It was Arjen Robben who scored both goals for Bayern Munich in their most recent win, extending their conquering form in the German Bundesliga this season, but Mario Götze is the player that at the moment makes the difference between a hungry and dangerous side to the one we saw in the second half, that’s simply content with winning and moving on to the next helpless victim that gets in their way of European domination.
Mario Götze has started in three of Bayern’s last four league matches, and was the one who brought on the change, scoring himself, in their more important win over Broussia Dortmund a week ago. His passing brought Arjen Robben to the scoring sheet early against the ill-matched Braunschweig, a team that fills the last spot in the Bundesliga, and it was his movement and vision that made Bayern look so dangerous in the first half.
It was also him succumbing to the Pep Guardiola gameplan, which was simply passing the match to death and moving on to the next one, that made the second half such a dull affair. Bayern Munich aren’t obligated to put on a show every week, and the inability to be satisfied with cautious football might be what’s been costing Borussia Dortmund some points (7 behind Bayern) in the grand scheme of things. However, after already setting records for wins and success last year, it’s hard not to feel disappointed when this Bayern Munich side feels satisfied with a narrow win over an inferior club, not trying to play to the best of its ability.
There weren’t too many changes in comparison with the midweek win in the Champions League – Daniel van Buyten came in for Jerome Boateng while Thiago Alcantara got the start for injured team captain Philipp Lahm. Thiago, as expected, fits the “boring” style Guardiola wants his team to use in order to “kill off” matches more than anyone else on this team, steering away from the direct football that signifies Bayern at its best, instead preferring slow, short range, and going nowhere passes, which is quite fine when you’re already in the lead.
One issue for Bayern fans with Guardiola is not giving some youngsters the chance to play when there’s one presenting itself. Players like Pierre Hojbjerg and Julian Green might have had a chance to get some easy minutes against Braunschweig, but with such a big squad and so many players fighting to get even some cameo minutes off the bench, it’s hard to expect Pep at this moment to be thinking about a bunch of 18-year old players.