FC Bayern celebrate the friendly win against Monaco

Confidence boost after big step forward

Read article contents
Increase size

The sun occasionally shone through on what was basically a rainy Monday at Sportpark Unterhaching and, appropriately enough, FC Bayern provided one or two highlights in the final friendly against AS Monaco ahead of the competitive start to the 2023/24 season. The 4-2 (3-1) against the French side from Ligue 1 provides an additional confidence boost before the DFL Supercup against RB Leipzig on Saturday.

The team is visibly finding its feet, coach Thomas Tuchel's system is filtering through. "Overall, it was a good friendly with a good result, but there's still work to do. We have to keep up the tempo," declared the boss.

What the perfect attacking game could look like in the new season, for example, was clear to see right from the start. First, secure possession. Then look for a gap, and when one appears, send fast players like Serge Gnabry or Kingsley Coman into the opponents' danger zone.

Musiala already in form

Gnabry twice had early chances to put the Reds ahead against the team coached by ex-Bundesliga coach Adi Hütter, but just missed. It still looked impressive though.

What was also striking once again was what an exceptional player we have in our team in Jamal Musiala. He really whetted the appetite for 2023/24. The 20-year-old is definitely already in great form. Whenever he was on the ball, the game was dynamic. He dribbled smoothly, was instrumental in Konrad Laimer's equaliser (31') with a one-two, and the youngster scored the 2-1 himself after a beautiful solo run. "I didn't have many other options when I scored the goal and I'm glad it went in," was how Musiala summed it up.

Jamal Musiala scores in the friendly against Monaco

Looking at pre-season, he observed: "We've taken some big steps. In general, we're on the right track. We're in good shape and had some good games to get into our rhythm."

Lovely atmosphere in the smart Sportpark

It's quite possible that Musiala's show of skill was also the reason why the 10,872 fans in the smart sold-out stadium started a Mexican wave in the 35th minute. It's the summer holidays in Bavaria right now, so many young fans were there, clearly enjoying the atmosphere.

"It was fun in to play in front of the crowd, with our fans behind us. We still have some potential, but we've improved from game to game," stressed keeper Sven Ulreich.

Laimer gets his own reward

New signing Konrad Laimer also showed why he's a valuable addition to the squad. His tenacity as Leon Goretzka's partner in central midfield was good. The link up play with Goretzka worked. If one of them moved up, the other one provided cover and vice versa. Laimer often made himself available, popped up everywhere and was sought out by his teammates. Until his substitution in the 72nd minute, the Austrian was one of the most conspicuous Bayern players. His goal, scored by really charging forward with the ball, was symptomatic of his ambition.

"There were a lot of good things in there, but also some things we have to improve on," was how Laimer summed up the team's performance, adding: "We had phases here and there where our concentration wasn't that high, we made one or two mistakes too easily. We know what we do well, but also what we don't do so well."

Konrad Laimer in the friendly against Monaco

Minjae Kim, who started the game in central defence, also made some good contributions. He issued commands and was composed in his build-up play. Apart from one complete lapse in concentration, which probably annoyed him the most, and which resulted in the 1-0 for Monaco by Takumi Minamino, his performance was a commanding one.

New arrivals settling in well

The new arrivals are adapting well, the transitioning game is working and, on top of that, fresh impetus came courtesy of the bench in the second half.

Leroy Sané invigorated the attack, running the Monaco defence ragged, and  it was only a matter of time before he scored. Too often he'd simply pop up in a good position.

Ultimately, the victory against Monaco was never in danger, which most certainly will have increased the sense of confidence throughout the Bayern team ahead of the DFL Supercup. It's the most important realisation of Monday in Unterhaching. "The nice thing is that we're scoring a lot of goals, it's a good step forward. We're optimistic, we've had a good pre-season," said Matthijs de Ligt.

On Saturday (20:45 CEST) we host DFB Cup winners RB Leipzig at the Allianz Arena to compete for the first trophy of the season.

Pack ma’s!

All the reaction to the game against Monaco:

Related news