The Bundesliga campaign resumed on Friday for the final stretch of the Hinrunde. Bayern Munich travelled to Cologne on Friday evening as they looked to extend their unbeaten run in the Bundesliga. Harry Kane scored the solitary goal in the narrow 1-0 win to ensure Die Roten regained the top spot in the points table.
Thomas Tuchel had to tweak his best starting XI since some players returned late from the international break. Noussair Mazraoui started in the left-back position, while Konrad Laimer slotted on the right side of the back four. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting was preferred over Thomas Muller in the number ten position since he provides more physicality and height on set pieces.
Bayern showed no signs of rustiness as they were on the front foot from the word go. Kane created the first chance of the game with a neat pass for Choupo-Moting. The Cameroon international couldn’t keep the shot on the target from an acute angle. Leroy Sane had a big chance to open the scoring a couple of minutes later, but his hesitancy to take the shot made it an easy save for Marwin Schwabe.
Die Roten kept on dominating the possession, giving no breathing space to the home side. Kane eventually opened the scoring in the 20th minute. After a brilliant counter-attack executed by Sane and Coman, Choupo-Moting unleashed a shot on target. While the Cameroonian’s shot was cleared off the line, Kane was in the right place in the box to score from the rebound.
Bayern created two more good chances before Koln finally had a substantial chance in the 30th minute. The general theme of the first half was Die Roten creating chances at will but uncharacteristically showing inefficiency in the final third to put the game beyond the hosts.
The second half of the game was a dull affair for the large periods. Both teams were cautious during the first 25 minutes of the game. It was understandable to see Die Roten not maintaining the first-half intensity since players didn’t have enough recovery time from their last international game earlier this week. Thomas Tuchel had raised concerns about the scheduling of games since it has jeopardized the welfare of players.
Die Roten had to dig deep and make sure FC Koln got limited opportunities to get back in the game. They dominated the possession and limited Koln to just one shot on target in the entire game. The visitors had the chance to double the lead in the 79th minute as Kingsley Coman’s header from close range hit the woodwork.
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Bayern showed great defensive solidity throughout the game to clinch all three points. There has been a lot of attacking excellence shown by the team this season, but Friday’s win was the sweetest since they managed to hold on to a narrow win with ease. A lot of grit and determination was shown by the team, which is not a surprise since Hoeness recently admitted that there is unity building between Tuchel and the players.