Bayern Munich faced FC Augsburg on Saturday afternoon away from home in a Bavarian derby.
Three Bundesliga points were at stake. The hosts could have used them to get more breathing room between themselves and the drop zone. Their visitors, on the other hand, wanted to increase their lead at the top of the table.
While not accomplishing that, due to the RB Leipzig’s result vs Darmstadt 98, Bayern did win 3-1, thus at least keeping themselves in the lead.
Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben were the match winners, with the Polish international getting two goals and an assist, while the Dutchman scored one himself and assisted on the other two.
Lewandowski and Robben scored in that order, each a minute on either side of the twentieth minute mark. The former added a third at the start of the second half to end the game as a contest, before Ja-Cheol Koo made it 3-1, half way through the second half.
If/when the teams ranked below Augsburg, namely Hamburger SV and FC Ingolstadt start collecting serious points, Augsburg may find it difficult to avoid the drop this season.
Regardless whether one thinks that Leipzig can hurt Bayern Munich all season, the fact remains that the team from Saxony is breathing down the champions’ necks for now.
Despite the league leaders’ dominance of the match, there is truth in the saying that a two-goal lead is the most dangerous lead in soccer. That is why Lewandowski’s rounding of the Augsburg keeper to make it 3-0 was vital, particularly so early in the second half.
(The move starts just under 35 seconds into the video.)
Man of the Match:
With two goals and one assist, Lewandowski just barely edged out his team mate Robben for the award. The end of the world-class striker’s scoreless streak is also good for the team as a whole.
Key Stats: According to the website of the sports magazine “Kicker”, Bayern had 75% possession and had 16 shots on goal to Augsburg’s seven.
In short, that means that the visitors forced their hosts to constantly chase the ball, thus controlling the game completely and having deserved to win by a higher margin.
Talking Points:FC Augsburg is still adjusting to life under coach Dirk Schuster. The award-winning former Darmstadt boss has not yet given his new team an identity and if they are unlucky, they will be a relegation candidate.
That said, this game was a bonus, rather than a must-win. Besides, they did not fall apart after the third Bayern goal, as many others might have done.
From Carlo Ancelotti’s point of view, the recent victories validate his tactics. However, as soon as the results do not go the way of Bayern Munich, his 4-3-3 formation will be criticized. It does not emphasize the team’s strengths and it forces local hero Thomas Müller either to play out of position, or not at all.
The coach must understand this, the sooner the better!