How did Bayern score against Fürth?
We all love to see our team score goals, after all that’s what makes a win possible. However, it often takes an unnoticed great idea and/or big mistake in order to make a goal happen, after all it wouldn’t matter how good your players are if all goals are random events. This time I’m trying to show you what the decisive moments were to see Bayern score three goals in Fürth.
We’re starting, obviously, with the first goal. After struggling to even create a scoring chance in the 42 minutes prior to the goal, Thomas Müller broke the deadlock and made Bayern’s match a lot easier. The big moment for this wasn’t the shot itself, that Müller got the ball in such a position was one of the more random events, but the movement by Dante, the man who headed the ball well enough to create the havoc.
Here you have the situation when Shaqiri (I think, doesn’t really matter now) delivers the corner kick. Every Fürth player has a Bayern player to mark, classic man-to-man. Circled are Dante and his direct opponent. If you can see those little lines, that’s the movement of the player. At first, both run towards the ball, expecting it to be a rather short corner kick. In this type of defending your main task is to stop the opponent from getting the ball, to get the ball yourself is only choice number two. Considering this, the defender isn’t in a bad position, he can easily get near Dante and stop him from heading the ball towards the goal.
The magic happens quickly as you can see in the next picture.
One small sidestep by Dante, one quick moment of football IQ and good anticipation, and everything changes. Whether this was planned or just something the mighty afro thought of himself remains unknown, what matters is that it was very effective. At worst, the defender can clear the ball a bit more easily than he could with Dante next to him. At best, as in this case, the defender misses the ball and Dante gets a perfect chance to head the ball. Also noteworthy is the position of Müller who’d get what should be an easy goal if Dante misses the ball, too. The rest is history: Dante with a good header, blocked by the defender on the goal line, somehow ends up right in front of Müller who scores. 1-0. Thanks to a sidestep.
Time for goal #2. Lucky rebound? Not really. Let me show you why.
Jerome Boateng just received the ball from Luiz Gustavo and can keep it or pass it to Lahm to force the Fürth midfield to move. However, the circled Xherdan Shaqiri shows smart horizontal movement, making an impossible pass (blue line) possible (green line). Credit also to Boateng who notices said movement and plays a perfect and quick pass that even gives Shaqiri the opportunity to pick up some speed while getting the ball.
Shaqiri doesn’t even waste any time running with the ball or even stopping to calm the match down (one of the big things of the Bayern game many criticize) but immediately plays the next pass to an unmarked area (green line), knowing that Arjen Robben (circled) will be faster than his opponent. Lovely.
Now most of the Fürth defenders do a decent job, Arjen Robben is (as usual) marked by two opponents, making it impossible to stop and take a shot with his strong left foot. Instead he’s forced to use the right one, still a decent chance but not even half as dangerous as with his left boot in action. If Robben scores here, you can blame the midfield for making that quick Boateng-Shaqiri-Robben transition possible. As you all know, he doesn’t, Max Grün stops the shot. Should be a sigh of relief for Fürth if it wasn’t for Mario Mandzukic and his direct opponent (circled). Back when Shaqiri passed the ball to Robben, the defender was a lot closer to his own net than Mandzukic (unfortunately not visible in the 2nd picture). The defender, I’m assuming it’s right-back Nehrig, commits the big mistake of slowing down as he notices that Robben can shoot the ball (watch a video of the incident to see it). Mandzukic on the other hand makes Gomez proud by not stopping, by knowing that there’s a slight chance for a rebound. He keeps moving, overtakes the opponent and now has the green area all for himself in case of the ball ending up there.
Third and, thanks to Pizarro and Schweinsteiger, last goal of the match: A deflected Robben cross finds the back of the net. Random. No doubt about that. But it took some good work to even get Robben to that position with the ball. Again a counter-attack with quick and smart transition.
4 v 4, a decent situation for Bayern after Kroos won a key aerial duel. Robben with the ball notices that the only defender relevant to him at this point moves inside, towards the ball. So the Dutchman plays a short pass to Toni Kroos and takes over the now deserted left wing.
As you can see here, a second defender moved towards the ball/Kroos, potentially forcing two teammates to defend against Robben, Müller and Mandzukic. This is a perfect situation for Bayern since Toni Kroos has three passing options. Müller and Robben are both going for width, Mandzukic would be the direct threat (but is surrounded by two opponents). Kroos decides for the probably most difficult option, passing the ball back to Robben who has tons of space (green area) because of the aforementioned movement. Now you can decide whether to praise Toni for playing a difficult pass or to criticize him for not playing that pass perfectly enough to create a brilliant 3 v 2 situation. It’s a bit too long, forcing Robben to move to the wing instead of staying central. The only option now is a cross.
While Müller’s position isn’t stupid, it would be very difficult to get the ball to him without giving a defender the chance to mark him so Robben goes with the only logical choice, a short cross that might give Mandzukic the opportunity for an easy tap-in. As the yellow circle indicates, he has a huge advantage over his direct opponent by being closer to the ball. Yet it’s still no guaranteed goal because another Fürth player (blue circle) might or might not, difficult to say, be able to intercept the cross and give Bayern a corner kick, the more or less best ending for Fürth. Fortunately, it’s something we don’t have to care about since the cross was deflected and beat Grün without Mandzukic having to do a thing.
As you can see, there’s always a key pass or key movement that makes a goal (and most other scoring chances) possible. I hope you enjoyed this piece, if there’s enough interest it might become a regular thing with more goals for Bayern like the lovely and interesting 2-0 to be analyzed.