After a dismal performance against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, Bayern Munich got back to winning ways on Tuesday against Manchester United in the Champions League. The Bavarian club clinched a 1-0 win away at Old Trafford to round off their group stage with 16 points from six games.
Bayern finished first in the group courtesy of being unbeaten across six games. Thomas Tuchel was pleased with the way his players bounced back from the drubbing against Frankfurt. Let us look at the key takeaways for Die Roten from the Champions League game at the Theatre of Dreams.
Center-backs step up after scrutiny to deliver complete performance
Bayern were defensively awful against Frankfurt on Saturday. They struggled to win duels and lacked pace to keep up with forwards. The center-back pairing of Kim Min-jae and Dayot Upamecano looked tired, as they have been starting several games on the bounce due to Matthijs de Ligt’s injury. After being criticised for their performances at Frankfurt, both defenders bounced back emphatically on Tuesday.
Upamecano and Kim Min-jae made sure Rasmus Hojlund was kept quiet for 90 minutes. They dominated the Danish striker and gave him little time and space to get shots on the goal. Both defenders won majority of their duels and showed great accuracy whenever they were playing out from the back. It was a complete performance from the defensive duo on Tuesday, suggesting that the game away at Frankfurt was just an aberration.
Harry Kane makes the attack tick at Old Trafford
Harry Kane has not found the back of the net in the last three games for Bayern. For such an efficient striker, this can be called a mini-drought. Despite not finding the back of the net on Tuesday, Kane delivered a quality performance.
The English forward was dropping deep to make things happen for Die Roten. He created two big chances at Old Trafford and completed 24 of 33 passes he attempted. Kane was making the attack functional against Manchester United by taking up good positions and playing dangerous passes. It was quite fitting that the winning goal was created by Kane as he cleverly slid the ball for Kingsley Coman. (Stats courtesy: Fotmob)
Win away at Old Trafford can become springboard for a winning run
Bayern failed to get wins on their last trips to Old Trafford. Even though the current United side is not doing well, winning at the Theatre of Dreams is a good boost for Tuchel’s men. They have managed to bounce back from a poor result at one of the difficult grounds in Europe.
The record Bundesliga champions have to make sure that Tuesday’s win acts as a springboard for a long unbeaten run across all competitions. Bayern have to be near perfect in the Bundesliga, considering the way Bayer Leverkusen are performing under Xabi Alonso. After last season’s disappointment in the Champions League knockout stage, the Bavarian faithful will expect better from Tuchel and the team this season. Tuchel’s men have set the standards for intensity on Tuesday. It is now up to them to make sure that those standards don’t slip if they want to win the two trophies.