Bayern Munich 5-0 Viktoria Plzen: Initial reactions and observations
• Bayern Munich won the game at a canter. The second half was much less intense than the first, mainly owing to the subs and the fact that Plzen seemed dead on their feet. Overall a solid win, even though a few more goals were probably on the table.
• Sadio Mane playing the full 90 minutes is a surprise. What does this mean for his participation against Dortmund? Is Nagelsmann planning some rotation?
• Three points here puts Bayern in the drivers seat to top the group and qualify. If they can get the job done in the return leg, then qualification to the Ro16 will be all but assured.
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86’ — We have a pitch invader! He’s not naked.
57’ — Subs: Mathys Tel is finally on for Leroy Sane.
45’ — Subs: Josip Stanisic and Choupo-Moting comes on for Alphonso Davies and Jamal Musiala.
• Bayern Munich really should be leading by more goals. Jamal Musiala’s goal which was ruled out for offside normally would’ve stood, the automated offside tech needs to be adjusted to allow some slack.
• Sadio Mane has been offside multiple times today, which is a sign of a good game from him.
• Plzen are getting steamrolled. We need to see Mathys Tel in the second half.
36’ — Jamal Musiala scores, but Sadio Mane was ruled offside in the buildup by VAR.
20’ — GOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Sadio Mane makes it 3-0! This is brutal.
12’ — GOOOOOOOAL! Bayern scythes through Plzen and Gnabry makes it 2-0!
7’ — GOOOOOAL! Leroy Sane links up with Musiala and slots it past the keeper with a beautiful shot. Excellent goal.
One hour until kickoff: We have lineups! Disappointingly, Julian Nagelsmann has chosen not to field Mathys Tel in this game, although Ryan Gravenberch gets his Champions League debut for Bayern Munich. Nagelsmann will need to be more accommodating of youngsters if he wants to last in this job.
Bayern Munich are still unbeaten in this year’s edition of the UEFA Champions League, and Julian Nagelsmann would probably like to keep it that way. Having already bested FC Barcelona and Inter Milan, you’d think that these two games vs Viktoria Plzen would be rather straightforward for the Bavarians.
The thing is, Bayern have to face Borussia Dortmund later this week, and Nagelsmann needs to balance results vs the health and well being of his squad. In a World Cup year rotation will be key, and he’s already lost Thomas Muller and Joshua Kimmich to an unexpected Covid outbreak. So it won’t be a full-strength Bayern who host Plzen at the Allianz Arena today, and they’ll know it.
Viktoria Plzen are winless in their first two games in this competition so far, but they’ll look at Bayern’s recent form in the Bundesliga and see that they have a chance. Julian Nagelsmann is also under pressure to give minutes to youngsters such as Ryan Gravenberch and Mathys Tel, or risk more unrest and discontentment in the squad. All these factors turn an otherwise straightforward tie into a complicated affair. We’ll see how the team copes.
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