Bayern Munich beat Czech champions Viktoria Plzeň in a convincing 5-0 win. Bayern were utterly dominant, and carried out their plan perfectly, and indeed, the manager Julian Nagelsmann should be credited for the team’s setup today.
After the game, Nagelsmann praised the players for their performance, citing their strong approach toward a game easily overlooked.
“The boys did well today,” he said after the game, as captured by @iMiaSanMia. “That’s how you have to approach a game. We decided it quickly then controlled it. With a view to Saturday, that was important, serious and well deserved. It was a game that shows we are taking steps in the right direction.”
Bayern’s renewed energy comes just in time, with Borussia Dortmund in Der Klassiker coming up on Saturday. With a lightened bench and fewer options for his starting lineup, it was a chance to see more from some of Bayern’s new transfer window acquisitions, as well as rotational players who have fewer chances to play.
One player for whom Nagelsmann was full of praise? Ryan Gravenberch, the Ajax product who slotted into midfield in Joshua Kimmich’s absence. “He did well, like everyone else. He had good positioning,” Nagelsmann noted. “He usually plays a bit more offensively.”
Flashing both facets of his game is a good show of strength for the young and versatile midfielder.
It is interesting to note that lately, Bayern’s midfielders have been giving up their offensive power, playing in a more altruistic manner, focusing on their defending.
Nagelsmann also had praise for the full-backs Noussair Mazraoui and Josip Stanišić — the latter coming on at the half for left-back Alphonso Davies.
Nagelsmann has helped Bayern carry on their tradition of winning group stage fixtures and in style — the two victories against Inter Milan and FC Barcelona hold testament to Bayern’s ability to hold their own against any good team and the victory against Plzeň proves Bayern can do it against the minnows, too. The Bavarians are clicking now, and the timing couldn’t be better.