Bayern Munich outclassed Augsburg as they overcame their Bavarian neighbours with a 5-3 victory. Mergim Berisha, who scored the winning goal against Bayern earlier on in the season, would open the scoring after just two minutes. Augsburg’s leading scorer flicked the ball over Joao Cancelo and swivelled past the Portuguese international to fire past Yann Sommer.
However, their joy would be short-lived. Four goals before half-time would leave Enrico Maaßen wishing for the final whistle. Augsburg would win the second half 2-1, but it was not enough as Bayern return to the top of the table to apply pressure on Borussia Dortmund.
The change in Bayern Munich’s system could be the difference maker
Since Julian Nagelsmann decided to alter the formation of his side to accompany wing-backs into his system, Bayern have flourished. Some growing pains are expected and conceding three soft goals to Augsburg highlights this. However, they have shown more impetus in the final third. With a side that is significantly attacking heavy – especially after the injury to Noussair Mazraoui – the change has seen these attacking players find their feet.
Within this game alone, Alphonso Davies was able to display his natural attacking instincts, while still offering an important hand defensively. His goal, assisted by Cancelo, emphasised how fruitful this change could be with both wingbacks linking up to score a wonderful goal. On top of this Leroy Sane, Sadio Mane and Jamal Musiala looked dangerous every time they received the ball in the final third. This was all without Kingsley Coman, who has proved his importance to the side at right wingback since making this spot his own with six-goal contributions in his last six appearances.
Augsburg could sleepwalk into a relegation battle
For a visiting side having to face Bayern at the Allianz Arena can be considered 90 minutes of damage limitation. Especially as Augsburg only had a 7% win probability before kick-off, the lowest in the Bundesliga so far this season. Therefore, they would have been forgiven for setting up shop at the Allianz Arena to play out for a draw. When they took the lead after just two minutes a first away victory against the Rekordmeister since 2015 looked on the cards.
However, they capitulated magnificently. Despite the bright start, the visitors were rolled over with too much ease. The game had gone beyond their reach after half an hour and the thoughts of damage limitation would have certainly crept into Maaßen’s mind. The two goals in the second half may be a positive sign, however, a better side would have capitalised on the poor defensive display by Bayern. With Bochum, Hertha Berlin and Stuttgart earning points so far this matchday, Augsburg will be looking over their shoulder. They do face Schalke at home before the international break – Augsburg have won their last four home matches – in what could prove to be defining in their season.
Bayern Munich need to be smart in the summer
This win against Augsburg proved how clinical Bayern can be in the attack, however, it has also questioned some potential defensive frailties. With Benjamin Pavard seemingly on his way out of the club in the Summer, a void does appear on the right-hand side of the back three. Josip Stanisic proved his quality against PSG in the Champions League, but his game time has been few and far between. Cancelo stepped into the frame for Coman and performed like the player that was expected when he signed on deadline day. However, Bayern have already confirmed they will not be exercising their option to buy.
Another position where rotation may be a problem for the upcoming season. When Serge Gnabry was substituted after 70 minutes one would be forgiven for thinking if he had even been on the pitch. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting will clearly be the second in common next season which would leave one to question the need for Gnabry in this team. Whether it be outgoings or incomings, Bayern will have a busy Summer and this game has shone some light on who may leave and who needs to come in.
GGFN | Will Shopland