Manchester United 0-1 Bayern Munich: 5 Talking Points
Manchester United faced Bayern Munich at a packed Allianz Arena on Sunday. Marcus Rashford and Victor Lindelof returned to the first team as Mourinho fielded a strong side. Bailly and Lindelof started as the two centre-backs, with Darmian and Luke Shaw on the flanks.
Mourinho started with the same 3 man midfield from the last game, with Fred and Pereira partnering Herrera. Rashford, wearing the number 10 jersey, led the line for United, as Sanchez reverted back to his natural position on the left of the front 3. Mata started in the right of midfield.
Contrary to expectations, Bayern fielded a strong team themselves, using the same 4-3-3 formation. Manuel Neuer started in goal. Kimmich, Süle, Hummels and Alaba made up the back four. Thiago, Javi Martinez and Gnabry were the three-man midfield.
The front 3 had old guards Robben and Ribery teaming up with Muller. New Bayern Manager Niko Kovac wanted to use this game as a preparation ahead of their German Super Cup tie against Eintracht Frankfurt next Saturday and Bayern did not disappoint.
United looked lively at the start and attacked well, but as the game wore on, Bayern took control of possession. The first half was almost entirely played in the United half, as Bayern attacked well, but United held on with all their might, defending deep, but defending well.
Unfortunately, there weren't too many chances created for United even though in Rashford, they had a willing runner who tried to put his pace to good use. The first half ended 0-0, but Bayern had the upper edge.
In the second half, Bailly was taken off as a precaution and Smalling came on in his place and soon after, Bayern took the lead, with Xavi Martinez leaping the highest from a Thiago corner to head the ball past a helpless De Gea.
There were not too many chances for United in the second half either and the fact that they could not muster a single shot on goal said volumes of their display. Mourinho will have to regroup and regroup fast. As of now, the season seems to be arriving too soon for him.
Even though the game ended 1-0 against Manchester United, there were a lot of things to ponder upon and we take a look here at 5 talking points from the game.
#5 Lindelof and Bailly looking good together
Bailly has been the standout defender for United ever since he joined 2 years ago and he seems to be getting even better. He had a stellar pre-season but suffered for a lack of a stable partner, who could perform at his level. But that problem looks to be over, at least for now.
Victor Lindelof gathered all round praise for his strong performance for Sweden in the World Cup and he seems to have brought his A game back to the club set-up. Lindelof looked comfortable alongside Bailly, combining with him well and looking to play the ball out of defence.
He also looked strong and shrugged away Muller more than once in the game. He recovered well when United were caught out and has brought a sense of assurance that was missing in the preseason games so far. Alongside him, Bailly was fast, calm and cool as usual, until he was substituted as a precaution.
Bayern Munich pegged United back for much of the game and put in one ball after another, but apart from that one goal after Bailly’s departure, Lindelof and the United defense did decently, even after Jose brought Jones on and switched to a back three.
Darmian and Shaw had good games as well, both were strong in their tackles and the 4 who started this game, should start the game against Leicester City.