The 2022/23 campaign is unraveling for Bayern Munich as they suffered their third defeat in seven games across all competitions. Two of these three losses ensured that Die Roten was knocked out of the DFB Pokal and Champions League. The latest defeat against Mainz on Saturday made sure that they dropped to second in the Bundesliga table.
Bayern conceded three goals in the space of 15 minutes during the second half on Saturday to suffer a 3-1 defeat against Mainz. It was a complete capitulation from the defending champions, which could cost them the title in the end. Let us look at some of the key takeaways from yet another horrible Bundesliga matchday for Bayern this season.
Bayern lacks intensity in and out of possession
The game against Mainz saw Bayern struggle to maintain intensity in and out of possession. The first half was still better than the second since there was some sort of rhythm in the final third. However, there was a big dip in the intensity during the second half, both in and out of possession.
Mainz showed much more aggression in terms of pressing and defending early in the second half. The perseverance of the home side and lack of intensity from visitors made sure that game flipped on its head between the 65th and 79th minute of the game. Tuchel needs to address this poor intensity from his players ahead of the remaining six league games of the Bundesliga if they want to retain the title.
Thomas Muller’s struggles in front of the goal becoming a concern
Thomas Muller is probably enduring his worst Ruckrunde in a Bayern shirt. The German forward struggled for form in the last few games under Julian Nagelsmann. The arrival of Thomas Tuchel at the end of March has also not galvanised Muller in the final third.
Muller struggled against Mainz in terms of making the right actions in the final third. He missed a big chance and also struggled to create chances for his teammates. It was surprising to see him stay on the pitch until the 75th minute since he was struggling to make an impact higher up the pitch. The German forward’s form in the past three months surely gives a big headache to Bayern ahead of the final phase of the season.
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Sadio Mane scores a much-needed goal
The only positive for Bayern from this game was the performance of Sadio Mane. There has been a lot of speculation about Mane’s future in the past few days. Delivering good performances on the pitch is the only way Mane can shut his critics and convince Bayern that he is back to his best.
The Senegalese forward looked sharp in the final third. His efforts were finally rewarded with a well-taken goal in the 29th minute of the game. Apart from scoring the goal, Mane also created two chances against Mainz. Tuchel and Bayern will hope the goal against Mainz will give Mane much-needed confidence to end the season strongly and helped the team to retain the Bundesliga title. (Stats courtesy: Fotmob)