stats analysis

A hole in Bayern’s tactics against Ingolstadt

Though the 3:1 scoreline suggests otherwise, FC Bayern Munich only survived their opening Wiesn match against FC Ingolstadt. Sustained pressure on Bayern’s makeshift back four gave die Schanzer plenty of opportunity to collect all three points.

Attacking third

The statistic that jumps out the most is the amount of passes Bayern gave up in Ingolstadt’s attacking third. FCI were able to complete 141 to FCB’s 204. Yes, it is still a smaller figure than Bayern’s, but when you look at die Roten’s first two Bundesliga matches for comparison, the differences are striking.

Werder Bremen showed their haplessness in the season opener by only getting 60 attacking third passes in to Munich’s 214. But, on Matchday two, a rather good Schalke 04 were held to just 75– Bayern managed 167– despite bossing the midfield for the entire first half.

passes

Why were Ingolstadt so successful? Two reasons come in to play here, with one compounding the second.

Space

Carlo Ancelotti prefers his defense to stay back more than they have over the last three seasons under Pep Guardiola, but the trainer has yet to solve the conundrum of the space his tactics leave between the back line and the midfield. (If you haven’t listened to our latest Rekordmeister Podcast, do it. Guest Cristian Nyari expounds nicely on the subject.)

You only have to look at the dashboard above to see how this plays out. Ingolstadt’s most effective passing came from exactly that gaping space; able to get their engines running to skip through Bayern’s second problem on the afternoon.

Unfamiliar back four

With David Alaba and Philipp Lahm out with tummy troubles, Jérôme Boateng just making the bench and Mats Hummels a late scratch with a cold, Ancelotti pieced together Rafinha, Joshua Kimmich, Javi Martínez and Juan Bernat to form the Reds’ back line.

It would not be a terrible performance from Martínez, but his centre-back partner seemed to suffer more. Three aerial duels lost around the box, a failed clearance and fouling for a free kick in a dangerous position for Kimmich on the afternoon, as well as being caught out on the break a lot. It makes me think he much prefers his midfield role under Bayern’s new trainer.

Bernat is showing flashes of getting over his sophomore slump, but the star of the back line was certainly Rafinha.

Rafinha

A busy bee pestering Ingolstadt’s left side all afternoon, the Brazilian-German created three chances and capped off his invigorating performance with a lovely curling shot past Orjan Nyland (83′) to seal victory for the home side.

Ribéry

If you are anything like me, you are constantly frustrated by Franck Ribéry’s performances. As his career winds down, the take-ons have, more often than not, become taken-off-the-ball and his play seems strangely forced at times.

Today was no exception.

Ribéry

But, hey! Three assists! Yay!

Lezcano and Leckie

Dario Lezcano’s dashboard may not look like much, but there’s a well-taken goal in there (the first against Manuel Neuer in 602 minutes of play). But, what the graph doesn’t show it where it all started– very deep in Ingolstadt’s side as he scampered past pretty much everyone in a red kit.

Lezcano

Besides that, he was a constant threat to Neuer, making himself a nuisance in and around the box until his substitution late in the second half.

Mathew Leckie was also a burden for Bayern defensively on the day; threatening Neuer’s goal a few times while constantly being involved in any action around the box.

Leckie

One great stat

Though the match can certainly be considered an off day for die Rekordmeister (three points is three points, aye?), there is one bright point. With his sexy chip over Nyland (13′), Robert Lewandowski joins the top 25 Bundesliga scorers of all time with his 126th league goal.

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