The Borussia Mönchengladbach He left the Allianz Arena with an impressive victory Friday night, one that could ignite his season.
The coach of the Bayern MunichJulian Nagelsmann called six teenagers to the bench and had another two in his starting lineup as Bayern struggles with nine positive cases of covid among its players.
The ghost of the covid loomed over this match when the Bundesliga returned after its winter.
Gladbach’s sporting director Max Eberl had said on Wednesday that “Bayern want to cancel the match, but ultimately the DFL (German Football League) will decide.”
Bayern Munich: “We had a situation”
The decision to cancel the match never came with the DFL, now led by Donata Hopfen following the departure of Christian Seifert, opting to stick to the Bundesliga protocol on covid cases. In essence, it reads: the show must go on.
So ahead it was, with Bayern Munich facing the team that beat them 5-0 in the German Cup in October. Robert Lewandowski started 2022 as he ended 2021, scoring the first goal after just 18 minutes.
But Florian Neuhaus’s elegant draw and Stefan Lainer’s header added to Bayern’s problems at half-time. Robert Lewandowski hit the crossbar twice, but Bayern couldn’t find a way out: they had been hit again by Gladbach.
“We had a situation, which is known,” Thomas Müller told DAZN. “But we’ve still had a lot of quality in the park.”
While Müller or anyone else at Bayern used the covid as an excuse, Julian Naglesmann struggled to line up a team of his usual quality. With Leroy Sane and Alphonso Davies absent, Bayern were stripped of all their rhythm and with 15 minutes remaining and Bayern chasing the match, Nagelsmann sent 16-year-old Paul Wanner, now the youngest player. Bayern, and Lucas Copado, 17.
Hütter’s game plan fools Bayern again
However, that did not stop Bayern from veering towards defeat in the opening match of the rückrunde. The Gladbach, whose containment tactics worked wonders and is an important feather in Adi Hütter’s hat, passes the middle of the table.
“We have implemented our match plan very, very well,” Gladbach’s Florian Neuhaus told Sat1 broadcaster. “Bayern had a lot of absences, but we didn’t want to let that influence us.”
Neuhaus enjoyed a good evening at the clubhouse that are known fans, but it was Luca Netz’s performance that lit up Gladbach’s performance. His assist for Lainer’s header, the winning goal, further proof that the acquisition of the 19-year-old Hertha Berlin seems cunning.
Stuttgart, Hertha Berlin, RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund are among the teams missing key players for covid this weekend, as the virus rather than soccer continues to threaten to dominate the narrative.
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