Three things we learned as Jamal Musiala dazzled to the delight of Bayern Munich as they put three past Hoffenheim

Bayern Munich overcame a stubborn Hoffenheim side 3-0 at the Allianz Arena to return from the winter break in style. After a tepid opening to proceedings, it would be a piece of Jamal Musiala magic to break the deadlock with a vicious strike across the face of goal to break Hoffenheim’s resistance. However, it would not be enough to spark the tie into life, with both sides struggling to come out of first gear as the game headed into the break with the hosts boasting the narrowest of advantages.

Nevertheless, the second half would begin in a similar manner to how the first half ended, but, as Bayern continued to struggle, Hoffenheim began to show life. With chances revealing themselves to the visitors, Maximilian Beier would fail to find the killer blow, as Dayot Upamecano, Manuel Neuer, and the crossbar prevented him from levelling the game. Inevitably, it came back to bite Hoffenheim, as Musiala tapped home a second to give the hosts an important three points with 20 minutes remaining, before Harry Kane added a third in injury time. A result that sees Hoffenheim’s poor run of form continue while Bayern remain just behind Bayer Leverkusen in pole position.

Bayern start how they mean to go on

After nearly a month away from competitive action, it was important for Bayern to ensure that they hit the ground running off the back of the winter break. Sitting five points behind Bayer Leverkusen before kick-off, a slip up at home to Hoffenheim would have seen Der Rekordmeister uncharacteristically offer a title rival the advantage.

However, with their display away at Eintracht Frankfurt in mind after a period of time off, Hoffenheim would have been hoping to see a rusty Bayern performance. Unfortunately for the visitors, while Bayern would be unable to find their stride, the record champions proved to have the quality required to earn a crucial three points.

Throughout the ninety minutes, Thomas Tuchel’s side struggled to control the game in the manner that they would have hoped, with Hoffenheim looking like the side on top at times. Regardless, with Jamal Musiala and Leroy Sané proving too much for the visitors to handle, Dayot Upamecano and Manuel Neuer would further frustrate Die Kraichgauer in front of goal. It was certainly not a vintage Bayern display, but it is three points that will ensure that they stay just behind Die Werkself, and for Tuchel, it will have been the ideal way to return from the winter break.

Europe continues to slip away from Hoffenheim 

After such a positive start to the season, Hoffenheim found themselves in a position where they could begin to cement themselves in the European places. However, a poor run of form before the winter break saw them give their advantage up, slipping to seventh in the table.

While visiting the Allianz Arena is not a reliable way to judge a side’s season, defeat to Der Rekordmeister means Hoffenheim are now on a run of just one victory in their last eight Bundesliga outings. With a plethora of chances falling to Pellegrino Matarazzo’s, they were unable to take advantage of an unorthodox Bayern performance.

There will certainly be positives for Matarazzo to take from their performance in Bavaria, but an improved cutting edge will be required going forward. With another away trip to Freiburg coming up next for Hoffenheim, it will be a match in which only three points will do if they are to be considered European challengers come May.

Musiala’s magic proves too much

It has been a difficult campaign for Jamal Musiala with injuries preventing the 20-year-old from displaying his usual best in the Bundesliga. Instead, he has had to leave his dazzling performances for the Champions League.

However, against Hoffenheim, he re-kindled the form that has made him one of the most feared players in Europe. With the most dribbles completed in the Bayern squad, Musiala was also able to create two chances on goal, finding himself at the heart of everything positive for Thomas Tuchel’s side.

Regardless, it would be the two goals he scored that ensured Bayern came out on top on their return from the winter break. A vicious strike opened the scoring before he found himself well positioned to tap the record champions into a two-goal lead. While it has not been the most straightforward season for Musiala, his quality is undeniable, and hopefully this will be the start of a remarkable second half of the season.

GGFN | Will Shopland

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