Bayern Munich went to one knee last week. A boost that falls badly for the reigning European champion, who travels to Lazio this Tuesday in the Champions League.
On the scale of the Bavarian compressor roller, we could almost speak of a crisis. Bayern Munich have taken just one point in their last two Bundesliga games. The last time it happened was at the end of 2019, when Hans-Dieter Flick had just taken control of a ship that was pitching under Niko Kovac. Last Monday, Bayern snatched the draw against the promoted Arminia Bielefeld (3-3) then was surprised at Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday (2-1). Two embarrassing results, but which do not fall from the sky.
On Monday against Arminia, the Bavarians played their fourth game in 11 days. Blame it on a Club World Cup that took them to Qatar, where they beat the Mexican club Tigers in the final (1-0). “We left a lot of juice in the trips lately,” admitted Kingsley Coman. We quickly had to forget the heat in Doha to acclimatize to the snow in Munich, which interrupted the meeting twice on Monday. “We have to be satisfied with the draw,” said Hans-Dieter Flick, who stressed the unfavorable context for his team. We could list up to 8 packages this day, including those of Thomas Müller (Covid-19), Leon Goretzka (quarantine) and Serge Gnabry (injury). Without counting the return not to be rushed by Joshua Kimmich, or the absence for personal drama of Jérôme Boateng.
Lewandowski’s superb goal against Arminia Bielefeld (3-3)
Without Pavard, Tolisso, Gnabry and Müller against Lazio
Orphan of Müller, Robert Lewandowski sought his bearings against the Arminia. Before a superb inspiration for a small net volley. He was well supported by David Alaba, who again helped out in midfield. But behind, we were close to the stampede. Nicklas Süle could not compensate for the absence of Boateng and the defense took the water. Süle also found himself in the wrong place against Frankfurt, in the front row of Amin Younes’ superb goal. It took a feat from Leroy Sané to give Lewandowski an anecdotal goal. “If we play like we did in the second half, I’m very, very optimistic for the future,” Flick said positively.
But can Bayern keep up? It will be without Corentin Tolisso, who was coming back well until a serious thigh injury in training last week. Bad news never comes alone: one of the other many French people in the workforce, Benjamin Pavard, has contracted Covid-19. The infirmary empties and then fills up in Bavaria. A serious problem as the eight-time defending German champion is only two points ahead of Leipzig in the Bundesliga. Blow ? It is not on the program. Lazio Rome, who have won 7 of their last 8 Serie A matches, await Bayern firmly on Tuesday at the Stadio Olimpico. If we had to find a cause for celebration, here it is: the last time Bayern took a point or less in two Bundesliga matches – at the end of 2019 – they won 28 of the 29 remaining matches of their season, with three trophies at stake. A little crisis and it starts again.