Three things we learned as Bayern Munich edged past Köln to return to the top of the Bundesliga

Matchday twelve kicked off with Bayern Munich overcoming a hapless Köln 1-0 to send the Billy Goats back to the bottom of the Bundesliga table. From the first whistle, the rhythm of the game was set as Der Rekordmeister’s gulf in quality shone through. However, despite the first half resulting in Thomas Tuchel’s side creating a countless number of opportunities, the record champions would only take a 1-0 lead going into the interval. Harry Kane’s solitary strike extended his goalscoring tally but also gave Köln hope of finding a route back into the game.

However, unfortunately for Köln, despite riding their luck and keeping themselves in the game, Bayern would hold on. With ten minutes left, the Billy Goats looked to break Bayern down but failed to test Manuel Neuer in goal. Der Rekordmeister still had chances of their own but were unable to convert a second goal from their 3.13 xG. Bayern return to the top of the Bundesliga table prior to Bayer Leverkusen’s clash with Werder Bremen on Saturday. As for Köln, they return to the bottom of the table with a big month ahead of them.

Thomas Müller’s time at Bayern could be over

Thomas Müller may be Mr. Bayern Munich, but his future at the club is anything but certain. The 34-year-old confirmed earlier in the week that he intends to continue his playing days beyond 2024, but there is no guarantee that it will be with Der Rekordmeister.

With his contract set to expire in the summer, talks between the two are set to take place, but with interest from Manchester United as well as failing to have an assured place in Thomas Tuchel’s side, the two could take separate paths. This was highlighted against Köln, as with Jamal Musiala sidelined through injury, Müller was left on the bench as Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting started instead.

It is understood that Bayern are willing to allow the Cameroonian to depart the club in either January or the summer; therefore, it is quite the statement that Müller was still unable to receive a starting spot in Musiala’s absence. While Müller’s game time has dwindled in the last 18 months, it is hard to believe that the 34-year-old is happy sitting on the bench, and a move away from the club he has become synonymous with could be around the corner.

A big month awaits Köln

It has been an unexpectedly difficult start to the season for Steffen Baumgart and Köln, as after defeat to Bayern Munich, the Billy Goats find themselves rooted back to the bottom of the Bundesliga. Nevertheless, safety this season will not come down to games against Der Rekordmeister.

Instead, it will be due to the results against those around them, and thankfully for Köln, they have a promising month awaiting them. Games against Darmstadt, Mainz, and Union Berlin are approaching, which means that positive results could see Baumgart’s side escape the relegation zone. However, there will be positives for Baumgart and Köln to take from their clash with Bayern.

While at times they were naive and offered Tuchel’s side far too many opportunities, they were never out of the game. There were glimpses of hope throughout, and as the clock ticked down, there was a sense that something may happen. Nevertheless, they held their own and showed the character of a side ready to fight for their Bundesliga status. Köln are certainly not a side to write off, at least not yet.

Bayern have the best attack in the world

While only one goal was enough to condemn Köln to yet another defeat, Bayern will return to Bavaria with all three points and the added luxury of knowing that they have the best frontline in Europe. It is now 43 goals in the league for Thomas Tuchel’s side, and in Harry Kane and Leroy Sané, they also have the best attacking duo in the world.

A combined total of 45 goal contributions between the pair has made Der Rekordmeister almost unbeatable this season. Even without the irresistible Jamal Musiala and efficient Serge Gnabry, Bayern’s attack has continued to portray visual excellence on a consistent basis, and nothing changed against Köln.

Alongside Kane and Sané were Kingsley Coman and Choupo-Moting, who complimented the deadly duo to perfection. The addition of the Cameroonian international further proved the quality and depth Bayern have in their squad. If they can keep their frontline firing, then they will remain on the heels of Bayer Leverkusen, as well as be the club to beat in the Champions League.

GGFN | Will Shopland

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