The UEFA Champions League is back, and it brought us some brilliant tactical matchups. In the first round of group B, Bayern Munich welcomed Red Star Belgrade in the match that reminded football fans of the classic clashes of those two teams from the second half of the 20th century.

Even though the Serbs are once again in European elite competition, they didn’t manage to steal the show at Allianz Arena and get away with a piece of loot. Niko Kovač’s men dominated the pitch throughout the whole match and deservedly won on their home turf, with the only issue to realise their opportunities. This tactical analysis will show you how the Germans controlled the play on the field and how they got into their chances.

Lineups

UEFA Champions League 2019/20: Bayern Munich vs Red Star Belgrade – tactical analysis tactics
Credit: WyScout

Kovač set his team in a 4-2-3-1 formation with a lot of shape transformations throughout the match, which lead them to create free space all over the pitch. The midfield was held by Corentin Tolisso, Thiago Alcântara and Phillipe Coutinho, with the huge support of Joshua Kimmich who often inverted to play as a fourth midfielder. The main attacking forces were the two wings embodied in Ivan Perišić and Kingsley Coman with their target-man Robert Lewandowski on the top of the lineup.

Vladan Milojević went into the game with his usual 4-2-3-1 tactics that were mostly oriented to defending their goal. Nemanja Milunović and Miloš Degenek pulled the strings in the defensive line and commanded the block of their team with José Alberto Cañas doing the same in the midfield line. Milan Pavkov was the lonely striker, and he had help from their first star Marko Marin, along with Mateo Garcia on one flank, and Rajiv van la Para on the other.

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Artwork by @chapulana

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