Leroy Sané had just scored the long-awaited equalizer when Julian Nagelsmann replaced the offensive player. The FC Bayern coach brought on Matthijs de Ligt in the 85th minute; the Dutch central defender immediately ran into the front line of attack. Nagelsmann's signal was clear: now let's try brute force. Moments later, de Ligt almost made it 2-1 for Bayern, but only almost.
The 1:1 (0:1) against Borussia Mönchengladbach showed that Bayern are not invincible in individual games this season either. While the competition in the Bundesliga can at least have some hopes of respectable success after the sensational start of Munich, the analysis of the record champions sounded like a threat.
Nagelsmann spoke of the "best performance of the season" after his team lost the first point and then looked at the statistics: "We had 35 shots on goal, that should be enough for three points in the next few games."
Thomas Müller, who was often unlucky that evening in the Munich Arena, became even clearer. "When we're in that mood, there won't be many opponents who will have a nice afternoon against us," said the attacker after the draw against Gladbach, who have scored so many points (29) against FC Bayern in the past eleven years , like no other Bundesliga team in this period. So just a little slip up against the feared opponent?
After the flood of goals in the first three games of the season (15:1), the absence of Robert Lewandowski became noticeable for the first time this season against the deep and compact defending Gladbachers. Although the attacking line around Sané, Müller and Sadio Mané, who was again disallowed for two goals for offside (34th/39th), entered the penalty area almost every minute, the Polish striker lacked the physical penetrating power in many situations FC Barcelona scores its goals.
"We wanted to score goals, it wasn't a larifari," said Müller, when asked about the lack of effectiveness. The fact that Nagelsmann lacked strong alternatives on offense was indicated by the substitution of defender de Ligt as a striker. Because Joshua Zirkzee is about to jump and Eric Maxim Chuopo-Moting was not yet fit, the Bayern coach had to rely on de Ligt as the "strongest player in the squad with headers" in the final minutes. "In a few square meters you can no longer combine with 15 men fighting for the ball. Accordingly, the measure was a good idea," said Müller.
Not a few in the Munich stadium reminded Nagelsmann's move of times long past when Daniel van Buyten had been ordered to attack by the Bayern coaches. Van Buyten, the son of a Belgian professional catcher, always stormed into the penalty area at 1.97 meters when the record champions were threatened with losing a point; the central defender scored a total of 28 goals. Many in the final stages.
After the game, De Ligt himself made no secret of the fact that after his move from Juventus Turin to Munich he was now ready to play a key role in his traditional position in central defence. Despite all the load control, Lucas Hernandez and Dayot Upamecano are currently set there. But Upamecano in particular only did limited self-promotion against Borussia. After a harmless liberation from Gladbach's Christoph Kramer shortly before the break, the 23-year-old Frenchman badly missed the ball on the center line. Marcus Thuram had a clear path and easily overcame Manuel Neuer to make it 1-0 (43rd).
With a lot of anger in their stomachs, which was reflected in five yellow cards for Bayern from the 64th minute, the hosts stormed towards the Gladbach goal every minute. Incidentally, Nagelsmann was also warned because after an alleged foul on Sané he asked the assistant referee if his headset worked at all. An "asshole question", as Bayern's coach admitted after the game on the Sky microphone.
Nagelsmann was also frustrated by Yann Sommer's brilliant saves. The Gladbach goalkeeper once again played an outstanding game against Bayern and set a Bundesliga record with 19 shots saved. No matter where Bayern aimed, summer was already there. "You can take a week off," Nagelsmann called out to the 33-year-old after the final whistle. Sommer remained humble after his brilliant performance. With a lot of work, at some point you get into “such a flow”.
Sommer, who is currently negotiating a contract extension with Borussia, tried to draw hope for the Bundesliga from Gladbach's point win in Munich. "Bayern aren't enraptured yet, it's only the fourth day of the game," said the Swiss about the superiority of the league leaders, but also recognized: "They're in incredible shape. They put a lot of pressure on for 90 minutes, have a lot of power, a lot of quality on the ball and are very variable in the game. It's difficult to score against them.” Gladbach showed how you don't fly away in Bayern's attacking attack.
After the damper for Bayern, which was welcome from the point of view of the competition, Union Berlin will try to tame the offensive power of the record champions. In the capital, there will be a top game between first (Bayern) and second (Union) on Saturday. “Union plays their own style. You don't like playing against them all that much," explained Müller. He didn't seem intimidated.