Nagelsmann: "If we always play like this, we’re one of the favorites"

Bayern’s well-deserved victory in Barcelona provided two insights. Julian Nagelsmann also discovered a small flaw.

Satisfied with the performance of his Bayern: Julian Nagelsmann.

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Frank Linkesch reports from Barcelona

8: 2 like 13 months ago it didn’t work out in the end, but in the 3-0 victory on Tuesday evening, FC Bayern dominated FC Barcelona at Camp Nou for much of the game at will. Coach Julian Nagelsmann analyzed with satisfaction: “If we always play like this and develop further, we are one of the favorites.” At least the path towards group victory was taken by his team with a concentrated effort right from the start.

The proud Catalan club only held against it in the opening quarter of an hour without, however, coming dangerously in front of Manuel Neuer’s goal. The national goalkeeper did not have to parry a shot on goal in 90 minutes. Unimaginable just recently at Camp Nou, when world stars like Lionel Messi regularly tore their opponents to pieces. On Tuesday evening, Bayern’s 3-0 win brought two insights: This Barca is no longer one of the top teams in Europe, but FC Bayern should remain in this elite group under Julian Nagelsmann.

The job title is defense attorney.

Nagelsmann on Süle and Co.

In order to permanently meet this requirement, you need a strong defense. “We defended very passionately and very well and had very good control in the second half,” praised the coach. Dayot Upamecano and Niklas Süle cleared everything away in the defense center, and substitute Lucas Hernandez also fitted in well. “The job title is defender. First of all, the players have to be willing to do everything they can to avoid getting a goal,” said Nagelsmann. At the latest in the knockout phase, Bayern’s defense should be challenged more, but the trend points to more stability in front of their own goal than last season.

The downside for Nagelsmann was the fact “that we didn’t have enough clear chances in the first half”. Here a too inaccurate last pass, there the wrong decision about the penalty area. And still a break, because Thomas Müller scored his 49th goal in this competition with a deflected shot – eighth place in the all-time ranking, one goal ahead of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Andriy Shevchenko. In third place, Robert Lewandowski got a cushion of four goals on Karim Benzema after the break with his brace. Jamal Musiala and Serge Gnabry both hit the post, the Pole hit on the second attempt.

Bayern’s substitutes were full of energy

Stable at the back, efficient at the front: a good, promising mix with which the German record champions set off on their journey home. The performance curve points upwards, which is also ensured by healthy competition. Currently, only one injured professional is missing with Corentin Tolisso, in Barcelona Nagelsmann was able to improve quality from the bench with Hernandez, Gnabry, Kingsley Coman and Marcel Sabitzer. The substitutes were full of energy and had to show that they want to start. Nagelsmann’s counterpart Ronald Koeman could only look enviously at his colleague, his alternatives were 17 or 18 years old or, like the ex-Munich-born Philippe Coutinho, made their comeback after seven months of injury.

There were times when FC Bayern returned from Barcelona disillusioned, in 2009 after a 4-0 defeat, and 3-0 in 2015. Currently, the Catalans, who are in debt with 1.35 billion euros, are no longer an equal competitor in the Champions League. Examination passed, but tougher competition will follow.

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