Schalke 04 – Bayern Munich: Domineering Bayern Push Past Poor Schalke (0-3)

Structural incompetence in defense and divine striking of the football defined Schalke 04’s fixture against reigning champions Bayern Munich. David Wagner’s second game in charge suggested he has no chance against top teams, whilst Niko Kovač’s tactical tweak in shape allowed Bayern to look dangerous and flexible once again.

Tactical analysis and match report by Tom Quartly

Saturday evening saw the Bundesliga action swiftly directed towards the North Rhine-Westphalia region, where Schalke 04 held host to a determined and reinvigorated Bayern Munich. The newly appointed David Wagner was a cause for intrigue as the former Huddersfield boss prepared to take charge in his second Bundesliga fixture, the first being a draw away against Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Bayern Munich looks to be an interesting watch this season. Manager Niko Kovač had strengthened his ageing side, with Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry making way for an influx of youth. Getting Lucas Hernández, Benjamin Pavard and Mickaël Cuisance on the roster can be seen as great business, yet it was another compelling transfer development that had the visiting fans at the Veltins-Arena excited. The arrival of Philippe Coutinho, who started on the bench Saturday night, is a fine acquisition, as the Brazilian attempts to reignite his career. Where to fit Coutinho in is an intriguing question, however. 

Kovač’s tactical tweak earns Bayern early domination
The game began as expected: Bayern was dominating. However, there was a drastic alteration in Kovač’s method of buildup play. Showing as a 4-3-3 formation on paper, in possession, Bayern were closer to a 3-2-4-1 shape. David Alaba operated as a ‘false’ fullback, joining Joshua . . .

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