Hamburg defended fiercely and gave Bayern a run for their money today. Die Roten had a difficult time against a tight unit and René Adler’s saves.
Forget the days of beating Hamburg by 6+ goal margins. Even if Bruno Labbadia’s men started the season disastrously, they turned out a fantastic defensive display today. Some individual performances stood out particularly, on both sides.
So, let us delve into the numbers.
HSV hold tight
You could be inclined to think that the narrow result was solely René Adler’s responsibility. Indeed, HSV’s keeper performed fantastically. He produced no less than five key saves, from very different situations. They included free kicks, point-blank headers and low shots. However, Hamburg did well as a unit in defence.
For instance, they tackled successfully 22 out of 30 times:
They also managed to intercept the ball consistently from Bayern, who constantly used long balls to switch play.
So while Adler carried the team on his shoulder for large portions of the game, the defenders did not falter either. They even stood by Adler’s side to clear the ball when needed. 23 out of 24 of those were successful.
Naturally, HSV’s resilient defending took its toll on Bayern’s attacking fluidity. Die Roten‘s take-ons were not a successful resource in picking the Labbadia wall apart.
Lots of orange stars there. Those hardly mean anything good for Bayern.
Joshua Kimmich played tremendously well on the day. Aside from scoring the winning goal, he was key in building play from the middle. He also executed some important tackles. Even if a couple resulted in tactical fouls, he did well in containing some of HSV’s counterattacking pretensions.
Opta also provided a few interesting numbers on Kimmich’s game:
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) 24 September 2016
Kimmich tackled the ball four times and intercepted two passes. He also created a chance with a backward ball and took a few shots. When you finally factor in the fact that he scored the winner in the nick of time, you understand he deserved the MVP label.
Thiago’s anchoring job
Number 6 also turned in a decent display. He aptly distributed the ball, as ever. He created a couple of chances, not the least of which was the pass to Franck Ribéry that set up the goal.
However, there was some added value to Thiago’s performance today. In a game where HSV pushed Bayern’s defence more than usual, the Spaniard stepped in to help contain the Northerners’ momentum. Just look at the dashboard.
Alcântara cleared the ball once, tackled three times with success and intercepted four passes. He also won two aerial duels. The interesting bit is that he did all of this in multiple areas of the pitch. He swung from one side to the other aiding Renato Sanches and Kimmich, dazzling HSV a little in the process. Ace.
As I said, the days of routing HSV look gone. So does Bruno Labbadia. Fortunately for Bayern, the game yielded a late win, which keeps Ancelotti’s perfect record so far in the Bundesliga intact. The rotation might have been a bit much, but then the midweek game is on a whole other level of difficulty.
I will take the win, and also Adler’s fantastic performance.