Bayern Munich finally clinched their first win of 2023 in their fourth attempt. After suffering three consecutive draws in the Bundesliga, Bayern registered victory against Mainz on Wednesday in the round of 16 of the DFB Pokal. It was an emphatic win as they scored four goals away at Mainz.
Julian Nagelsmann will be pleased with the way his team delivered a cohesive performance on Wednesday. Apart from the result on Thursday, there were several positives from the victory at Mainz. Let us look at the key takeaways from a promising performance from Die Roten.
Three at the back may suit the personnel of the squad
Nagelsmann decided to make a change in the system against Mainz. Benjamin Pavard, Dayot Upamecano, and Matthijs de Ligt were part of a back three, while Joao Cancelo and Kingsley Coman played in the wing-back positions. The use of wing-backs did help in stretching the opposition as Cancelo and Coman provided the width. Both players were also efficient with their crossing and passing in the final third.
The use of wing-backs also allowed Thomas Muller and Leroy Sane to operate in central areas. Both players thrive in this part of the final third. The change in system definitely provided more impetus in the final third, and Rekordmeister also looked defensively solid.
Considering the quality of full-backs/wing-backs Bayern has at their disposal, using a back three consistently can be a good move for Die Roten. Daley Blind is also familiar with this system, so he can provide depth in the center-back position. The German coach may use this system regularly in the next few months since the current squad has the right personnel for it to work.
Key men back in form
Jamal Musiala was very ecstatic after scoring his first goal of 2023 on Wednesday. The German youngster had a quiet start to the year, considering his phenomenal success in Hinrunde. However, he looked very bright against Eintracht Frankfurt. He built on that performance with an even better display against Mainz. The youngster will be looking to maintain this consistency in the coming weeks as big games are approaching in all competitions.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Thomas Muller were also at their best against Mainz. The former got a goal and assist, while the latter provided the assist for the second goal. Getting these three players back in form bodes well for Bayern ahead of a hectic schedule.
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First glimpse of what Joao Cancelo will add to the team
Joao Cancelo was part of the starting lineup straightaway after completing a surprise move to Bayern on Monday. The Portuguese full-back has initially arrived on loan until the end of the season, with Die Roten having an option to sign him permanently in the summer.
Cancelo showed glimpses of his brilliance against Mainz. It took him very little time to make an impact in the game as he provided the assist for Choupo-Moting’s goal. The Portuguese international provided a cutting edge in the final third. His passing was crisp whenever Die Roten was playing out from the back. The Bavarian faithful will be pleased with Cancelo’s debut. They will be hoping to see more Cancelo brilliance in the coming months.