Bayern Munich march past Lyon into the UEFA Champions League Final while never getting out of first gear.
When Bayern came out of the halftime break with a two goal advantage, many of us thought they would come out, grab the third goal, and coast to a victory. However, that’s not exactly what we got.
Bayern eventually cruised to a victory in the second half; however, the second forty five minutes made for some dreadful soccer. With Lyon not causing too much danger to Manuel Neuer’s goal, Bayern never had to get out of first gear in the second half, and the third goal eventually came in the 88th minute.
Yes, there is still the Final to play, but what we’re seeing from Hansi Flick’s side is stunning. The Bavarians have moved through the knockout rounds with ease, winning their four matches with a combined scoreline of 18-3. For the third time in a row in Portugal, the match was over at halftime.
While we don’t yet know how this will end on Sunday, Bayern appears to be on the march toward their sixth European Cup. Another triple is in sight.
Fifteen minutes into the second half, the BFW staff had a discussion among ourselves regarding Alphonso Davies’s performance in the game. We all agreed that the eye test was telling us that something was off, but it was difficult to tell whether that was by design or not.
Throughout the first hour, Lyon poured in the attack down the left side, consistently finding Davies out of position. Or did they? While that would be the takeaway from the untrained eye, regular watchers of Bayern know that, under Flick, Davies has been given a free rein along the left hand side. The coaching staff has faith in Davies’s speed to get back when he’s caught too far up the field. Otherwise, as has been displayed for months, Flick has faith in the way the defense plays.
Now, where Davies did have an off day against Lyon was with his touch. On multiple occasions in the first half, Davies had a Lyon defender back-peddling towards his own goal in the penalty area, only to be let down by a heavy touch at the last possible second. Heavy legs? It’s possible.
Bayern’s 3-0 victory over Lyon came in a game where the Bayern attack never really found the right groove. Throughout the match, the front four played the ball blindly into a space where they thought a teammate would be, but the run never continued, or the target player took a different angle.
Against Barcelona, it felt like every touch went right where it needed to go. It was nearly the exact opposite in this game. Despite that, Bayern put three goals on the board and coasted to another victory — their tenth out of ten in this year’s Champions League.
It’s hard to imagine that Flick will make any changes to the attacking front heading into the Final, but the one position that is up for grabs is the left wing — whether Ivan Perisic or Kingsley Coman goes from the start. Perisic has started all three games in Portugal so far; however, the Croatian cannot match Coman’s speed. With the fast-attacking players that Paris Saint-Germain will roll out in a final, Coman’s speed while tracking back could be the difference.
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World news – FI – Three observations from Bayern Munich’s 3-0 win over Lyon