Columnists, Soccer, Sports

Full-Time Focus: What’s happening in Munich?

Bayern Munich is the most successful club in Germany. Across European competitions, the Bavarian powerhouse has always been feared. 

But something is ticking the scale lately.

At least domestically, the team does not seem as dominant as before. Bayern has crowned themselves as Bundesliga Champions for 11 consecutive years. 

Within Germany, the club has had no real competitor, though Borussia Dortmund has come close to defeating them, they always came up short. 

As of now, it looks like Bayer Leverkusen is going to break the status quo. Leverkusen is eight points clear in the league and seems unstoppable for the moment. 

Bayer Leverkusen’s rise to glory is directly related to their coach, Xabi Alonso. When Alonso was appointed as the head coach back in 2022, Leverkusen was fighting in the relegation zone. 

Alonso has focused on building a deep style of play that does not only rely on possession but also on a strong structure. Even the goal and assists statistics are spread across the players, allowing the team to not rely on only one piece. 

On the other hand, Bayern Munich’s fall from grace goes beyond not being able to meet their competitor’s standards.

This past weekend, Bayern lost their third game in a row against VFL Bochum. Just the week prior, they had lost 3-0 in Leverkusen.

The alarms started to go off when they lost last week in their Champions Matchup against Lazio.

Because even though they have started to look very grim for Bayern in the Bundesliga, they will always be favorites to win the Champions League. In a way, their situation in Germany made many believe the team would respond in Europe. Winning the championship could be the one of the only options coach  Thomas Tuchel has to keep his job. 

With everything going on in the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich still found themselves at the top spot of Group A of the Union of European Football Association’s (UEFA) Champions League, having five wins and only one draw. 

Things aren’t looking so good in the Bundesliga for Bayern, though. 

Lazio sits in the eighth spot of the Serie A, and head coach Maurizio Sarri has expressed his frustration with the team’s packed game schedule. 

According to 10,000 match simulations conducted before Wednesday’s first leg, Lazio was only victorious in roughly 44% of them. 

Against the odds, Lazio defeated Bayern this week. 

But how? 

It is not that complicated, Bayern simply did not take advantage of their chances, taking six more shots than Lazio. Everything went south when the Germans went down to 10 men halfway through the second half and conceded a penalty. 

From that point on, it was difficult for Bayern to properly respond. 

Is there something going on in Munich? 

The short answer is yes. 

The team finds itself in a position it hasn’t found itself in years. They are struggling to dominate domestically and are showing signs of weakness in the Champions League. 

With that said, this is not a crisis. Tuchel’s team still has the possibility of proving themselves in the Bundesliga. 

They would depend on Leverkusen making mistakes, but they have the tools to respond. 

Bayern has a chance to bounce back and move forward to the next phase. 


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