post by Alexander Schwolow.
The breakthrough for Bayern finally came late in the first half after a neat link-up play between Gnabry and Musiala in the box. The German forward played a clever pass into Musiala. The youngster backheeled the ball in Gnabry’s path. The 27-year-old winger calmly slotted the ball past Schwolow.
Schalke did create a few chances before half-time, but Bayern managed to keep them at bay and defend the lead. The second half saw Schalke starting well. However, the home side’s hopes of getting back in the game were killed by a sweeping counter-attack by Die Roten in the 52nd minute.
Musiala was once again at the heart of the move that led to a goal for Bayern. The youngster carried the ball after Die Roten successfully defended a free-kick. Musiala played a perfect pass to Choupo-Moting in the box, and the veteran striker did the rest to double Bayern’s lead.
Schalke huffed and puffed for the rest of the game, but Bayern took the sting out of the game and saw out the result. Musiala had a wonderful goal disallowed since he was straying offside in the buildup of the goal. Gnabry also had a golden opportunity to double his tally in the game, but Schwolow made a great save to deny him.
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Bayern saw out the remaining half comfortably and ended Hinrunde in the best possible way. Nagelsmann will be pleased with the way his players have responded after a disappointing September. The German coach now has time to assess the first half of the season to prepare well for Ruckrunde.