Frustration, but valuable conclusions
The disappointment was written all over Joshua Kimmich and his teammates’ faces after the 1-1 draw against Borussia Mönchengladbach. There was to be no victory on Saturday evening in front of a 75,000 full house at the Allianz Arena. Clearly, this was not in line with the club’s aim of winning all their matches, so the Munich number six probably spoke for his teammates when he said: "We played well, especially in the first half. We were in control, felt more confident defensively. The performance was almost better than one or two previous games."
Stunner of a day for Sommer
Coach Julian Nagelsmann agreed, and was even more specific: "It was a very good game from us. We really wanted to win and I think it was our best game of the season so far."
The stats that FCB delivered were certainly impressive. The champions finished with 35 attempts on goal, 20 of them on target. In addition, the home team won the corner count 14-1. But there was also Yann Sommer. Gladbach's goalkeeper had a brilliant day and was not only the "best man on the pitch" according to Kimmich. With 19 saves, the Swiss shot-stopper set a new Bundesliga record for a goalkeeper since the start of detailed data collection.
String of chances
"We know it no other way, Sommer has his game of the season against us. But not all of the shots were unstoppable," said Thomas Müller, who, among other things, had to watch Sadio Mané thwarted twice with a double chance against Sommer. The incident in the 62nd minute was symbolic of what was actually a one-sided game. Only Leroy Sané succeeded in overcoming Sommer (83). Before that, Marcus Thuram had finished off a counter-attack to give Gladbach the lead (43).
FCB's excellent football was particularly convincing. There was never any doubt who was in control. Fluid passing moves, sharp sprints and determination led to a dominance that steadily pressed the Foals back into their own penalty area. In the end, even central defender Matthijs de Ligt was called into the attack as a strong header of the ball.
The team was of course cheered on by their enthusiastic fans. Nagelsmann even described the atmosphere as "outstanding". He added: "It's always a synergy. When the atmosphere on the field is good, it spills over to the fans and vice versa. All credit to everyone in and around the club."
So it was not only disappointment that was on Bayern's faces late in the evening. Even though FCB dropped points this time, upcoming opponents will probably not sense a great deal more hope. Müller put it in a nutshell: "We’re looking ahead, now we move to two games a week. We want to continue this good form, and bring joy to ourselves and above all to the spectators."
Reaction to the meeting with Borussia Mönchengladbach: