Often the last impression sticks – which distorts reality. FC Bayern has to deal with a performance before the second leg of the Champions League round of sixteen against Paris St. Germain on Wednesday (21:00 in the F.A.Z. live ticker for the Champions League and DAZN) that was neat for a long time, sovereign and not worrying. Even if the final phase had been a bit "too exciting" to the taste of coach Julian Nagelsmann, a deeply relaxed Thomas Müller said about the late loss of control in the 2-1 win over VfB Stuttgart: "It tingled for the spectators, but for me it was not worth mentioning."
The game in Stuttgart is hardly a yardstick for PSG. One club is a relegation candidate in the Bundesliga, the other has the ambition to finally win the Champions League. "If we lose the ball there, other players run deep," says Leon Goretzka. At VfB Silas or Chris Führich set accents in the attack, at Paris Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé.
You have to be "extra focused," explains Matthijs de Ligt. The Dutchman and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting had provided the seemingly reassuring advantage in Stuttgart with their goals, before VfB regained hope thanks to Juan José Perea's goal shortly before the end of regular time. For Nagelsmann, the loss of control had nothing to do with his substitutions after the 2:0. "They weren't young players I brought," but almost all experienced national players. Sané, Gnabry, the recovered Mané and Pavard have the ambition to be in the starting eleven.
"He's a very stable player"
Of the big names, only the winter transfers Daley Blind and Joao Cancelo were not taken into account – and that allows conclusions to be drawn for Wednesday. Nagelsmann stressed that he had "not yet decided" what the defensive formation against Paris looked like, who would replace the suspended Pavard, but that it will be neither Blind nor Cancelo, is clearly apparent.
Josip Stanisic, who defended against Union and in Stuttgart on the right side, is the favored opponent for Mbappé. "He's a very stable player. He does what he can do," de Ligt praises his colleague. Supported by the fast Kingsley Coman, Nagelsmann also trusts him to get the French superstar under control.
Cancelo could give more impetus forward. But that's not what Paris is about. "We have to find a good balance between offensive power and more defensive order," says Nagelsmann. Because Bayern operate with a three-man chain when they have possession of the ball, they can only afford one attacking winger, and that is Alphonso Davies on the left at the moment.
That's why, after a good debut, Cancelo recently only came to part-time assignments. He still has "things to catch up on," says Nagelsmann, because Manchester City's style of play is very different from that of FC Bayern. There, "Joao almost never played a triple chain".