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In the Zone: Man United 0-1 Bayern performance analysis

UEFA's Technical Observer panel analyse Bayern's 1-0 win against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Matchday 6.

Bayern celebrate their victory at Old Trafford
Bayern celebrate their victory at Old Trafford

Bayern München scored just the one goal in their victory at Old Trafford on Tuesday night, but their attacking progressions were a consistently impressive feature of their final Group A fixture.

In this article brought to you by Fedex, UEFA’s Technical Observer panel highlight the movement of the German champions' front four as well as shining a light on Manchester United’s pressing game.

Man United 0-1 Bayern

Team formations


Kane and Musiala operating as No10s

In the Zone: Kane and Musiala operate as No10s

The first video focuses on the way Bayern progressed the ball. The UEFA match observer at Old Trafford noted how "Harry Kane and Jamal Musiala operated in the half-spaces, with Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sané always ready to jump in behind." This was the same tactic observed in the first meeting of the teams in Munich in September.

Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel demands plenty of movement between the lines and Clip 1 shows him, from his technical area, instructing Musiala to drop deep to collect the ball from his centre-back. As this first sequence develops, we see Kane highlighted next – he too is between the lines, with wide forwards Coman and Sané occupying the more advanced positions.

It is Kane who ultimately feeds the ball down the right for a crossing opportunity for Noussair Mazraoui and – as the graphic shows – roughly two-thirds (64.9%) of Bayern's attacks on Tuesday night came down that right side.

Clip 2 shows Musiala drop deep again to start another attack. He is involved later on in the move too and the youngster's quick feet and precision drew praise from Kane afterwards as he told TNT Sports: "When he gets into those spaces, you can't mark him almost. He is so agile, he is so quick, he drives with the ball and plays a good final ball."

The third clip raises another point as it shows United centre-half Jonny Evans track Musiala into the Bayern half. As the technical observer reflected, when a forward drops deep, it asks a difficult question of the centre-back: do they follow the forward or stay put?

United's pressing leads to regains 

In the Zone: Man United pressing leads to regains

"We were very good in the defensive organisation and very good with our pressing." So said Erik ten Hag after the match, and this second video illustrates the United manager's point.

Clip 1 shows the pressing of the Old Trafford side in the attacking third. In the midfield and forward areas, United went man to man, and in this clip we see each of their front six ready to get tight to a Bayern player.

In the second clip, there is more of the same as United press in numbers in the Bayern half, showing intensity in their efforts to win back the ball. This example is from the second period when, as Ten Hag asserted, United were especially effective in their pressing. Overall, they managed 55 ball recoveries, which was their second-highest total of the group stage – bettered only by the 70 they produced at home against Galatasaray.

Impact of Coman and Musiala

In the Zone: Impact of Coman and Musiala

It was Coman, scorer of the winning goal, and Musiala who took many of the post-match plaudits, and this video underlines why.

Clips 1 and 2 shows more of Musiala's nimble-footed work in the No10 role; in the second clip he evades the red shirts and feeds Coman, who tees up a shooting chance for Kane. Musiala ended the match having recorded more ball carries of 10m or more than any other player – seven in all.

The final clip follows Coman's movement in the lead-up to his goal – concluding with him receiving the pass from Kane and firing emphatically past André Onana. "His run for the goal in behind the defence was great, with a composed finish to follow," said the match observer.

It is worth adding that Coman attempted more take-ons (six) than any other player on the Old Trafford pitch – and was successful with four of them. He also played the most passes in the attacking third – 16, with a 90.9% success rate.

We should highlight the role of Kane too. His assist was his third of the group stage – and prior to Wednesday's second set of Matchday 6 fixtures, he ranks joint-first for through balls in the group stage with five.

Coaches' and players' assessments

Erik ten Hag, Man United coach: "There was a good intensity in the game from our side. We brought Bayern out of their rhythm – our defensive organisation, our pressing organisation, we did quite well, if not to say very well, especially in the first part of the second half where we had very good ball regains high up the pitch. But we didn't take the benefit of it."

Thomas Tuchel, Bayern coach: "I am very happy with the effort, the level of focus and the energy we brought to the pitch today … We defended very well as a team, very aggressively; we did not allow any chances or half-chances. It was one of our best performances in the group stage over 90 minutes."

Harry Kane, Bayern forward: "I'm getting to know my team-mates more and more, and the way the boss wants to play – sometimes dropping, sometimes going high – and it suits me well, especially with the players we have. [With] Leroy, Jamal and Kingsley around me, I know I can get into those pockets and create chances as well."

Coman on Bayern's win

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