How did Bayern score against Bremen?
Damn, that was tough. Damn, that was close. But they managed to win again and managed to score two goals again. Oh Mandy…
80 minutes were played and scoring chances were rare when Luiz Gustavo’s left foot decided to prove its Brazilianness. Let’s have a look.
Luiz Gustavo just picked up the ball and now finds himself in a good position. The green lines show that he has two teammates relatively near with the same number of opponents (yellow lines) in the area, making this a 3v2 situation. Another option would’ve been the pass to Mandzukic up front but Gustavo decides to exploit the deserted red area so he moves forward (infrared arrow) to see which guy the two Bremen players decide to leave unmarked.
The picture and the yellow lines show you, one stayed near Ribery while the other attacked Gustavo, thus Xherdan Shaqiri is unmarked and the pass played (blue line). That could’ve been prevented, the key player here is Bremen defender Sokratis (infrared circle) who opted for making sure that Mandzukic can’t break through (infrared line). However, there already are two people marking Mario II/Luigi/Mandy (green lines) so Sokratis should have attacked Shaqiri instead.
The absolute best solution for Bremen (in my opinion, obviously) is indicated by the dotted infrared lines. Had each player moved to that position, Bayern would’ve faced a significantly more difficult situation.
Shaqiri passes the ball to Thomas Müller on the wing, forcing Bremen to further readjust the defense. While that actually was a good thing for Werder, they managed to fuck up even more now. Watch the green circle, three players defending…let’s be generous and say Xherdan Shaqiri. Luiz Gustavo on the other hand has even more space than he does after eating Rafinha’s garlic-based delicacies. Look at that red area. Müller is a smart man and plays the only logical pass (infrared line).
Again, to demonstrate: the green area is what they defend, the red area where the danger is.
And even worse: of the three players in a wrong position, two decide not to correct their mistake (green circle). Number three is too late (green line shows the distance to the ball, too much at the moment of the shot) but at least tries, I guess. Gustavo notices that keeper Mielitz is standing far away from the goal line (infrared line), expecting a low shot which is actually not the craziest thought with Gustavo but still quite a gamble. In terms of importance, that goal ranks second only behind the First Amendment.
I (and I’m sure many others) now feared 10 minutes of Bremen attacks yet it was all over three minutes later.
Corner kick Werder, things happen, the ball ends up inside the box again. Jerome Boateng wins a key header here (infrared circle) and, even better, plays the ball (yellow line) to the Bayern-ruled land (red area) instead of heading it away blindly. Stop, Müllertime.
Classic counter-attack. Müller with the ball, five soldiers of the infrared army (slowly winning its war against eyesight) against three men in green. Martinez is marked by an opponent (green line), the other two Bremen players have to make a decision which of the three FCB guys they’ll leave unmarked (similar to the buildup to the first goal). Müller plays the pass (blue line) to Ribery, almost forcing the opponents to make a decision to ignore Mandzukic. The solid infrared and yellow lines indicate the players they marked while the dotted lines show the option each had to ignore.
Here’s a key moment, Shaqiri moves to the wing in just the right moment (infrared arrow) as one opponent is now right in front of Ribery and thus eliminated with one pass (blue line). The last remaining Bremen man has to follow Shaqiri (green arrow), leaving the huge red area available for the circled Mandzukic and Martinez.
At this point, both defenders focus solely on Shaqiri (green lines), either because they’re panicking or because they think that blocking the cross is the best option to prevent a goal. The Swiss dwarf manages to deliver a pass past both to the unmarked red area which by now is bigger than Hoffenheim. Because there’s still a Werder player near Javi Martinez, it’s Mario Mandzukic who gets the scoring chance and fortunately goal.
A difficult match against Bremen was decided late when Bayern could outnumber the opponent several times and took advantage of wrong decisions (positioning) that were executed too convincedly to be fixed in time.