Four observations from Bayern Munich, 5-2 win over SV Darmstadt

Bayern Munich continued their rise in terms of performances and results with a quick and exciting victory against Darmstadt. In a highly entertaining display, Bayern extended their run of good performances and picked up where they left off after last week’s crushing victory over Mainz. Here are the observations from the match:

Consistency is key

Consistency is a word that hasn’t been used to describe Bayern Munich since the first season under Hansi Flick. Whether it’s the starting XI, team tactics or performance on the pitch, Bayern Munich have always lacked that certain ability that defined them for many years. Ironically, just after confirming his third coaching departure in as many years, Bayern appear to be slowly finding just that. The starting XI appears to be consolidating and as a result the performances have improved considerably compared to the usual confusion that reigned on the pitch. This team is finally entertaining to watch again.

Defensive woes continue

A far cry from the abysmal performance of a month ago, there still appears to be plenty of room for improvement defensively, which remains a cause for concern. Thomas Tuchel rightly kept the duo of Matthijs de Ligt and Eric Dier as starters, but there was a sense of unease every time Darmstadt attacked the goal. With immense efficiency, Darmstadt, bottom of the Bundesliga standings, managed to score two goals and pose a great threat throughout the match. Further improvements in this regard are absolutely necessary, as tougher opponents in the field Champions League won’t be as forgiving, destroying any hopes of progressing further in the tournament.

The decline of Sané

“He must keep his promises tomorrow,” Thomas Tuchel said of Sané before the match. Deliver; he did not do it. Far from his world record start to the season, Leroy Sané continues to deteriorate in a team that surpasses him. Of his eight goals and eleven assists this season, only three of those assists and no goals have come in 2024. The will is there; he stayed out, keeping warm and practicing with the ball during the break instead of going to the locker room, but unfortunately the performances were not. While Mathys Tel and Serge Gnabry managed to score after their entry, Sané quickly lost ground against the other wingers on the sidelines. It’s unclear if the cause is pain or a mental problem, but hopefully Sané will be able to pull through and be world-class soon.

The future is now

Jamal Musiala and Aleksandar Pavlović ran the show today. Aged 21 and 19 respectively, young people are no longer just the new generation; this is the current one. Pavlović managed to bring much-needed stability and vitality to a stagnant midfield. His bulldozing run into the Darmstadt box helped magnificently to set up Musiala’s opening goal. This would only be the beginning of Magic Musiala, which culminated with the third goal of the match, during which Musiala channeled his inner Lionel Messi to elegantly dribble past the entire Darmstadt defense before scoring. It was just the icing on the cake of a world-class playing performance from him. The two contributed to three of the game’s five goals. Additionally, Mathys Tel scored another goal during his 25-minute appearance, to keep his goal contribution rate at an uncanny level per 75 minutes. The future is now, and it’s bright!

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