Perhaps the worst thing that could have happened to the rest of the Bundesliga was Bayern beating VfB Stuttgart 2-1 last Wednesday. For Bayern, the 2-1 win in Stuttgart was practically a loss. Through 75’, Bayern trailed the surging VfB crew 0-1. On top of the deficit, Bayern were playing their most sluggish and zombie-esque of the season, despite 70% possession on the ball. However, in a stunning turnaround, Bayern scored two goals, including a heartbreaker in injury time by Thiago Alcántara that nullified an inspired VfB home performance. After the match, Bayern boss Pep Guardiola praise the challenge of this match, claiming that his squad of galacticos needs close matches like this to stay vigilant.
Whoops, Stuttgart. Thanks for stirring the sleeping dragon.
On cue, Bayern followed up the scare in Stuttgart with their best Bundesliga performance to date: a 5-0 total annihilation of Eintracht Frankfurt. Even my Seattle Seahawks’ 43-8 thumping of the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl on the same day paled in comparison. Bayern systematically dismembered and gutted Frankfurt with what surely is the most irresistible attack in Europe. Although Bayern has enjoyed a larger score line this season (e.g. Bayern’s 7-0 takedown of Werder Bremen), it was the manner in which Frankfurt was decimated that impressed Bundesliga followers. On Sunday, Pep’s system looked like an unstoppable well-tuned machine with dominant play in the midfield by Thiago and Lahm, as well as imperious attacking threats from Ribéry, but especially Mario Götze, who arguably had the best performance of his career.
If you think I am too full of superlatives, it because I am full of superlatives (which at some point break down in describing the power of this Bayern side). As a league, the rest of the Bundesliga has been taken to the woodshed and had the hell beat of them by Bayern. Attention must be paid to such a club. To this point, I’ve largely ignored Bayern in my column. Not anymore. Consider this column my “obligatory Bayern article.” And here I mean obligatory in a positive sense, as a compulsory hat tipping in the shadow of footballing history.
Dominance, Dominance, Dominance
Just how good is Bayern right now? Glance at the current table (standing, Goal Differential, Total Shots Ratio, Shooting %, Save %, and PDO):
Bundesliga TSR & PDO
Although Barcelona (43), Atletico Madrid (42), Man City (41), PSG (39), and Juventus (38) have better or relatively comparable GDs, Bayern – thanks for the Bundesliga’s long winter break this year – has played fewer matches than any of these clubs (Bayern has played 19 matches so far in the Bundesliga).