FC Bayern

Bayern “well equipped for all competitions”


Just three days after an energy-sapping Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain and progress to the quarter-finals, Bayern faced another big game against fellow Bavarians Augsburg on Saturday. However, a team effort from Julian Nagelsmann’s men meant they were able to overcome that challenge, thanks in particular to the fresh legs FCB were able to bring into the game. The coach made five changes to his starting XI, but there was no change in the level of quality.

Praise for new guys

FC Bayern
Bayern’s players celebrated as one with the fans after the 5-3 win over Augsburg.

“We definitely need to highlight the guys who started today but hadn’t always started in recent weeks,” Joshua Kimmich summarised. As well as Serge Gnabry, Benjamin Pavard, Joao Cancelo and Leroy Sane, Sadio Mane also came into the team for his first start since injuring his leg in November. “We generally have a very strong bench, which is a feature of a big club like Bayern. We’re very pleased we’ve got such good players,” the Senegal international said after the game of this high-quality squad. His assist to put Bayern 2-1 up was also further argument for him to start again in the coming weeks.

Pavard shines with two goals

Benjamin Pavard, FC Bayern, Augsburg
Benjamin Pavard bagged the first brace of his senior career against Augsburg.

The same goes for Pavard, who continued his recent good form after being forced to miss the PSG game through suspension. The Frenchman made his 150th competitive appearance for Bayern in the Augsburg game and impressed at both ends of the pitch. His second and third Bundesliga goals of the season – his first career brace – saw Bayern put a stuttering start behind them to turn the game around.

As well as derby spoils, the 2018 World Cup winner also earned a place in history as only the second Bayern centre-back, after Daniel Van Buyten in 2011, to score twice in a game for the club this millennium. That fact saw him promptly honoured by his international teammate Dayot Upamecano, who nicknamed him “Pavarinho”.

Cancelo gets first Bayern goal

João Cancelo
Joao Cancelo got the first goal of his Bayern career in the win against Augsburg.

It wasn’t just the French players celebrating for Bayern. January signing Cancelo was also excellent against Augsburg and made his mark with his first competitive goal and fourth assist in FCB colours. It was the 28-year-old Portugal international who got the Bundesliga leaders back on level terms with his finish in the 15th minute, while he posed a constant threat down the right flank.

Goal and assist for Sane

Leroy Sané, FC Bayern
Leroy Sane made his mark on the Bavarian derby with a goal and an assist.

It was the fresh legs who impressed most for Bayern, in particular Sane, who added creativity and fluidity to the attack. After providing the assist for the equaliser, the forward then helped put the win out of sight in the first half with his seventh goal of the Bundesliga campaign. Gnabry was equally busy in the attacking third, although he was unable to add to his goal against PSG during the week.

Mazraoui returns

Noussair Mazraoui, FC Bayern
Noussair Mazraoui returned to action against Augsburg following a heart problem.

It showed that no matter who Nagelsmann choses to field, they have to perform. And the coach in fact has more options than ever right now, with full-back Noussair Mazraoui also back in the fold after making his comeback from a heart issue late in the game. It means Bayern have a squad blessed with strength in depth ahead of a critical phase of the season, which will hopefully yield yet more success. “We were able to make great substitutions, have a big squad and are well equipped for all competitions,” stressed goalkeeper Yann Sommer ahead of the challenges to come on three fronts.

Reaction to the win over Augsburg: