stats analysis

Bayern’s misfiring explains a lacklustre display

Bayern crashed into Köln in yet another lacklustre attacking display. The team struggled to keep shots between the posts despite creating plenty of chances.

I never thought I would be thankful for an international break, but here I am. Bayern’s week ended in a bittersweet note. After losing to Atlético, the team looked to bounce back and continue its perfect Bundesliga start. It turned out to be a frustrating affair.

So, what did the numbers throw?

Proper buildup

Bayern dominated proceedings throughout the first half and most of the second. The players intelligently handled changes in possession. This resulted in a flurry of interceptions and (mostly) successful tackles:

FCB tackles
9 out of 13 tackles were successful.
FCB interceptions
A total of 14 interceptions. Four in Köln’s own half.

The only noteworthy blemish in Bayern’s oppression scheme came in the aerial duels. Die Roten managed to win less than 50% of those. The action in both halves and both phases of play was dominated by Köln.

FCB air duels

Now, if you recover the ball, the next step is to make the attacking transition. Bayern did that relatively well. More so in the first half than the second. Arjen Robben and Kingsley Coman added some welcome pace to the wingplay, which almost invariably threw Köln into panic mode.

Both the players wreaked havoc either side of Effzeh‘s defence.

Coman dashboard
Coman’s day: three created chances, 50% on take-ons.
Robben dashboard
Robben: two chances and seven (!) take-ons.

Indeed, Bayern managed to take the ball into the attacking third with relative ease. An extra step came in the creation of chances. Die Roten were much more prolific on the day than in other games.

FCB chances
Lots of blue arrows… but only a single yellow one.

However, this chances diagram starts to show the problem had against Köln. Let us look at it.

Out of aim

Indeed, Bayern’s biggest problem today was shooting accuracy. It is no use creating so many chances if you are going to squander them all. The team failed to be clinical with only a handful of chances against Atlético, and repeated the feat today, albeit having many more opportunities to widen the lead.

Although three attempts hit the woodwork, the amount of off-target shots was disconcerting.

FCB off-target
Crikey.

That is what (at least) 18 shots off target look like.

Oh, you want to see the counterpart? You want to see the myriad of blue “on-target” arrows that restores the balance disrupted by this discomforting dashboard?

Okay, here you go.

FCB on-target

Yeah. Ouch is correct.

Final thoughts

Some stats analysis pieces are complicated. They throw tons of numbers at you. Left-footed shots, middle third passes, backward passes, distance covered. Sometimes, you need these complicated measurements to really paint the picture of a game.

However, today’s game does not need such an approach. It was simple: Bayern submitted Köln for long passaged of the game, but failed to deliver the final hit.

In the end, it came back to haunt Carlo Ancelotti’s men.

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