Dhe day that ended with good news for Bayern Munich had started with bad news. On Thursday morning, the sports broadcaster “Sky” reported that Thomas Müller had tested positive for Covid-19. The Bavarians confirmed this on Thursday afternoon. On their website they announced that Müller had been “isolated immediately” and that he would “immediately go into quarantine” after his arrival in Munich. They also announced that the rest of the team had been tested again for the virus on Thursday. The result: no further positive results. That was the first good news.
Only a few hours later, Müller, who is doing well according to several media reports, had to watch his teammates win the Club World Cup in the Education City Stadium in Qatar. They won the final with a goal from Benjamin Pavard 1-0 against UANL Tigres from Mexico. That was the second piece of good news.
Changeover for Flick
On their short trip to Qatar, Bayern achieved what only the legendary FC Barcelona team had before them: six titles in one year. You won an additional four million euros, but also the realization that the so-called bubble “is obviously not invulnerable”, as Dagmar Freitag, the chairwoman of the Bundestag sports committee, said in a “Sky” interview. With Müller, the sixth Bayern professional has already been caught in the course of the season. The midfielders Leon Goretzka and Javi Martinez stayed in Munich because of corona infections.
Hansi Flick had to change his starting eleven again. The coach replaced Müller with Leroy Sané. In central defense, he sent Niklas Süle and Lucas Hernandez to the field for David Alaba and Jérôme Boateng. The first, actually defense chief, moved into midfield, the second was missing for private reasons. This Bayern team also controlled the game. Manuel Neuer only had to intervene once in the first half when he snatched the ball from Luis Quinones’ feet (16.).
The goalkeeper of Tigres, Nahuel Guzman, had to worry more. Twice he was a little lucky that Robert Lewandowski (6th) and Alphonso Davies (24th) messed up the ball in a promising position. Once he was very lucky that Sané hit the outside post after a quick corner (34th). And once he was particularly lucky: When a long-range shot from Joshua Kimmich flew into the goal, an offside position from Lewandowski, who had apparently irritated Guzman, was subsequently determined by video evidence (20th).
A one-sided duel
The duel between the Champions League winners from Europe and North and Central America was one-sided, even if there were no real opportunities. In Mexico, UANL Tigres is considered a strong team that lets the ball run. In Qatar, she was mainly behind this. At the beginning of the second half, Quinones accidentally stumbled the ball out of bounds during a counterattack.
You didn’t have to speak Spanish to understand that he was cursing. In the 60th minute, the video evidence was then used for the second time. But this time he didn’t save the Mexicans, on the contrary. Your goalkeeper Guzman had tried to get a cross ball from Kimmich out of the air, but misjudged. Lewandowski headed him and the attacked right-back Benjamin Pavard only had to shoot the ball into the empty goal. The referees immediately decided to offside Lewandowski, but had to correct themselves. After that, the outsiders should actually have attacked. They just couldn’t do it.
Hansi Flick saw that too. He dared to replace Lewandowski, Sané and Kingsley Coman all at once just 20 minutes before the end. In the 81st minute, Corentin Tolisso shot under Guzman’s body and hit the post. In the 85th minute, a shot from Douglas Costa flew into Guzman’s fists. It was already foreseeable that Tigres would probably not fight back, but at least win a title: With three goals, their striker André-Pierre Gignac became the tournament’s top scorer. Third place at this World Cup went to the Egyptian representative Al-Ahly, who won 3-2 on penalties against Palmeiras Sao Paulo from Brazil.