Bundesliga Week 14 Recap: Mainz v Bayern 3-2

Instead of the usual recap, two images with a bit of text to explain.

This is what the pitch looked like when Bayern was in possession:

What do we notice? A congested center, deserted flanks, two Mainz walls and apart from the back four (who, based on this graphic unsurprisingly, had more touches and passes than the rest of the team combined), a Bayern team that’s isolated, divided into small, marked, outnumbered parts.

What, in my opinion, the pitch should’ve looked like with the same formation:

What do we notice? Toni Kroos dropping back, Luiz Gustavo and David Alaba creating some central midfield width, the full-backs slightly more offensive-minded, the wingers playing as such instead of cutting inside whenever possible. Unless Thomas Tuchel would want his opponents to be unmarked, his side would have to react and adapt. The Mainz walls would be destroyed or at least have holes in them. The next step would be vertical movement and one-twos to surprise the direct opponent and, as simple as that, Bayern wouldn’t be outnumbered anymore.

Sure, that wasn’t the only problem (if it was, I’d be a coach), but in my opinion such changes would’ve helped a lot. Needless to say that, once Heynckes (get well soon) replaced Gustavo with Ivica Olic and created something resembling a 4-4-2 with Toni Kroos in central midfield, things looked a lot better offensively.

Since they’re apparently not willing to give Danijel Pranjic a chance, I won’t shut up until Toni Kroos is the new midfield maestro, the Schweinsteiger replacement. No offense, he’s a great player, but David Alaba just can’t lead a team (yet?). The young Austrian needs action, permanent movement, he has to be allowed to run with the ball. Let him play alongside Kroos to create a pairing that’s a bit similar to the one Germany prefers (Kroos = Schweinsteiger, Alaba = Khedira) or let him play as always active offensive midfielder if you want a defensive midfielder (Gustavo, Tymoshchuk) on the pitch. Just don’t tell him to take control of the match, that doesn’t work.


  • 1-0 Ivanschitz (11′)
  • 1-1 van Buyten (56′)
  • 2-1 Caligiuri (65′)
  • 3-1 Bungert (74′)
  • 3-2 van Buyten (79′)


  • Mainz 05:
    • Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting (Müller, 75′)
    • Fabian Schönheim (Ivanschitz, 86′)
    • Anthony Ujah (Allagui, 90′)
  • FC Bayern:
    • Ivica Olic (Gustavo, 52′)
    • Rafinha (Boateng, 68′)

Team stats (Mainz-Bayern):

  • Ball possession: 37% – 63%
  • Shots taken: 17 – 14
  • Passes completed (in %): 184 – 509 (72% – 86%)
  • Corner kicks: 3 – 2
  • Tackles won: 51% – 49%
  • Fouls committed: 17 – 20
  • Distance covered: 120,1 – 114,5

Leading player stats (Mainz-Bayern):

  • Touches: Malik Fathi (63) – Daniel van Buyten (110)
  • Shots taken: Marco Caligiuri (6) – Daniel van Buyten (4)
  • Passes completed: Elkin Soto (29) – Daniel van Buyten (82)
  • Crosses attempted: Zdenek Pospech (2) – Thomas Müller (4)
  • Tackles won: Niko Bungert (14) – Holger Badstuber (18)
  • Tackles won in %: Niko Bungert (70%) – Philipp Lahm (77%)
  • Distance covered: Julian Baumgartlinger (13,2) – David Alaba (12,2)
  • Fastest sprint in km/h: Zdenek Pospech (33,8) – Boateng/Alaba (31,5)

Other Bundesliga matches:

  • Köln v Gladbach 0-3 (Hanke x2, Arango)
  • Dortmund v Schalke 2-0 (Lewandowski, Santana)
  • Nürnberg v Lautern 1-0 (Chandler)
  • Hoffenheim v Freiburg 1-1 (Firmino; Dembele)
  • Augsburg v Wolfsburg 2-0 (Brinkmann, Kapllani)
  • Hertha v Leverkusen 3-3 (Lasogga x2, Toprak OG; Derdiyok x3)
  • Hannover v Hamburg 1-1 (Schlaudraff; Bruma)
  • Bremen v Stuttgart 2-0 (Hunt, Naldo)

Next match: Saturday v Bremen (Bundesliga), 3.30 pm


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