It was a disappointing weekend for Bayern Munich as they suffered the first defeat of 2023 against Borussia Monchengladbach. The dismissal of Dayot Upamecano early in the game was a big setback for Die Roten and gave a big advantage to the hosts to clinch a 3-2 victory on Saturday.
The defeat against Monchengladbach has made sure Die Roten’s lead at the top of the points table has vanished. Since Union Berlin also dropped points on Sunday, Bayern held on to the top spot due to a superior goal difference. Let us look at key takeaways from Saturday’s defeat for Bayern Munich.
Alphonso Davies thrives in the wing-back role
The majority of Bayern’s good play in the final third came from the left flank. Alphonso Davies started the game as a wing-back, but he had to play in a hybrid role of full-back and wing-back after the dismissal of Upamecano. Joshua Kimmich often dropped in as third center-back, which allowed Davies to push higher up the pitch.
The Canadian winger caused problems for Gladbach’s defense with his pace and trickery. He delivered a perfect cross to provide the assist for Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. If Julian Nagelsmann keeps playing this formation, Davies will enjoy more freedom in the final third. It will not be a big surprise to see Davies will get more goals and assists in the next three months if he continues to play in the wing-back role.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting continues to improve as number nine
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has a strong case of being the most improved player for Bayern this season. The Cameroon international has become the focal point of the attack. Along with facilitating the play for other forwards, Choupo-Moting is also scoring at a consistent rate for Die Roten.
The game against Monchengladbach also saw Choupo-Moting continue his upward trajectory in performances. The 33-year-old forward showed great awareness in the box to score a brilliant goal in the first half. His hold-up play was also impressive. It was unfortunate that Choupo-Moting was on the losing side, but he should be proud of his performance on Saturday.
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Yann Sommer endures a difficult return to Gladbach
The game against Gladbach was a big one for Yann Sommer since he was returning to Borussia Park for the first time since joining Die Roten in January. The Swiss goalkeeper will be hoping to forget this return sooner rather than later.
Upamecano did commit a poor challenge to get a red card, but Sommer’s hesitance to come off his line for that chance made it difficult for the French defender. The Swiss goalkeeper has the knack of pulling off mindblowing saves consistently over the years, so he will be disappointed with the way goals were conceded on Saturday. Yann Sommer will be eager to put this performance behind him and get back to his best against Union Berlin next weekend.