On the pitch in Copenhagen on Tuesday evening (8:00 p.m.) in the Champions League, Bayern will be looking for defensive stability which has eluded them for several matches, in a sector which saw enormous change during the summer transfer window.
Between the departures of 2018 French world champions Benjamin Pavard (Inter Milan) and Lucas Hernandez (Paris SG), but above all the absence of a replacement on the right side, Bayern’s defense lost density this summer.
“The squad is thinner than in the past,” said Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel after the end of the transfer market on September 1. To which Bayern leaders asked him to be “creative” with the group at his disposal.
This is exactly what he had to do last week for the 32nd final of the German Cup on the lawn of Münster, residents of the 3rd division, with the injuries of Dayot Upamecano, Kim Min-jae and Matthijs De Ligt , his three basic men of defense.
He was thus forced to align the Moroccan right-back Noussair Mazraoui, and more unexpectedly the defensive midfielder Leon Goretzka in the axis of defense.
Faced with this lack of solutions, Bayern saw a surprising and unexpected return: the 2014 world champion Jérôme Boateng, free after the expiration of his contract in Lyon on June 30, 2023, trained on Sunday and must perform other sessions in the coming days on the grounds of Säbener Strasse, the headquarters of Bayern.
Ten goals conceded in four matches
Having played for Bayern from 2011 to 2021 (double winner of the Champions League in 2013 and 2020), Boateng has not yet signed a contract and will in any case not be available for matches in the Champions League group stage. champions.
In the first nine matches of the season, Bayern have only played three matches without conceding goals, including that against Münster or against modest Bochum.
More worrying, he conceded ten goals against Leipzig (three in the Super Cup then two in the league), Leverkusen (two in the Bundesliga) and Manchester United (three in the Champions League), the three teams of his standing faced so far.
A striking contrast compared to the previous year in C1, and impeccable defensive performances against European leaders like FC Barcelona (2-0 and 3-0), Inter Milan (2-0 and 2-0) or Paris SG (1-0 and 2-0).
“We conceded the goals due to careless individual defensive behavior. We made mistakes in defense on a throw-in and on a corner,” regretted Thomas Tuchel after the draw in Leipzig (2-2) on Saturday evening.
Leipzig’s first goal came from a throw-in for the RB poorly negotiated by Bayern and “what was not even an opportunity” at the start according to Tuchel turned into a goal. On the second, Leipzig striker Loïs Openda deceived the vigilance of three Munich defenders to serve Castello Lukeba with a header alone.
Arriving in Bavaria in the summer of 2021, Upamecano (24 years old) was most often aligned in central defense alongside Kim, a South Korean recruit this summer, with necessary time to adapt to refine his automatisms.