Friday, September 19, 2008

Steaua Bucarest vs Bayern Munich player-by-player analysis

After 524 days, Bayern Munich had celebrated the return of the Champions League with the away 1-0 victory against Steaua Bucarest Wednesday evening. Here's the player-by-player analysis:

Michael Rensing, GK: The first real test of the season. He was very busy in the evening as the opposition had lots of chances to shoot. He needed to make lots of saves in order to keep the clean sheet, unlike in the Bundesliga. He obviously was very nervous during the match as he could not make any clean saves when the shot was in threat. It was very lucky for him to keep the clean sheet as the opposition hit the post twice, especially one of them was come from his losing concentration of the incoming shot. However, I understand about it as this is the process that every young player needs to go through.

Lucio, DC: He had a fair game this match. He made crucial headers and tackles during the match, as well as had made some crucial attacking runs. His improvement in these few weeks made the defensive line became solid, this was very important for Bayern Munich because when a team is playing a 3-man defense, every defender must be very fit.

Martin Demichelis, DC: Again, he made another man of the match performance. His excellent positioning and accurate tackle did really relief the goalkeeper and the other defenders a lot. His excellent performance had already gained the trust from the team. As I said before, he is the most important member in the defensive line, his health and form do really affect the team a lot. Since his comeback from the injury, Bayern Munich only conceded 1 single goal in 3 matches, comparing with 6 goals in the 3 matches earlier, it definitely showed his importance in the team.

Daniel Van Buyten, DC: This was one of the magics of Klinsmann. He never got his best form from Hamburg after transferring to Bayern Munich 2 seasons ago, and now I can see his best form is coming back. He did a great job in this match. He made lots of crucial tackles and headers from the left side of the field. More importantly, he scored a winning header in the 15th minute of the match. I don't know what Klinsmann had told him before the match but 1 thing is very obvious, that is I started to find his best form.

Christian Lell, MR: Well, I was still confused why Lell was still in the first 11. I believe he needs to forget about this match as quickly as he can. In offense he lost almost all of the possessions, failed to cross the ball accurately, and also failed to make threats from his terrible shots. It did affect his defense performance as well, as he ran to the front, he could not go back in time to stop the counter attacks and made lots of spaces for the opposition. I think Klinsmann needs to think about his starting place, as I believe Massimo Oddo is the best right back and right wing back in the team.

Mark van Bommel, MC: This was the only change comparing to last Saturday's match. It was obviously to see he had controlled himself a lot, it might because the team had taken the early lead. Again he did lots of efforts outside the camera for limiting the midfield space but it was not enough. It was very obvious to see there were lots of chances for the opposition to have long shots to threaten the goalkeeper where he should have been there to stop that. I do believe he needs to work harder to regain the confident to the fans and Klinsmann.

Philipp Lahm, ML: Well, what I can say is he was just better than Lell. I can see he made runs in attack but there was not threatening at all. I can see he made tackles and headers but there were still lots of opposition attacks were coming from his side. This was because again, he ran to the up front of the field and he couldn't run back in time. The formation of 3-5-2 needs the wing back who has unlimited energy to run at the flank back and forth. Yes he was free in the attack but it affected his defense performance.

Bastian Schweinsteiger, AMC: He was one of the man of the match players in this match. His set pieces were accurate than successfully provided a goal for Van Buyten. He did make lots of runs in the game, as well as he worked very hard to make tackles in terms of defense. Once again, Bayern Munich must keep this player as he is the most valuable member in the team. I do believe his best is still yet to come. His performance was declined as his fitness was dropping. All in all, excellent performance for him.

Ze Roberto, AMC: Again, he was working the hardest within the players in Bayern Munich. I can see he made lots of efforts in the game in terms of offense and defense. However, it seemed he started to feel tired a bit as I can see his performance was dropping drastically in the later of the second half. Maybe this was because the opposition gave him lots of pressure, but more importantly, he failed to recover fully after the last match as his age is getting older. Klinsmann can consider about to reserve him in the next match.

Miroslav Klose, FC: Umm, it seems he failed to convert his hat trick performance in the national team to Bayern Munich. He was invisible in the match and he did not find chances for himself. Even he did not make any shots at all. So no wonder he was substitued during the halftime. I do believe his performance cannot convince anyone to grant him a starting place. It is fierce, and it is rude and cruel, but he is in the big club, he needs to pick it up as big club never waits.

Luca Toni, FC: First thing first, congratulations to his Champions League debut. However, same as a young debutant, he had a very nervous game. He could not perform like a goal scorer in Bundesliga as he missed lots of chances during the game. If he played better, he could score a goal or even two. Furthermore, he looked like a big cruiser in the ocean! He could not protect the ball and dribble the ball effectively. So, a question for you, which one is faster to make turns? A big cruiser or a little ferry?

Lukas Podolski - substituted for Miroslav Klose: Although he did not make any real contribution to the team, his performance was way better than Klose. At least he was willing to run and seek for chances. He was definitely better than Klose in terms of match forms. I believe he should gain a position in starting 11. As he keeps to play better, I believe Klose's starting place will be replaced.

Andreas Ottl - substituted for Ze Roberto: As Ze Roberto performance was dropping, Andreas Ottl was the most suitable player to replace his place. He did limit lots of space for the opposition and made some hard tackles during the game. Again, he gained the controlled the possession of the midfield well. So I believe he also deserve a starting place.

Tim Borowski - substituted for Bastian Schweinsteiger: For Klinsmann it seemed Borowski had only one purpose: that was retain possession in the later second half. He could do more than that obviously, as Ze Roberto seemed he was not able to play in full gear every match, Borowski could at least be his reliever.

Final words: This game showed the down side of the formation of 3-5-2. The wing backs were not fit and fast enough to run through that 110-yard long football field. It is a bit harsh to comment like this but hey, this is the world class wing back about. Also, generally the players were very nervous in the game, they could not perform fully just like in the Bundesliga. It is understandable because the team hadn't played the Champions League for 524 days and they needed to get back the match feeling. This is a bliss for Bayern this match as well as the oppostion hit the post twice. Also it is also a bliss that the other opposition in the group (those are Lyon and Fiorentina) can be managed well. So, after this match I feel confident Bayern can progress through to second round.

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