Bundesliga Hinrunde report card: Bayern Munich

2023 has come to an end and the Bundesliga enters its traditional Winterpause, which gives us here at Bundesliga Fanatic the ideal opportunity to take a closer look at each of the eighteen clubs and rate their performance in the first half of the season. Next we run the rule over reigning champions Bayern Munich. 

The story so far

It’s been business as usual for champions Bayern so far and aside from their one major aberration against Eintracht Frankfurt, they have strolled through the Hinrunde with Harry Kane scoring a bucket load of goals and positioning themselves well for the defence of their Bundesliga crown. The only fly in the ointment has been the superb form shown by Bayer Leverkusen, who have emerged as a genuine contender this season to usurp the Rekordmeister.

Bayern opened the season with a 4-0 away win at Werder Bremen with Harry Kane having an instant impact with a goal and an assist on his Bundesliga debut. They followed that up with a home win over Bavarian neighbours Augsburg and a 2-1 victory over sometimes bogey team Borussia Mönchengladbach. Matchday four witnessed Bayer Leverkusen take a point from their clash at the Allianz Arena when Exequiel Palacios’ injury time penalty made the score 2-2 after goals from Kane and Leon Goretzka.

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Bochum were demolished 7-0 in the next match with Kane bagging his first Bundesliga hat trick, but Bayern then dropped more points with a 2-2 draw at RB Leipzig. They had to come from 2-0 down to deny the Roten Bullen a second win of the season following their pre-season Supercup triumph. 

They did however respond in perfect fashion with six successive wins, including a 8-0 thumping of Darmstadt and big 4-0 away win in the first Klassiker of the season against last season’s title rivals Borussia Dortmund. Harry Kane scored ten in that six-game spell with two more hat tricks included.

When they travelled to Frankfurt on matchday 14 they had already strolled through their Champions League group and were facing an Eintracht side struggling for form. The Adler however produced a phenomenal display with Bayern markedly off-colour and Thomas Tuchel’s side departed the Deutsche Bank park on the wrong end of a 5-1 mauling.

They recovered well enough by beating high fliers Stuttgart and then VfL Wolfsburg before the winter break, but with their match with Union Berlin postponed due to snow and their loss to Frankfurt, Bayern finished the year ‘only’ in second place.  

Tale of the tape

Record: 12-2-1, 38 points (2.53 per game), 2nd in Bundesliga

Home Record: 19 points (6-1-0) Away Record: 19 points (6-1-1)

Goals: 49 (3.26 per game), Goals Against: 15 (1 per game), Diff: +34

xG: 43.2, xGA: 10.5

Highlight

The stream of goals provided by Harry Kane has been a real highlight with the English captain seemingly on course to break seemingly unbreakable scoring records. The big wins over Bochum (7-0) and Darmstadt (8-0) were high points as was the 4-0 triumph over Dortmund in the Klassiker

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Lowlight

The shock second round exit from the DFB Pokal to 3.Liga side 1. FC Saarbrücken was a real kick in the teeth and the obvious other lowlight was Bayern’s only other loss to Eintracht Frankfurt in the league.  

Stand-out performer

Nobody believed Gerd Müller’s 40 goals a season scoring record would ever be beaten, but then Robert Lewandowski did it. As amazing as it sounds, Harry Kane looks like he may even be on course to beat Lewandowski’s miraculous feat this season. The €100 man is certainly justifying his huge price tag and has hit a staggering 21 Bundesliga goals already in just 15 appearances. 

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Grade: A

Aside from the major blip against Frankfurt, the first half of the season has been typical Bayern. The fact that Bayer Leverkusen have started in fantastic fashion means that they are the current front-runners, but when the pressure increases in the Rückrunde Bayern will look to use their experience and nous to fend off the challenge of the Werkself

 

About Mathew Burt 1053 Articles
Former writer at Goal.com and JustFootball, I've been doing my thing for Bundesliga Fanatic since 2015. A long-suffering Werder Bremen fan and disciple of the Germanic holy trinity...Bier. Wurst und Fußball

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