FC Bayern in the Champions League: Hansi Flick’s experiments

E60 minutes had already been played when Hansi Flick tried something that he had never done before. He called Leroy Sané, his striker. They stood on the grass, shoulder to shoulder, the coach talked, gestured, the player listened. And when Sané trotted back onto the field, he no longer took up his familiar position at Bayern in front of the flank, but in the back left: as a full-back.

In the “joker position”, as Flick said afterwards, Sané had “done very well” defensively, he “went with” and “went backwards”. Those were compliments that Flick did not give his € 50 million new signing Sané in the first few months of the season, on the contrary. The defensive negligence in Sané’s game was the main reason why he had to play in the sportingly insignificant Champions League away game against Atlético Madrid – Bayern had already been group winners and round of 16 participants – while most of the regular players signed up for the Bundesliga game against Leipzig on Saturday (6.30 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Champions League and on Sky) were allowed to rest. Sané played through. The game in Madrid ended 1-1. And Flick said: “I am very happy with the result.”

The role change of Sané was namely the most unusual experiment on an evening that Flick used for several unusual experiments. He nominated two 17-year-olds for the starting line-up: Jamal Musiala, who played in the premier class for the first time from the start, and Bright Arrey-Mbi, who wasn’t even allowed to do that in the Bundesliga before. The latter was part of the five-man chain that the coach decided for once and which only conceded one goal (João Félix, 26th minute), before which Arrey-Mbi was outwitted with a simple one-two.

In the course of the game, Flick also switched to Angelo Stiller, 19 years old. “The young players did their job well,” said Flick, “some a little more.” By that he meant the offensive player Musiala, who outsmarted Atlético’s defenders himself with his hooks. Musiala’s dribbling skills shouldn’t come as a surprise to Flick. There were “some findings” for this, which Flick claims to have collected. He only wants to share and analyze this with his coaching team.

Thomas Müller’s driving force should not be one of them. She is known to Flick, in Madrid she was once again not to be overlooked. When Müller came on, the game changed. It was also he who prevented defeat. He took a penalty and converted to 1: 1 (86th).

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Bayern coach “must be careful”: 17-year-old debutante impressed Flick hard

Bayern coach “must be careful”
17-year-old debutante impresses Flick heavily

In order to give his stars a break, Bayern coach Hansi Flick relies on the offspring in the Champions League. And the young players are convincing – especially the 17-year-old Jamal Musiala. Although Munich’s winning streak ended, Flick gained more than just this one insight.

Hansi Flick found it difficult. “I have to be careful,” said the Bayern Munich coach when he was asked about Jamal Musiala after the 1: 1 (0: 1) at Atlético Madrid in the Champions League, after all, the youngster was only 17 years old. Praising a footballer too much at this tender age can backfire. Flick did it anyway. The English junior international was “highly esteemed” among the stars, said Flick and also explained why: “Because he has tremendous calm on the ball, a lot of dribbling and is difficult to stop in one-on-one.” Musiala “has to improve physically, we are working on it. But what can be seen in purely footballing terms, Bayern can be very satisfied.”

Tore: 1: 0 Joao Felix (26th), 1: 1 Thomas Müller (86th, penalty kick)
Madrid:
Oblak – Trippier, Savic, Gimenez (68. Felipe), Hermoso – Saul, Koke – Llorente, Carrasco (87. Lodi) – Correa (80. Herrera), Joao Felix (87. Lemar); Trainer: Simeone.
Munich: Nübel – Süle, Alaba, Hernandez – Sarr (62. Richards), Musiala (76. Stiller), Martinez (62. Thomas Müller), Arrey-Mbi (61. Gnabry) – Leroy Sané, Choupo-Moting, Douglas Costa (86 . Zirkzee); Trainer: Flick.
Referee: Clement Turpin (France)
Spectator: no

Musiala was the better of two 17-year-olds in Bayern’s first draw in the premier class after 15 wins. With the other, professional debutant Bright Arrey-Mbi, Flick showed mercy. The German junior international is a “trained central defender” and had a hard time in the outer position in the five-man chain: “He did the job, we’re happy with that.” Basically, all of his boys would have “done well, some a little more, Jamal for example”, others a little less. Angelo Stiller, 19 years old, who was substituted for Musiala, “distributed the balls well and implemented what we specified”. Chris Richards and Joshua Zirkzee, both 20, also came off the bench.

And so Flick didn’t care one bit about the end of the winning streak in the Champions League. The FC Bayern coach rated the draw with the late penalty from Joker Thomas Müller as a “successful evening” for the defending champions, who had already been group winners. After all, the Munich team had not lost after 15 successes in a row.

Sané has not yet arrived

And Flick had got practically everything he had hoped for on the mild Spanish night before: Before the top game in the Bundesliga against RB Leipzig on Saturday, he was able to spare numerous highly stressed top workers such as goalkeeper Manuel Neuer or goal scorer Robert Lewandowski, but several talents Try it out on the international stage and gain valuable knowledge for the future.

“I’m very happy so far,” said Flick. He was also pleased that there were no more injuries. Atlético took the lead thanks to the young star João Félix, who cost more than 100 million euros. But after the break they deserved, the guests fought for a point with two top performers who had been substituted for an hour. “With Thomas Müller we had a little more dynamic in our game, also through Serge Gnabry”, Flick praised the attackers.

Müller and Gnabry sparked exactly the momentum that Leroy Sané and Douglas Costa did not provide. Sane, who was signed by Manchester City in the summer, lets his class flash again and again, but he cannot bring it in consistently. And so Müller cleverly took out the penalty, which he converted himself. It was his first penalty goal in the Champions League since 2015. “It was a fight, we bit into the game,” said Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who was allowed to act as the striker for the paused Robert Lewandowski – without much effect. It was a big football evening in the empty Atlético stadium for several Munich talents.

“The young players did a good job,” said Flick about the performance of the newcomer Bright Arrey-Mbi and substitutes Angelo Stiller, Joshua Zirkzee and Chris Richards. Musiala, who is already established in the professional squad, was particularly noticeable in the midfield. “I liked Jamal very much,” said Flick: “We saw a lot that makes us happy for the future.” Against Leipzig, however, the top stars will be in demand again.

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FC Bayern Munich wins even though it shouldn’t win


After all, won: FC Bayern with coach Hansi Flick in Stuttgart
Image: EPA

The Munich team is “at the limit”, says coach Hansi Flick. In the crucial moments, however, she bundles her extraordinary skills in individual actions. This is not the “Bayern dud”.

VA few years ago, Scottish striker Andy Gray said a sentence on television that then spread throughout the world of football. In a live broadcast at the time, he spoke about Lionel Messi and put forward the following bold thesis: “On a cold evening at the Britannia Stadium he would have a hard time.” brave because Britannia Stadium is home to Stoke City, a mediocre club from England. Stoke has since been relegated from the Premier League, but whenever a player or team excels, there is someone who asks jokingly: But can they make it on a cold evening in Stoke?

That Saturday evening, Thomas Müller was standing in the stadium in Stuttgart and said to a British reporter: “You have to show it on a windy evening in Stoke. It’s not windy today and Stuttgart is not Stoke, but Stuttgart is a team that has played really well in the past few weeks. ”And because Müller and Bayern Munich won 3-1, Andy Gray should have seen it afterwards : Yes, these Bavarians just do it.

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Frustration after the game against VfB Stuttgart

Leon Goretzka wasn’t even sure how to express himself. His coach Hansi Flick said that tiredness wasn’t an excuse, the national player said after Bayern’s 3-1 win at VfB Stuttgart. The 25-year-old did admit it, but he did it with a smile that couldn’t hide the noticeable exhaustion: “I’m definitely very tired,” admitted Goretzka. Flick took it with a smile: “If Leon says that, you have to leave it that way,” said the 55-year-old. Nevertheless, he will probably not be able to grant his key player the urgently needed break.

For weeks, Bayern have been fighting – mostly successfully – against an extreme game plan and their own fatigue. On Tuesday (9 p.m.) they have to play again in the Champions League at Atlético Madrid. Next Saturday, the leader of the table will receive pursuers RB Leipzig for the top game in the Bundesliga. The multiple exposure is already leaving its mark. Joshua Kimmich and Alphonso Davies were already out injured in Stuttgart, and in the worst case, more players will be added: Jérôme Boateng, Corentin Tolisso, Lucas Hernández and Javi Martínez are all down.

“No beauty award”

Investigations this Sunday should shed light on the nature and severity of her injuries. Nevertheless, Flick didn’t complain in Stuttgart either. His team made unusual mistakes again, yes, but they also won this game against the brave newly promoted team – and also benefited from Dortmund’s surprising 1: 2 mistake against 1. FC Köln. At the moment it is enough for these Bavarians to rely on their individual class when it is needed. They don’t have to and can’t dominate games over 90 minutes, and that’s fine for Flick as long as they win in Stuttgart. Either way, he wouldn’t complain because he doesn’t want to give his players an alibi.

“We all know that we are currently not getting a beauty award. But we deliver results, ”said Flick, who at least admitted that his team was“ just at the limit ”. The Stuttgart team had several opportunities to hurt the record champions, but they failed because of their own nerves. Tanguy Coulibaly (20th minute) shot the hosts in the lead after a mistake by Manuel Neuer when running out. But then Philipp Förster (35./36.) Did not use two excellent opportunities to increase. And the Munich punished that in their very own, ice-cold way.

“You can see that Bayern are weak in terms of personnel, that they have too many games and too little vacation,” said VfB captain Gonzalo Castro. “You are already on your gums.” But the Bavarians are the Bavarians. That is why they turned the game around a few minutes after Förster’s top chances and punished the Swabians for their negligence. Two brilliant moments and a little too much space were enough for Kingsley Coman (38th) and Robert Lewandowski (45th + 1) to make it 2-1 before half-time. In the middle of another Stuttgart urge phase shortly before the final whistle, the substitute Douglas Costa (88th) struck and marked the final score.

“We are currently in a phase in which not everything can be done with a snap of the finger,” said Thomas Müller. But it is enough. The only question is how much longer. But Hansi Flick will certainly not ask this question publicly. Instead, he recommended that his professionals “sleep a lot, relax a lot, eat well” before the game in Madrid. He may also leave some regulars at home because his team is already qualified as group winners for the round of 16 in the premier class. He just won’t complain, because: “Whoever accepts it best has the greatest success. And that’s what we want to be. “

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FC Bayern Munich almost stumbles at VfB Stuttgart

AWhen Manuel Neuer threw himself on the floor, it was already too late. The ball that Stuttgart’s Philipp Förster had shot from five meters at his goal, could not even stop him, which actually stops everything. When Neuer hit the ground, the ball had already slipped past him, flat and fast. That doesn’t happen often at the moment. And yet Förster was not happy.

On Saturday afternoon, a missed shot decided the Bundesliga match between VfB Stuttgart and FC Bayern. If Philipp Förster had shot the ball a few centimeters further to the right in the 35th minute, his Stuttgart would have led 2-0. It is not unlikely that everything would have turned out differently then. Even before that, the Stuttgart had taken Bayern by surprise with their quick attacks. The 1-0 through Tanguy Coulibaly fell like this (20th). The 2-0 would have been almost like that. But so it happened as it had to. In the 38th minute, Kingsley Coman scored the 1-1. In the 45th minute, Robert Lewandowski scored the 2-1. Douglas Costa made it 3-1 in the 87th minute. Typical Bavaria.

Hurdles sprint through the league

In the stadium in Stuttgart a hurdle sprint through the Bundesliga has started for Bayern, which requires some clean jumps until the Christmas break. You will play against Leipzig, Union Berlin, Wolfsburg and Leverkusen one after the other over the next three weeks. A look at the table reveals: These are four of the first six teams. The promoted team from Stuttgart have not yet reached the top, but under the coach Matarazzo Pellegrino they have become an opponent that even Bayern cannot simply jump over. “Stuttgart”, said Hansi Flick before the game, “is a very strong team with fast players. They scored the most goals on the counterattack. ”Flick didn’t just say that. In the past few weeks, it was these fast players that his defense and system were vulnerable to.

Need some proof? Then into the game, 20th minute: As Förster captured the ball on the right side, played it steeply on Silas Wamangituka, who passed it sharply into the penalty area. Goalkeeper Neuer slid across the lawn on his stomach. A few centimeters, then he would have had his fingers on the ball at the crucial moment, as so often in the past few weeks. But he didn’t get him, Coulibaly did – 1-0.

Three crucial scenes followed in three minutes: Förster shot from five meters from the gate and a few scenes later against Neuer’s foot. Then a counterattack by Bayern. On the left side of the box, Coman struck a hook and sank the ball flat in the goal. It was 1: 1, not 2: 0. And even 2: 1 for Munich at the break: Lewandowski, who had already headed the post in the third minute, took the lead from 20 meters. That’s how it is with Bayern.

But that didn’t intimidate the fast Stuttgarters. They attacked bravely in the second half – and had some chances again, especially in the final 20 minutes. Bayern scored the goal again. It was the substitute Costa who decided a game with a full chip shot in which Bayern jumped just high enough.

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Hansi Flick is fed up with mistakes

SHansi Flick would like to save some work for a well-praised goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. After two home games of FC Bayern against Werder Bremen and RB Salzburg with many parades worth seeing by the national soccer goalkeeper, his people in front of the changeable Leroy Sané should fix the unnecessary mistakes this Saturday (3.30 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Bundesliga and Sky). “In tennis they say unforced error. We have to improve that, ”said Flick emphatically on Friday.

In the front, the Munich team acted very efficiently in the 3: 1 and the round of 16 entry into Europe’s premier football league, backwards, like against Werder (1: 1), there were some vulnerabilities. The appearances of national player Sané were somewhat emblematic. The 24-year-old demonstrated his exceptional ability not only with his goal against Austria’s champions. Ball losses and hesitant defensive behavior were added to the back of the game.

“Like many other players, he had a few unnecessary ball losses against Salzburg and then didn’t quite follow up in one-on-one,” Flick said. “There are reasons for it, we talked about that. He’ll try to do better in the next few games. “

Ball losses, lack of concentration

The wing star, committed for around 50 million euros, is 100 percent fit again after a four-week forced break due to a capsule injury in his right knee, according to Flick. But he still lacks the rhythm. In the end there was only one wild card role for the national player.

“When it comes into play, there is an increase in dynamism. He’s always good for a goal, that’s what sets him apart, ”explained Flick. But after a long injury – Sané was out for a long time due to a cruciate ligament rupture – a player needs time. “He gets it,” assured the Bayern coach. Sané works well in training.

Sané is just one example of Bayern losing the ball. In full weeks, Flick understands that the concentration is not always 100 percent. “We’ll win the games, that’s crucial,” he said. “We have to get a grip on the few things that we don’t do well.” The top of the table should be defended, the record champions don’t want to leave any further points after the draw against Bremen.

World champion Corentin Tolisso can help again in midfield. The Frenchman is back after muscular problems. Former VfB professional Benjamin Pavard, who was replaced against Salzburg with an ankle joint, is also on the squad. “I hope he’s even more motivated and can get his performance,” said Flick.

As he plans with two other defenders, Flick did not reveal the day before the game. The 18-year-old newcomer Tanguy Nianzou, who has been slowed down by an injury for a long time, could get his first minutes of play, and national player Niklas Süle could return to the squad. “Niklas has uncanny qualities,” said Flick. “He has to exhaust his potential, for that he needs the necessary fitness.”

His defense colleague Jérôme Boateng shows it. “He played a big part in the success of last season, and we know what we have in him,” said board member Oliver Kahn and this week hinted at the possibility of an extension of the contract that expired in the summer. Flick would certainly not mind: “We are all glad that Jérôme made this development.”

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Hansi Flick to Niklas Süle before the Champions League

DHansi Flick’s worries couldn’t be seen. But the Munich success coach has to answer a few tricky personnel questions from the defending champion before he can advance into the knockout round with FC Bayern with the next win in the record series. “It is absolutely our goal that we make the round of 16 perfect,” said Flick. When asked about personal options in view of five failures against RB Salzburg, Flick smiled and shook his head. He does not want to “play with the open hand”.

The back four and the defensive midfield as success factors from the triple season must be reformed on Wednesday (9:00 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Champions League and on Sky) against the Austrians, who were defeated 6-2 in the first leg despite some defensive vulnerabilities. Apart from leader Joshua Kimmich and the longer injured Alphonso Davies, Bouna Sarr and Corentin Tolisso are absent due to muscular problems. According to Flick, Niklas Süle, who played in the national team in the 6-0 draw against Spain, is still too far behind in training. “Niklas has amazing qualities, and we need them when he is 100 percent fit,” said Flick.

At least there was hope for a use by Lucas Hernández, who had committed a record purchase of 80 million euros in the previous year. The defender was replaced in the 1-1 draw against Bremen on Saturday due to a bruised pelvis. In view of eight games in 25 days, Flick cannot take any risks with the staff castling. He doesn’t have to, because the situation is comfortable after three wins in three premier class games. In addition to a win of their own, a draw could be enough for a quick place in the round of 16 if Moscow doesn’t win at Atlético Madrid.

“We would like to pick up on this”

“That is our goal, we want to win and thus qualify. We have a strong series in the Champions League, so of course we want to build on ”, explained Leon Goretzka, whose role without the painfully missing Kimmich at headquarters is even more important than it is anyway. “We claim to be able to absorb that.”

During the final training session in hazy Munich, Goretzka already moved into the spotlight when he got ear flicks from his colleagues for a mistake in the warm-up game. The national player, who stood out against Ukraine, wants to shine again in Europe after the 6-0 debacle against Spain. “We want to perform,” said the 25-year-old. The German internationals wanted to make up for something against Bremen. It didn’t work out yet.


Has to solve one or the other personnel problem: Bayern coach Hansi Flick
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Image: dpa

It remains open who Flick offers besides Goretzka. Javi Martínez is a candidate for both central defense and defensive midfield. U21 European champion Marc Roca has not played a role there as a new addition. “We will solve that,” assured Flick, looking at the position of the missing Kimmich.

Flick announced that they wanted to fill the positions in defense and headquarters “creatively”. Maybe that offers a surprising chance for Chris Richards (20), who was already in the starting line-up against Hertha BSC in the Bundesliga. “We have to make the best of it, that’s our job,” said Flick before the duel against Austria’s champions with U21 national player Mergim Berisha.

It is astonishing that Süle was part of the national team, but is not fit enough for Bavaria. Süle, who only returned in the summer after a cruciate ligament rupture, last had to pause because of a positive corona test. There was also talk of knee problems in the meantime. A return in the Munich ensemble could take place on Saturday in the Bundesliga against VfB Stuttgart.

The defensive giant and attacker Robert Lewandowski presented himself in a good mood when kicking loose in front of the unit. A Lewandowski goal against Salzburg would not only be helpful for the continuation of Bayern’s record series of 14 premier class victories in a row. With his 71st goal in this competition, the Pole would also move into the top three behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi – and draw level with Real Madrid legend Raúl González.

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Trouble after unexpected loss of points against Bremen

Dhe linesman raised the flag, but Joshua Sargent and Ludwig Augustinsson didn’t notice. The two Bremer stood in the penalty area and watched the ball, which was surprisingly not in the Munich goal, but rolled out next to the post. Could it be? No goal? Then the referee whistled. Sargent and Augustinsson looked at the linesman. Offside. Phew, lucky for you. Wouldn’t have counted anyway.

If Sargent or Augustinsson had scored in the 16th minute, probably nothing would have happened, but it’s still worth taking a closer look at the scene. In a Bundesliga game with few sporting highlights, she was the outlier. That wasn’t because of Sargent or Augustinsson, but because of Manuel Neuer. The first thing he did was parry Sargent’s imprecise shot from three meters with his foot. Second, Augustinsson’s precise rotary shot from eleven meters by hand. A maximum of three seconds passed in between. And so the Bremen trainer Florian Kohfeldt said later: “You have an outstanding goalkeeper, he did it world class.”

It usually doesn’t mean anything good for FC Bayern Munich when Manuel Neuer, their goalkeeper, sets the climax of the game. But mostly it doesn’t mean anything bad either. This is a luxury that only Bayern have in world football. On good days, they even tear apart Atlético’s defensive artists. On bad days they always have new ones.

They had such a bad day in their own stadium on Saturday afternoon. They played 1: 1 against Werder Bremen. Maximilian Eggestein scored for Bremen in the 45th minute. Kingsley Coman scored for Munich in the 62nd minute. And if you take all the trimmings into account, from a Munich perspective you almost had to say: at least one point. In the 87th minute, for example, Sargent could have scored the 2-1. But that’s how it is when you approach Neuer: It often stays with the subjunctive. “Manu has proven his class,” said Hansi Flick, his trainer. One could formulate that more briskly.

Thomas Tuchel did that in August. When his Parisians failed in the final of the Champions League to Neuer, he said of his performance: “It’s a bit of a competitive distortion.” With the 1-1 draw, Munich still has a point ahead of Dortmund. And actually this point is pretty good for what distinguishes the two best German soccer teams at the moment: Some have new ones – and the others just don’t have it.

Wrong rotation selected: Hansi Flick


Wrong rotation selected: Hansi Flick
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Image: dpa

It is particularly helpful in this part of the season that Neuer has his back on his coach week after week. He has to solve other problems. In midfield, for example. Joshua Kimmich will be absent there for the rest of the year. Corentin Tolisso (muscular problems) was also unable to play on Saturday. And because Flick also wanted to spare Leon Goretzka, he put good old Javi Martínez in front of the defense and a little further up, for the first time from the beginning, 17-year-old Jamal Musiala.

It only took 17 minutes before a new problem appeared. Left-back Lucas Hernández landed his pelvis on the floor. He couldn’t go on playing. Flick had to move against his will. He sent his chief defender David Alaba to the left and Martínez to the center of the defense. After that, game control was lost.

That was also due to the Bremen match plan. They attacked aggressively in the space between the defense and midfield, which especially overwhelmed Musiala. Robert Lewandowski also found it difficult. “The few moments we created weren’t that dangerous,” said Flick. Nothing changed when he replaced the German national team. Goretzka (for Hernández) in the first half. In the second half Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sané. They were under special observation because of the events in Seville.

In any case, the 0: 6 later attracted more attention than the 1: 1. At the latest when Thomas Müller came to the Sky interview. He should say something about Seville, which he then did. “That hurts,” he said, and when asked weekly what it looks like if he, Hummels and Boateng returned to the national team, he only replied: “As I said, none of us resigned.” the Bundesliga Saturday in Munich had reached its new high point.

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