The first game of Qatar World Cup 2022 for a Bayern Munich player ended in a positive result as Matthijs de Ligt helped the Netherlands to clinch victory against Senegal in Group A. It was a hard-fought win for the Dutch as Senegal contained Louis Van Gaal’s side for the majority of 90 minutes.
Van Gaal handed a start to de Ligt against Senegal over Jurrien Timber. The opportunity to play 90 minutes against Senegal showed de Ligt’s progress at Bayern over the past couple of months. Timber was one of the first-choice central defenders for Van Gaal in the build-up to the World Cup, but de Ligt’s good form with Die Roten made a strong case for him starting against Senegal.
De Ligt repaid Van Gaal’s faith by delivering a solid performance against Senegal. The 23-year-old defender was tidy on the ball and helped the Dutch team to play higher up the pitch. He struggled in a few individual duels, but overall, Matthijs de Ligt delivered a solid performance in a game where Netherlands ended up keeping a clean sheet.
The former Ajax defender needs game time under his belt in a settled system to achieve consistency in his performances. After a serious injury to Lucas Hernandez in September, de Ligt got the opportunity to play regularly for Die Roten. He grabbed this opportunity with both hands and established himself as one of the key players for Rekordmeister.
Consistent playing time helped de Ligt to deliver quality performances on a regular basis. He will be looking to follow a similar trend with the Dutch national team in the World Cup. The 23-year-old defender will be looking to build on the performance against Senegal.
The Netherlands were staring at a draw, but late goals from Cody Gakpo and Davy Klassen helped them to secure all three points. Van Gaal will be encouraged by the defensive resolve of the team, but he would like to see better efficiency in the final third.
Want your voice heard? Join the Bayern Strikes team!
More Bayern players will be in action on Tuesday as France faces Australia in their first game of the World Cup campaign. Lucas Hernandez, Dayot Upamecano, and Benjamin Pavard are expected to start against Australia, while Kingsley Coman will have a role to play from the bench.
Meanwhile, Die Roten’s big German contingent will start their World Cup campaign on Wednesday against Japan. The spine of the starting XI for Germany will have Bayern players, which may help the team to hit the ground running.