Bayern Munich extended their gap at the top of the Bundesliga to nine points as they overcame a dogged Eintracht Frankfurt side 1-0 at Deutsche Bank Park.
In the first half, Eintracht sat in a compact shape to try to hit Bayern on the counter attack, while Bayern saw more of the ball. Both sides created some key clear-cut chances, but neither could capitalise on them in the first period.
The start of the second-half was more of a one-sided affair, as Bayern made the most of Frankfurt sitting deep by dominating the ball and creating chances in the final third of the pitch.
Julian Nagelsmann’s decision to turn to the bench proved to make the difference, as within minutes of coming on, Leroy Sane grabbed the winner for his side with twenty minutes left on the clock.
Sane, who was deployed as a forward for the final portion of the game, was played in with a brilliant through ball by Joshua Kimmich from midfield, before finishing well into the bottom corner beyond Kevin Trapp to condemn Eintracht Frankfurt to their third consecutive Bundesliga defeat.
Tactical changes do the trick for Bayern. Despite Frankfurt’s poor form in the lead up to this game, it was never going to be a walk in the park for Bayern Munich, as they had lost their last two games to Die Adler in the Bundesliga.
Julian Nagelsmann soon realised that something was not working tactically as his 4-5-1 system came up against Frankfurt’s 3-4-1-2 shape, which saw the home side try and break frequently on the counter attack. The Bayern coach matched them up formation-wise within the first half-an-hour, and it worked well.
It provided more defensive solidity, and saw overloads be created in the forward areas with Kingsley Coman and Benjamin Pavard operating as attacking wing-backs.
Despite creating many chances in the second half, the goal could not come, and it was only after Nagelsmann shuffled the pack to bring on Leroy Sane in the 71st minute that his side would eventually get on the scoresheet.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich). The 27-year-old midfielder was the best player on the park this afternoon, and proved why he has to be one of the first names on the Bayern teamsheet.
Kimmich was everywhere – a true box-to-box performance. At one end of the field, he was putting his body on the line to stop shots, and at the other, he had two efforts on target, with one of them almost resulting in an outstanding volleyed goal.
However, despite not getting on the scoresheet, the midfielder provided the key assist for Leroy Sane’s winning goal with a superb through ball. In total, Kimmich had a pass success rate of 91%, made five key passes, made three successful dribbles, and also won one tackle and made one key interception. A colossal performance.
Eintracht Frankfurt: Trapp 8, Tuta 6, Hinteregger 6, Ndicka 6, Costa 6, Hrustic 6, Sow 6, Lenz 6, Knauff 6, Kostic 6, Lindstrom 6. Subs: Hauge 6, Lammers 6, Kamada 6, Borre 5.
FC Bayern: Ulreich 6, Hernandez 7, Sule 7, Upamecano, Coman 7, Sabitzer 7, Kimmich 9, Pavard 7, Musiala 6, Gnabry 7, Lewandowksi 7. Subs: Roca 3, Sane 7, Choupo-Moting 6.
6’ – WHAT A MISS! – A massive chance for Eintracht goes begging! Frankfurt counter, with Lindstrom leading the charge. He is played in by Kostic, before the Dane plays the give-and-go back to his teammate in the box, but the Serbian’s effort is very poor from inside the area and he taps it wide when it looked easier to score!
39’ – DOUBLE SAVE! – Brave goalkeeping from Kevin Trapp! Kimmich gets the ball on the volley after chesting it down on the edge of the area, before hitting it well towards the bottom corner, but Trapp saves! Coman gets to the rebound and tries to hit it into the bottom corner, but it catches the Frankfurt goalkeeper flush in the face and he goes down.
58’ – EINTRACHT HANGING IN THERE! – Another big chance for Bayern! Big save from Trapp to deny Lewandowski! Some nice one-touch play sees Gnabry cleverly dink the ball into the path of the Pole, who makes a clever run before hitting the ball on the turn inside the box but the Frankfurt goalkeeper stands tall to deny him!
71’ – GOAL! (Leroy Sane) – What an impact from Sane, a tactical masterstroke by Julian Nagelsmann! Musiala plays the ball forward for Kimmich after a great forward run on the turn. The midfielder then plays a sublime through ball for Sane, and the substitute beats Trapp from inside the area as he strokes the ball into the bottom corner!