Arndt’s Analysis - The Inside Story: Bayern Blow Pilsen Away
After the impressive win in Manchester, Bayern put on yet another Champions League gala with a 5-0 win over FC Viktoria Pilsen. Bayern’s pair of wingers dismantled the pathetic Czech champions.
Pep Guardiola loves to astonish experts and his opponents, and this time was no different.
There was some speculation that Diego Contento would replace one of the missing centre backs (Boateng and Dante), and Guardiola likes unorthodox ideas, so the short (5’10″) left back took up a central position next to Daniel van Buyten. This gave Bayern balance as their defence had a right and a left footer, something is very important to Pep.
Despite his strong performance off the bench against Mainz, Mario Götze was on the bench at the beginning, as was Thomas Müller. Robben and Ribéry started out wide, Mandzukic the only striker.
Bayern started with their usual 4-1-4-1 with Lahm once again as the central defensive midfielder. But after five minutes, he left his defensive position, making it a 4-3-3 with Lahm on a level with Kroos and Schweinsteiger. The wing backs also provided support whenever Bayern went forward.
As expected the visitors defended deep. They played with five midfielders in a row, and that in front of a defensive line of four, leaving one solitary man forward.
In contrast to the last games in the Bundesliga, Bayern played with aggression and a fast pace from the beginning and Pilsen were completely overcharged. With six minutes played, there were still seven Czechs who still had yet to touch the ball.
They were extremely nervous and they only tried to limit the damage. Their plan was to double-up on the ball carrier but they had no chance against Bayern’s individual class. Robben and Ribéry dismantled the Czech’s defence on a number of occasions. Bayern let the ball do the work in the midfield and passed out wide on the edge of the box. Then Ribéry and Robben did their work. Whether a cross or a piece of individual skill, nearly every opening led to a scoring chance.
The visitors were left to run. Bayern were so safe with their passing game that Pilsen couldn’t even start playing football. Bayern had 76% possession and a passing-success rate of 92 % - making it almost impossible for the visitors to get into the game.
Maiden goal for Mario Götze
After Ribéry scored the opener, there was still a small chance for the visitors through maybe a set-play or a deflected shot, but with Alaba scoring the second one, Pilsen had lost. They were definitely too harmless. As the match progressed, the Czechs became more and more tired, allowing Bayern to increase their lead to 5-0, including one assist and a first Bayern goal for Mario Götze.
Rating of the centre-back experiment not possible
It’s not possible to consider Guardiola’s choice of Diego Contento as centre back. Pilsen were too harmless in attack, meaning van Buyten and Contento weren’t really challenged at all during the 90 minutes. The only thing that can be taken from the game is that Guardiola is willingly to test again and again.
Last 16 in mind
With nine points from their first three games, Bayern are confidently atop of Group D. Progression should be no issue, a victory over Pilsen in the next fixture, could even secure it if CSKA Moscow don’t beat Manchester City. Who knows what Guardiola will try next…