Bayern Munich continued their unbeaten run in the Bundesliga on Friday with a narrow 1-0 win against FC Koln. The Bavarian club is yet to suffer a defeat in the league this season. Courtesy of a solitary goal from Harry Kane in the 20th minute, Bayern temporarily moved to the top spot of the points table.
The scoreline against Koln may suggest that the game was a tight affair, but it wasn’t the case on the pitch. Die Roten thoroughly dominated the game and barely gave the home side any sniff throughout the 90 minutes. It was quite uncharacteristic of this team to show a lack of efficiency in the final third to squander chances that would have led to an emphatic scoreline.
Considering the awful scheduling of the game, Bayern players did well to get all three points with a convincing display. Thomas Tuchel was pleased with the way his players performed and kept a clean sheet away from home.
The German coach stuck to the players who started the game to see out the entire 90 minutes to get all three points against FC Koln. He became the first Bayern coach since Louis Van Gaal to not make a single substitute in a Bundesliga game. While talking to DAZN after the game (via iMiaSanMia), Tuchel revealed reasons to not make a single substitute against FC Koln.
"“It was a bit unfortunate. It was not because I don’t trust my players on the bench, but because we were doing so well in the game. We controlled it very well. Choupo was a good fit with Harry, he was still trying to win the headers towards the end. I didn’t want to disturb the rhythm. This doesn’t normally happen, so I apologized to the boys (on the bench). They all should keep the spirit and not hold it against me.”"
Tuchel’s explanation for not making substitutes is completely fine, but he needs to make sure that he uses the entire squad in the coming weeks to manage the workload of players. He was vocal about the poor schedule of games on Thursday. While the tactical aspect of the decision is justified, he needs to make sure that such a scenario is an anomaly.
The two remaining Champions League games are a free hit since Die Roten have already secured the top spot in the group. He should give other players game time against FC Copenhagen and Manchester United to ensure there is a good environment in the squad, and Die Roten also avoids injuries due to fatigue.
The home game against FC Copenhagen on Wednesday could see several changes in the starting XI. Thomas Muller should get the opportunity to start in the number ten role, while Alphonso Davies may return to the starting XI. There could be experimental changes in central defense since Kim Min-jae and Dayot Upamecano are the only fit center-backs in the squad.
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Meanwhile, Jamal Musiala is close to making a return to first-team action. The youngster has taken part in first-team training after spending the last three weeks recovering from a hamstring injury. Raphael Guerreiro is also likely to be part of the squad on Wednesday, while Matthijs de Ligt is hopeful about playing the last game of Hinrunde.