Julian Nagelsmann didn’t see it as a particularly difficult task to motivate the team for the Bundesliga between two Champions League games. It makes “zero sense” to “put less gas” against VfB Stuttgart, said the Bayern coach before the duel with the Swabians. “If someone pulls the handbrake, they can put the parking brake in on Tuesday.”
The Munich team have plenty of parking space for cars, but the space on the bench to park players could be tight after the 2-2 win against Stuttgart when FC Barcelona and Robert Lewandowski meet on Tuesday (9 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker to the Champions League and Prime Video). In any case, not many followed Nagelsmann’s demand to switch to the left lane after two draws in a row and his order to step on the gas pedal.
Thomas Müller sees an attitude problem. “If we want to win every game, then you have to go to the last ten minutes.” For the national player, who had already been substituted at the time, it was incomprehensible that Stuttgart “controlled the ball again” in the closing stages. It has to do with “how bilious I am,” said Müller. Nagelsmann criticized the lack of “greed forward”.
Bayern is looking for the right code
After the third draw in a row and in view of the weakest start to the season in twelve years, the Bayern coach reacted tight-lipped. The fact that he changed the starting XI to six positions compared to the game at Inter Milan had nothing to do with his lack of respect for Stuttgart, but with load management and the rhythm of the game. Bayern also tried to confuse their opponents as much as possible with constant offensive rotation, but VfB were not easily fooled.
After a quarter of an hour, the record champions still hadn’t found the right code to launch their attacking game. Leon Goretzka fought for the ball with a not unfair but rustic bump against Konstantinos Mavropanos in midfield, in return referee Christian Dingert rated the game against Alphonso Davies as a foul, which led to a small outburst of anger in Pellegrino Matarazzo. Nagelsmann used the short break until the free kick was taken to make a small system adjustment via Neuer.
However, it was still a few minutes before Bayern combined in front of the VfB goal for the first time. But Stuttgart’s goalkeeper Florian Müller responded brilliantly to both Mathys Tel’s shot from close range and Serge Gnabry’s follow-up. In the 36th minute, Bayern put a long ball past the Swabian defense for the first time. The quick Davies played back into the middle just before the goal line, where Tel’s low shot was luckier than a few minutes this time.
The ball landed in the goal to make it 1-0 for FC Bayern, his first goal in the championship. In the cup he had already scored against Viktoria Köln last week. The 17-year-old Frenchman is now FC Bayern’s youngest Bundesliga goalscorer, replacing Jamal Musiala, who was a few days older when he scored his debut goal.
VfB Stuttgart has grown in maturity and robustness this season and remained an unpleasant opponent even after Munich took the lead. And Chris Führich, who came on as a substitute at the beginning of the second half, also brought momentum to the rather conservative attacking efforts up to that point. When he unbuttoned the ball in the penalty area for Kimmich in the 51st minute and Serhou Guirassy refined his pass into a goal, the video assistant stepped in. Führich’s ball win was preceded by a slight foul, which was also found by Dingert according to the pictures.
“If you don’t whistle for Goretzka’s body check, you can’t whistle for Kimmich either,” said Matarazzo. For Nagelsmann it was “an optional decision”, nobody could have complained if the referee had decided differently. Six minutes later, Davies with a sloppy pass and Musiala, unable to claim the ball, helped VfB’s efforts were rewarded. Everything was normal this time as Mavropanos took the ball from the Munich international and then played it on to Führich, who scored to make it 1-1.
Musiala didn’t have it easy that afternoon, finding it hard to get through and then making the mistake before equalizing. But it speaks for the 19-year-old that he wasn’t impressed by it, but only ironed out his faux pas three minutes later – with his goal to make it 2-1, before which he asked Atakan Karazor to dance in the penalty area, in which the angular Defender didn’t look particularly good.
It looked as if the Munich team had switched to the left lane, albeit at a moderate pace. But then they missed a few chances very carelessly and let VfB concede on the other side. When Guirassy was interrupted by de Ligt’s shot on goal, Stuttgart still got a penalty, which the fouled man converted to a well-deserved 2-2 in injury time.