Manuel Neuer was the only positive as Bayern Munich succumbed to yet another draw in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Bayern Munich suffered yet another roadblock in their quest to secure the Bundesliga title, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by TSG Hoffenheim on Saturday. The disappointing result helped the Bavarians extend their advantage at the top to ten points, but Borussia Dortmund could potentially close the gap to just four if they can win their two games in hand.
As the result suggests, it was not the most clinical display from a Bayern Munich side that lacked control and creativity in the final third. While they did dominate possession, Hoffenheim defended the threat expertly with a high line of press that caught the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller off-guard.
Indeed, at least three of Bayern’s goals were ruled out due to offside, as they failed to evade the opposition’s offside trap. In fact, it was Hoffenheim who drew first blood, with Christoph Baumgartner capitalising on an excellent cross from David Raum. Unfortunately for them, a silly foul just outside the box allowed Bayern to equalise at the stroke of half-time.
Despite conceding the equaliser late in the first half, Hoffenheim showed ambition and panache going forward. They were not just content defending the threat from Bayern and, as a result, got close to retaking their lead on multiple occasions. Bayern had their fair share of chances as well, but they were either denied by Oliver Baumann or got caught offside by the Hoffenheim defenders.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Bayern Munich players in their disappointing draw with Hoffenheim this weekend.
Manuel Neuer: 8/10
Manuel Neuer produced yet another marvellous display between the sticks. He made multiple saves on the night, which proved to be crucial in helping Bayern avoid a defeat on the night. What was particularly impressive about Neuer’s performance was his positioning, as the goalkeeper did not speculate too much and held his ground. He was rather unlucky with Hoffenheim’s opening goal, though.
When Neuer leaves Bayern, dark times will follow. It will be like the Revenge of the Sith, the Jedis (Bayern) will fall and eventually (God knows how many years later) come back and take over Europe again
— Deniz (@MusialaEra) March 12, 2022
Benjamin Pavard: 7/10
Benjamin Pavard had occasional struggles in one-on-one situations, especially when Hoffenheim distributed the ball out wide. But the Frenchman looked solid and appears to have improved his defensive game. Although he did not provide creativity going forward, he was on hand to attempt a couple of strikes on goal.
Niklas Sule: 6.5/10
Niklas Sule had an underwhelming game on the night as he struggled to deal with the dynamism of the Hoffenheim attackers. His physical and aerial prowess were useful in mopping up crosses from David Raum, but that was about the extent of his performance on the night.
Lucas Hernandez: 6.5/10
Lucas Hernandez had a difficult game on the left hand side of the Bayern defence. He had struggles in dealing with the marauding runs of Pavel Kaderabek, as Hoffenheim consistently peppered the Bayern flank with crosses. Hernandez was slightly unlucky not to receive adequate support from the wing-back.
Joshua Kimmich: 7/10
Joshua Kimmich struggled to control the game as he often found himself isolated due to the nature of Hoffenheim’s press. He conceded occasional turnovers while offering minimal creativity in possession. The German international clearly requires more support in the middle of the park, though he did notably secure the assist for Robert Lewandowski’s equaliser.
Jamal Musiala: 5/10
Jamal Musiala impressed, at times, with his ability to squeeze through tight spaces. But apart from that, the youngster failed to make an impression on the night, offering very little creativity or support to Kimmich in the middle.
I think we can all agree that Musiala shouldn‘t be Thiago's replacement. That midfield position doesn‘t suit him at all. Good short term solution in Goretzka's absence, that‘s it. Poor guy is scared to shoot/dribble past players because he feels he‘d let Kimmich down defensively. pic.twitter.com/iudOZMvKwT
— Deniz (@MusialaEra) March 12, 2022
Serge Gnabry: 5/10
Serge Gnabry was one of Bayern’s poor performers against Hoffenheim as he consistently struggled to make a difference in the final third. On a more important note, the German looked uninterested and had a difficult game defensively, as the likes of Andrej Kramaric and David Raum made good use of the space he left behind.
Thomas Muller: 5/10
Thomas Muller was defended expertly by the Hoffenheim defence that did offer him plenty of space to work with but caught him in an offside position time and time again. It might be an excellent lesson for the Bundesliga managers on how to defend the German international, who is one of the most intelligent footballers on the planet.
Leroy Sane: 6.5/10
Leroy Sane looked very dangerous on the ball, thanks to his ability to drift past defenders and cause problems in the final third. However, his influence faded as the game progressed, while the former Manchester City star also failed to offer the end product in his game.
Kingsley Coman: 6.5/10
Operating as a left wing-back, Kingsley Coman was not as troubled defensively as Gnabry on the opposite flank. It allowed him the freedom to cause havoc on the far side with his pace and trickery. The Frenchman even provided a few good balls, including a brilliant cross in the first half. But unfortunately for him, none of his avenues led to a goal.
Robert Lewandowski: 6.5/10
Robert Lewandowski had a quiet start to the game, but he showcased his goalscoring prowess by latching on to a cross from Kimmich deep into the first half. The Pole had hoped for a better second half, but Hoffenheim’s ingenious offside traps made it difficult for him to execute his usual game plan of making runs in behind the defence.
Robert Lewandowski scores his 17th away goal of the season, equalling Jupp Heynckes and Timo Werner's record for the most away goals in a Bundesliga season. #TSGFCB
— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) March 12, 2022
Marcel Sabitzer: N/A
A late replacement for Musiala. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting: N/A
A late replacement for Muller. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.