Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sané stood on the lawn of the Allianz Arena and could not believe it.
Unsurprisingly, following the surprising defeat of the supposed outsider, criticism came from all sides. “The officials spoke it better 1: 1 than it was. Three big chances don’t look like Bayern, the claim and the quality are actually higher,” complained Lothar Matthäus in the “kicker and went on to rant: “There was a lack of self-image, one-on-one situations, the determination to push forward. The classic FC Bayern DNA is missing, the uncertainty is missing. is slipped.”
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In fact, the German record champions managed just four shots on the opposition goal despite optical superiority and possession of around 68% – not enough for the high demands of the Munich team.
Bayern’s wing game is lame
The 2020 Champions League winner didn’t put enough pressure on the yellow defensive bar, especially on the flanks. Almost indicative of that was Bayern’s only goal, scored by Robert Lewandowski after a combination through the otherwise densely packed centre.
While Kingsley Coman caused a sensation down the left, especially in the second round, there was little danger from the right wing, which would have reached Sané.
Sané made seven crosses, the second after Joshua Kimmich (9), against Villarreal, four of which hit his teammates. There was only one real threat after crosses from the 26-year-old, however, when he beat guard Pervis Estupiñán one-on-one, came to the baseline for the first and only times and served Dayot Upamecano in the center.
Otherwise, the former Schalke player acted far too predictably as he repeatedly put the ball on his strong left foot. Although Sané managed one of the most shots on goal (4), none of them found their way.
Nagelsmann defends Sané: ‘I was very satisfied’
Despite everything, Sané couldn’t end his small goalscoring drought against Villarreal either. The national player has only scored one goal in the last nine games. Incidentally, as much as his national teammate on the other side of the pitch, Serge Gnabry.
Julian Nagelsmann (left) and Leroy Sané – FC Bayern
Photo credit: Getty Images
Gnabry: Contract poker overshadows everything
Nagelsmann justified the 26-year-old’s recent achievements with parallel war scenes. “Serge is currently in contract negotiations, which of course keeps him busy. Such a contract discussion is not simply ‘I sit down, drink an espresso and then I have a solution’ – there are often six, seven rounds of negotiations or even more, where a lot is involved”, Nagelsmann was clear: “It will certainly cost one or another percentage point in terms of performance – this is normal and only human.”
If the negotiations fail, it’s quite possible that Gnabry will leave the club this summer – keyword: transfer fee. In the recent past, Real Madrid, Liverpool FC and Juventus Turin have been swapped as potential buyers.
There are currently rumors around Serge Gnabry
Photo credit: Getty Images
Coman failure threatened: Sané and Gnabry required
On a purely sporting level, it was almost exclusively Coman who hit the headlines on the flank. The French world champion was one of Bayern’s most prominent players against Villarreal, just like a few days earlier in the league against FC Augsburg.
The possible failure of the 25-year-old, who suffers from muscle problems, hurts the record champions all the more. With Coman and Lucas Hernández, Nagelsmann “doesn’t assume that they will fly to Bielefeld”.
Which would put the focus on Gnabry and Sané. “They will bring their maximum power back to the field,” Nagelsmann assured.
A good time for that would be Easter Sunday, when FC Bayern could take a giant step towards the German championship with a victory in Bielefeld and thus a happy end to a season full of ups and downs.
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