A blistering first half display saw goals from Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Kingsley Coman and Jamal Musiala ease Bayern past Union Berlin. While the points were key, the intensity of Bayern’s display may mean as much.
Bayern Munich reclaimed their familiar perch at the top of the Bundesliga, laying down a marker with an emphatic 3-0 win over surprise challengers Union Berlin on Sunday.
As the snow fell over the Allianz Arena pitch, the reigning champions turned up the heat immediately. Thomas Müller spurned a golden early opportunity but Bayern were relentless, and Union’s defense was finally breached by Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s back post header in the 31st minute.
The opener was created by Kingsley Coman, and the French winger made it two 10 minutes later. Running on to a pinpoint through ball from Müller, Coman kept his composure to round the keeper and double Bayern’s lead.
If Union’s task looked tough at that point, a miracle was required when Jamal Musiala marked his 20th-birthday with the third just before the break. Again Müller was involved, creating a yard of space on the right with a heavy-looking touch before finding Musiala in enough room to tuck come comfortably.
Bayern’s third saw an already confident side regain their swagger. Müller and Musiala rubbished the notion they couldn’t play together, Musiala was a picture of invention and incision and Yann Sommer in goal had little to do but keep warm.
The good news continued to come for Bayern, with Sadio Mane replacing Coman afer 65 minutes. The Senegalese star had been out since before the World Cup at the end of last year. The early departure of a limping Matthijs de Ligt was the only possible problem for Nagelsmann. But Bayern’s dominance means it may well have been a tactical rest.
The win lifts the Bavarians back above Dortmund and three points clear of Union. But it was the nature of the victory that might ring alarm bells among the pretenders as the business end of the season approaches.
More to follow…
Author: Matt Pearson