Bayern Munich: Key takeaways from 5-2 win against Darmstadt

Key takeaways from matchday 26 of the Bundesliga as Bayern Munich came from behind to clinch a convincing win against Darmstadt.

Bayern Munich players celebrating fifth goal against Darmstadt.
Bayern Munich players celebrating fifth goal against Darmstadt. / Alex Grimm/GettyImages
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Ahead of the international break, Bayern Munich continued the good run of form with a 5-2 win away at Darmstadt. Despite a quiet start to the game, which saw Bayern concede a goal, the visitors eventually put together an impressive attacking performance to return from the Merck-Stadion am Bollenfalltor with all three points. Let us now look at key takeaways from this match.

Jamal Musiala extends good run of form

Jamal Musiala completed 90 dominant minutes against Darmstadt. He was undeniably the man of the match. It was mainly due to the individual brilliance of Musiala that Bayern were spared blushes against Darmstadt.

Musiala's perfect left-footed strike in the 35th minute helped Bayern to draw level. He was initially deployed on the left side of the attack in Bayern’s customary 4-2-3-1 formation. The German attacking midfielder displayed great range and flexibility while playing on the left flank. As the game progressed, he took up different positions in the attack, causing problems for Darmstadt's defense. In the second half, such was the case when he popped up on the right side and slalomed his way past the hapless Darmstadt defense to score his second goal and Bayern’s third on the night.

The German attacking midfielder's play-making ability also came to the fore when he set up Serge Gnabry for Bayern’s fourth goal, with a perfect pass after cutting in from the left. He came close to scoring his first Bundesliga hat trick a few minutes later when the framework of the goal deflected his shot. It was a complete performance from Musiala in the final third.

 Aleksandar Pavlovic continues to expand his repertoire

The combination of Aleksandar Pavlovic and Leon Goretzka in the midfield continues to thrive and trend in the right direction.  The previous weekend Goretzka dominated proceedings in midfield with a near-perfect performance in an 8-1 thrashing of Mainz.

On Saturday, it was the turn of the 19-year-old Pavlovic to dominate in midfield, until he was forced off due to injury at the hour mark. When Bayern conceded the opening goal in the 28th minute Pavlovic was visibly not shy about expressing his dissatisfaction. Eight minutes later he took on the Darmstadt defense with a powerful and skillful run down the inside-left channel to set up Bayern’s equalizer. The attacking facet of his game is a welcome sight ahead of the Champions League clash with an Arsenal team that transitions quickly from defense to attack and vice versa.

Bayern may have to break center-back pairing of Dier and De Ligt

After conceding the game’s first goal, Die Roten eventually won by a comfortable 5-2 margin. However, Bayern conceded too many goal-scoring opportunities in the first half. Manuel Neuer had to be at his best to limit Darmstadt to just one goal before the half-time interval.

Against such inferior opposition the defense needed to be better. With full-backs Joshua Kimmich and Raphael Guerreiro looking to get forward at every opportunity, Matthijs de ligt and Eric Dier needed to do a better job in defense. It shouldn’t be surprising if Kim Min-jae gets reinstated into the starting lineup after the international break.

Something has to change with Leroy Sane

For reasons unknown, Leroy Sane continues to struggle for form during Ruckrunde. Since Bayern’s top brass decided to part ways with coach Thomas Tuchel at the end of the current season, Bayern’s attacking players, except Sane, have collectively returned to form. In 70 minutes of action against Darmstadt, Sane failed to register a shot on target and was dispossessed 13 times. His pass accuracy was 79% (27/34) and he struggled to make inroads into the opposition’s defense (Stats courtesy: Sofascore).

Sane has to turn things around without further delay. Bayern will hope Sane gets back to his best after the international break to help them end the season on a strong note.

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Injuries strike again

Unfortunately for Bayern, Aleksandar Pavlovic, Raphael Guerreiro, and Harry Kane all had their nights cut short on Saturday due to injury.  Kane will link up with England this week, but it remains to be seen if he will be fit to play for the national team. Similarly, Pavlovic, who has been called up to the German national team, has been given the green light, following his minor head injury, in the hopes of making his international debut during the international break. Guerreiro was not so lucky and will miss a few weeks with a muscle strain. Hopefully, the Portuguese international can make a full recovery between now and the end of the international break.