Bayern drew against an inspired Eintracht Frankfurt side because the team failed to play to the best of their ability. Can the numbers help us make sense of this horror show?
Before I dissect the stats from this less-than-satisfactory performance, can I rant a little? Is that okay? Great, thank you.
Many fans blasted this performance as the confirmation that Bayern are doomed to fail this year. These people promote a Donald Trump-style apocalyptic view of the team’s display. They think that, after less than 15 games, the writing is on the stone for Carlo Ancelotti.
Calm the eff down, people. Bayern play 50+ games in a season. We can all panic if we are fifth in the league in January and out of the other two competitions.
Can I go on now? [Editor’s note: we’ll let you for now.]
Frankfurt went the hard way in their defensive setup. They wanted to prevent Bayern from assembling in the attacking third. The plan was to mark passing lanes. Indeed, the plan worked well. As a result, Frankfurt suffered less than most in their own half. Ball interceptions occurred mostly in the middle third.
Not only did Frankfurt intercept the ball consistently, they did it in better places. Only three of a total of 18 interceptions came in their defensive third.
As a result, Frankfurt stood a better chance to trouble Bayern. Winning the ball higher upfield than usual means there is less work to do. Because of all of this, Niko Kovać’s men were able to produce plenty of chances.
Notice how two chances were created from the middle third directly.
Now, this presented a direct impact in Bayern’s own defensive scheme. Their interceptions dashboard speaks volumes.
Look at the amount of times Bayern intercepted in their own half. Four of them even happened inside the box. Another four were made near the edge of the box.
All of the above came as a result of Frankfurt’s midfield disruption scheme. Suffice to say, it worked.
Failed delivery, again
It has become worryingly common to see Bayern underperform with crosses. The team offered a crossing horror show today, again.
Four. FOUR crosses out of 14 (!) attempts were successful. Absolutely woeful.
Still not accurate enough
So, how about the shooting? Bayern did create a few chances.
Admittedly, Lukas Hradecky produced three really good saves. But still, five shots on target do not seem enough if so many others were off the target. Much of it has to do with the clarity of the chances, but Bayern have good enough players to make a difference there.
This is one of those times when I feel that stats alone cannot tell the story of a game. What is more: they cannot tell the story of a string of three underwhelming games. Bayern have lots to do in order to improve their performance. This, paired with a thorough tactical analysis is the only way to make sense of what has happened.
I am not happy.