How did Bayern score against Valencia?
Wins are always nice, even if it’s some shitty tournament you don’t care about…anyway, Bayern beat Valencia 2-1, I’m as usual about to look at all goals to find out how and why they happened. Before I begin, thank you Mario Mandzukic for not converting that penalty shot. Saved me 10 minutes.
Valencia didn’t exactly look brilliant but Bayern struggled to create actual scoring chances. It took them 38 minutes to finally get that deserved lead over those horrible shirts. Wash your eyes, kids. And it all started with a counter-attack.
Depending on who you think is relevant for this moment, Bayern either did or did not outnumber Valencia. But even if they didn’t, there were other advantages. Five FCB guys in the picture, all moving forward with good speed as the red arrows indicate (I gave goal scorer Schweinsteiger a green arrow so that you can see better that he arrived a bit later, a key for him to score in this situation). I added the yellow (Valencia) and red (Bayern) lines to also show the difference in width of the two teams. Bayern weren’t outnumbered, Bayern didn’t have to look in one direction and run in the other, Bayern had the width. All of these things aren’t shocking revelations, rather usual when it comes to counter-attacks, but not every goal is a thing of theoretical beauty.
Seconds later, Franck Ribery still with the ball. Valencia seemed to be afraid of the Frenchman so they focused on stopping him. The yellow circle shows how four Valencia players all tried to defend against Ribery and Pizarro while Kroos, Schweinsteiger and Robben all were unmarked. Ribery plays the smart and good pass (green line) to the red zone that’s occupied by multiple Bayern players yet no Valencia men.
Now Arjen Robben receives the ball and Valencia panic again. Maybe the coach told them too often to watch out for Robbery, twice within not even three seconds they ignored several opponents to overwhelm a winger. Here you can see three defenders all focusing on Robben (yellow circle) while Toni Kroos and Bastian Schweinsteiger (moving inside the box behind Robben’s back, green arrow) are unmarked. The Dutch winger now has more options than hair, passing to either of the aforementioned midfielders. The dotted red lines indicate said options. He decides for Schweinsteiger whose shot is deflected by Cissokho, 1-0. Finally.
Second half, Bayern still more or less dominating yet the three points are anything but secured. Valencia with the ball in their own half when early pressing occured.
Three Bayern players attacking the ball-carrying Valencian (yellow circle) while another one runs towards the main passing option (red line). If you look at it now, this situation could’ve been solved easily with some movement and maybe two quick passes. However, this happened very fast and Valencia’s midfield wasn’t an inspiration anyway so it ended in a disaster. For the others, of course.
The pass is played, the ball is lost. Holger Badstuber anticipated and intercepted, giving Bayern a chance for a quick and completely unplanned attack. Despite its unexpectedness, the situation isn’t that horrible for Valencia, with one defender attacking Badstuber (red line), although I think he would’ve caused a free kick for Bayern had Kroos not scored seconds later. The problem is that Badstuber can play the pass to Kroos (green line) without the other defender putting #39 under pressure. The dotted yellow line shows where he could’ve been to make the pass almost impossible to control.
Okay, he wasn’t there. Kroos has the ball (you can see Badstuber down, by the way, I’d say sure free kick but that ref sucked), nothing has happened yet. Same defender, same mistake. He’s simply too far away from Toni Kroos, giving him a perfect opportunity for a shot (and I like to believe that a prematch meeting would point out that Kroos is the one Bayern player you don’t wanna let shoot from such a position these days). The yellow area shows what the man in the ugly shirt defended, the red area what he would’ve defended with correct movement (as the green line indicates). Be there and you block Kroos’ shot, if he even tries to shoot. This way the match was over with about 15 minutes to go.
That unfortunately doesn’t mean they
cruiskroosed to victory. 90th minute, Valencia’s attacks so far pretty much meh. Luiz Gustavo plays an ultra-weak pass (I’d show you that as key moment but highlights skipped it), creating an opportunity for the Spaniards that ultimately results in a corner kick.
They go for a short one, no problem. Bayern were prepared, two players are already there to defend. I added huge yellow lines but this should be obvious even without those.
Now here’s mistake number one. One Valencia player moves closer to the box and goal line while the other keeps the ball and positions himself to either deliver a cross or play a pass. Bayern reacted badly, giving him too much space. Philipp Lahm should’ve been closer to the opponent (dotted green line) to make sure that no cross goes past him.
Nevertheless, it’s just a cross. This isn’t a poor attempt to copy the Olympic logo, the three circles show you the match-ups for those who have a chance to receive the ball. Looking pretty good for Bayern, all three closer to the own goal than the opponents, all three not very far away from them.
What happens then isn’t a moment of genius (think Dante against Fürth), it’s just a lack of accurate timing and thus focus. Two of three Valencia players jump higher than their direct FCB opponents (green lines - position of head of Valencia player, red lines - position of head of Bayern player). Bastian Schweinsteiger and Holger Badstuber were in good positions to win their duels yet didn’t (although I again think that Badstuber was fouled, the ref might’ve stopped the match had the ball gone past Schweinsteiger/Valdez). Stay focused, time your jump better and nothing happens.
Whether it’s encouraging or worrying that the goal was purely a result of individual mistakes is your decision. Personally, I very much think this goal doesn’t happen if it’s 1-0 at that time. Fans had celebrated every pass for five minutes, Bayern already won 2-0 in the heads of audience and players. That mindset certainly deserves to be addressed, even criticized. Just after the Mainz match a player (might’ve been Müller, doesn’t really matter now) mentioned how tricky two-goal leads are because one mistake gives your opponent tons of hope again. This was the second time within a week that focus was lost in such a situation. Fix that and things look good.