In the early Stuttgart fog, he found himself in trouble after just over a minute when he tried to dribble out Stuttgart striker Silas Katompa Mvumpa, which he failed to do quite well. Fifteen minutes later, he watched Hiroki Ito’s brilliant long-range shot, which went inches wide of the post. Then later took revenge on Silas when he defused his shot in dire need. Uncomfortable evening for Sommer, who had little to hold on to, but mostly kept track of the wild VfB attacks in the penalty area. No chance to concede, but luck at the end when Tanguy Coulibaly’s header went just wide of the post.
Matthijs de Ligt
The central defender from the Netherlands has of course not recommended himself as a goalscorer for Bayern so far, only last August he scored – with a header – against Bochum. But almost everyone was allowed to play, Bayern won 7-0. He scored his second goal in Stuttgart, a dash from a shot into the left corner, just before the break, which was definitely tenable for VfB keeper Fabian Bredlow. Also solid in his usual place in front of Yann Sommer – until he became complicit in Stuttgart’s goal when he couldn’t prevent Juan José Perea’s header to make it 2-1.
The defense chief, who was recently suspended against Union Berlin, returned to the back four for Benjamin Pavard. Dayotchanculle Oswald Upamecano is said to have a more Swabian nature, i.e. to be calm and down-to-earth. Was almost too calm when he shot the ball from four meters into Stuttgart’s night sky after a corner kick from Kimmich. Initially challenged properly on the defensive, and again at the end of the game after the goal. In between, peace in person.
At the beginning he had a microsleep against Stuttgart’s Chris Führich, who left him standing there like a Croatian grazing cow. But then played a strong first half, often in conjunction with Musiala, with whom the interaction harmonized well up front. Like de Ligt, however, it has to be held jointly liable for Stuttgart’s goal – and the hectic pace in the final phase that was completely unnecessary for Bayern.
This time coach Nagelsmann called on him in the role of winger, and Davies filled that role very well. He’s nimble anyway, played good passes, often into the interfaces. But sometimes got stuck. And was almost confused towards the final whistle when he suddenly had to switch to reverse gear.
Knows his way around VfB Stuttgart, is a native of Swabia from Rottweil, who started playing football in Bösingen and then went through all age groups up to the A youth level in the VfB academy. Bredlow tested early on with a fickle long-range shot, which the VfB keeper swept away so skilfully as if he had previously attended training for the Stuttgart first-division volleyball team. But Kimmich was not always the ordering hand in the Bayern game, in the end it almost slipped away from him.
First drew attention to himself with a rather cautious shot, then after a good 20 minutes with an enormously powerful header, the only drawback of which was that Stuttgart’s keeper Fabian Bredlow could no longer dodge due to the sheer force. Goretzka’s physicality was lacking for Bayern in the end after he was substituted on the pitch.
His candle over the foggy bank of Bengal fire in the Stuttgart Arena in the third minute of the game belied the fact that Coman has been one of the best Bayern players in recent weeks and months. Always expansive, always playable, strong in a duel, dangerous on goal. He also had chances against Stuttgart, even if it wasn’t his most striking performance. His replacement after a good hour was based on the principle: save your strength for Paris.
What certainly not everyone knows: Musiala not only had his birthday last Sunday (which he celebrated with a goal against Union Berlin), he is also a native of Stuttgart. He was born in the Swabian basin 20 years ago, but then preferred to move to Fulda as a young boy because his mother started studying there. On his return home, Musiala showed the audience his skills again, danced the Stuttgarter, always on the point of completing his work. Musiala simply sees the free space, he anticipates that he initiated Bayern’s 2-0 lead in an inimitable way. Only the executor mentality, that still has to be on the timetable.
February could have gone better for Thomas Müller. The Upper Bavarian, who grew up in Pähl between Lake Ammer and Lake Starnberg, was only on the bench in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 against Paris. Then against Gladbach he was sent off for tactical reasons after 16 minutes after Upamecano saw the red card. Müller then prepared two goals against Union Berlin – and Choupo-Motings 2-0 against Stuttgart. It was his 300th scoring point. Scurried around in the penalty area more conspicuously in the second half than in the first. And I’m sure glad I didn’t grow up in Stuttgart. People speak very differently there than at home. And there are no such beautiful lakes.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting
Was allowed to extend his contract by a year to June 30, 2024 last week. Received praise from the highest level shortly before kick-off. “He helped us to close the striker gap,” said FCB sports director Hasan Salihamidzic on Sky. But missed his first chance after almost seven minutes when he appeared half-left in front of Stuttgart keeper Bredlow – and was offside. In the 62nd minute he was spot on again and scored a dry right-footed shot to make it 2-0. A minute later, Choupo-Moting was allowed to take a shower: mission accomplished.
Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane and Sadio Mane were allowed to warm up for half an hour for the game against Paris Saint-Germain. Ryan Gravenberch and Benjamin Pavard only had ten minutes to do it. In any case, Mané showed in the end that he will no longer become a header monster in this life.