Kim Min-jae (26) played full-time in 15 games. He has been playing hard enough seasons, but has not complained about any kind of complaints. “It’s nonsense to be full when you’re tired,” he said, doing his best in every game. However, Coach Thomas Tuchel, who made an unusual decision, apologized to his team.
Bayern Munich beat FC Cologne 1-0 in the 12th round of the 2023-24 German Bundesliga held at Energie Stadion in Cologne, Germany, on the 25th (Korea time). Those who scored three points on their way to Cologne have never lost since the opening and have been in the lead competition in the Bundesliga. Bayern Munich secured 32 points through its victory over Cologne, ranking first in the Bundesliga. 안전놀이터
However, something unexpected happened in the match. Most coaches hand out replacement cards in the second half, but Tuchel never replaced anyone in the match against Cologne. According to the football statistics magazine Opta, it is the first time since December 2010 that Bayern Munich has not taken out a replacement card. They met with Sao Paulo when they were under Louis van Gaal, but they won 3-0 with 11 starters.
Tuchel also said it is not common. “This does not happen in football in general. I apologized to the players,” Tuchel said in an interview after the match. “It was not that I did not trust the bench players. We dominated the game well. Harry Kane and Chupo-Moting continued their excellent performances from the front. Players who played on the ground did their best to secure three points until the end. I thought about putting in Thomas Muller, Matisse Tell, and Rafael Guerreiro, but the situation was tight. I didn’t want to disturb the rhythm.”
Bayern Munich, which has not used replacement cards, is highly likely to rotate during the week schedule. It will have its fifth home game in Group A of the UEFA Champions League against Copenhagen, Denmark, on Thursday. It secured four consecutive wins by sweeping points during the four group matches, and confirmed its advance to the knockout stage (the round of 16) of the Champions League. As Bayern Munich tops its group early on, it does not have to give much weight to its remaining two matches.
It is a boon to Kim in particular. After leaving Guoan in Beijing to move to Fenerbahce, the Turkiyen team, Kim has changed teams every year. He has displayed outstanding performances in all matches, drawing keen attention from all over Europe. He left Napoli this summer to join Bayern Munich, making it one of the best teams in Europe.
When he joined the club in the summer, he focused more on the mainstay competition than on the desperate attempt. It seemed that he would continue to compete with Upamecano and Mathias the Licht, but his mainstay central defenders collapsed alternately. The Licht sustained an injury in the DFB Pokal confrontation with a third-tier team recently. From Tuchel’s point of view, he had to leave everything up to Kim Min-jae, the healthiest man. Currently, Kim Min-jae is playing in all matches including the Champions League and DFB Pokal, while playing a full-time schedule of 15 official matches.
The Korean national team is also coming and going, but to Kim, fighting was a luxury. At an A-match in October, “It’s better to be tired than tired because you can’t play. Now, they are all playing under difficult circumstances. I played many games last year, and I think it’s important to take good care of your condition without getting hurt,” Kim said. “Of course, it’s hard, but the reason why I don’t talk about it is simple. All players are tired. The same goes for those who either play or don’t. It’s a luxury to say that I’m the only one who is struggling even though everyone is struggling. I’m so lucky to play without getting hurt.”
Kim Min-jae has shown a determined performance, but it is worrisome in Germany. Germany’s Sport 1 said, “Kim Min-jae is continuing his big schedule in the Bundesliga and the Champions League. Even during the A-match break, he has not recovered properly as he played for the national team. There are only three central defenders in Bayern Munich, but Kim Min-jae is the only one who is in good physical condition.”
The same was true for Tuchel. “Kim Min-jae and Alfonso Davis just finished their national team schedule and came back. I don’t think I know where they are going. It’s a physically challenging time. We have an away game on Friday, not on the weekend. Kim Min-jae and Alfonso Davis might have reached their limit or exceeded their limits. Of course, such a schedule could be due to the broadcasting rights. It can’t be an excuse, but it’s a very unfortunate schedule. I chose a short trip on Friday morning so that players can rest at home,” he said.
It was very worrisome but Tuchel had to choose. He deployed Harry Kane to the front line during the away game in Cologne, while King Seungri Coman, Erik Chupo-Moting, Leroy Sane, Leon Goretzka, and Joshua Kimmich were deployed in the midfield. The four-back players were Nusair Mazraoui, Kim Min-jae, Upamecano, and Konrad Reimer, while the goalkeeper’s gloves were worn by Manuel Neuer, who returned from a long injury. Kim Min-jae was paired with Upamecano to keep the Bayern Munich four-back.
For Cologne, Davy Zelke was looking to score from the front. Lynton Maina, Florian Kainz, and Jan Dilemann provided fire support from the back, while Deyon Ryubicz and Eric Martel played from their backs. The defense was Lian Cabot, Luca Kylian, Timo Huvers and Rasmus Carstensen. Goalkeeper Marvin Schwaffe defended the goal.
Bayern Munich put pressure on Cologne from the beginning after overcoming the burden of an away game. It shook Cologne with Kane at the center, and attempted a threatening shot just seven minutes later. Kane’s shot was aimed for a quick first goal, but Cologne Schwaber’s goalkeeper was even fiercer.
Cologne mixed the long balls and sent the balls to the Bayern Munich area. Kim Min-jae worked diligently to prevent the Cologne attack. However, there was a big collision with Lynton in the 14th minute of the first half. He fell on the ground due to a rough foul from the opponent. He lied down for a while and complained of pain. He recently played full-time in 14 consecutive games, which could have led to a big injury. However, he soon shook off his seat and got up and returned to his position.
Bayern Munich roared, leaving behind their stagnant moments. They took away the Cologne ball and quickly converted it into a counterattack. The Cologne defense tried to end the attack before returning to the box. Sane’s shot was caught in the hands of goalkeeper Schwabe, who had shown an animal save from the beginning of the first half, but it was caught by Kane’s foot, who was rushing from nearby. It was virtually made in a situation similar to an empty goal, and Kane calmly pushed it to score.
Kane scored his 18th goal of this season and the most goals scored by an English player in a single season in the Bundesliga. He left Tottenham to join Bayern Munich for the trophy this summer, and showed good performance living up to expectations for Bayern Munich. Including the UEFA Champions League in the “War of the Stars,” Kane scored 22 goals in every game. He has recorded more than one goal per game in the Bundesliga, continuing his top-class scoring ability.
Bayern Munich did not slow down even after the first goal. It continued threatening attacks from the front with Kane at the center. Chupo-Moting and Sané tapped into the Cologne net and made all-out efforts to score additional goals. Chupo-Moting also tried to score a joint goal with Sané. However, neither player scored right, and failed to surpass goalkeeper Schwabe, who showed off a series of saves against Bayern Munich.
Despite Bayern Munich’s unilateral attack, Cologne remained unshaken. Thanks to Schwabé’s good defense, Cologne was able to only allow one run. Bayern Munich shot until right before the end of the first half, but failed to pass the goalkeeper’s fingertips. Cologne was able to overcome the crisis of massive loss and seek for the second half.
The situation was similar in the second half, too. However, Bayern Munich’s energy level gradually declined. Most players, including Kim Min-jae, played in A-matches, resulting in a buildup of Fido, the starting lineup. It was not a pleasant environment on the day due to pouring rain.