Every week for the remainder of the season, Sportsnet will choose a top play from the Bundesliga and break it down in depth to highlight its magnificence.
This past Saturday, Bayern Munich trailed in a Bundesliga match for the first time since December. Lucas Alario struck after nine minutes for Bayer Leverkusen and momentarily caused a spark of optimism across the league.
That spark was extinguished about 18 minutes later when Kingsley Coman equalized for Bayern after a wonderful free-flowing sequence from end-to-end.
Coman’s goal was the first of four unanswered tallies for Bayern en route to a comfortable 4-2 victory. If not for that goal, however, it could’ve been a significantly different outcome.
Here is an in-depth breakdown of Coman’s goal.
It was evident Bayer Leverkusen was attempting to pressure Bayern high up the pitch, recover possession close to goal and pounce on the break. The attack-heavy lineup indicated such before kickoff.
The wide players in particular were handed very specific roles. Karim Bellarabi was supporting Nadiem Amiri defensively against Alphonso Davies, while also combining going forward. Moussa Diaby, on the other hand, was cutting inside to play off Lucas Alario.
Because of this, Diaby contributed greatly to Coman’s efforts, unfortunately for Leverkusen.
When Diaby has the ball in Bayern’s half, he doesn’t have any options. Attempting a pass to Alario would be risky, while Leon Bailey isn’t attacking the open space ahead of him.
Bailey hesitated to run beyond Diaby, which bought enough time for Leon Goretzka to step in and dispossess the Frenchman.
Chef Goretzka serves Kingsley Coman
From here, it’s almost too easy for Bayern but credit Goretzka for his patience and Coman for the ensuing run.
Goretzka has a couple of seconds to send Coman through on goal once possession is recovered. Amiri is behind Coman with Sven Bender a few yards ahead of Edmond Tapsoba.
Thanks to Leverkusen’s discombobulated defence, Coman was able to run inside and was through on goal after a perfectly timed pass by Goretzka.
Coman vs. Hradecky
Once Coman is through, the end result is a foregone conclusion.
That was aided in part by Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky. Because Leverkusen plays so high up the pitch, it’s common for Hradecky to stand far outside his box.
But typically when the opposition counters, a goalkeeper should retreat into his box in order to rush out and cut down the angle against the forward on the ball.
Hradecky didn’t do this. In fact, he was rushing out needlessly as Coman bursted towards goal.
The Leverkusen No. 1 tried to retreat quickly but Coman has the pace to cover a ton of ground in what looks like nanoseconds at times.
As soon as Coman takes his first touch, Hradecky barely has enough room to attack the ball and close down the angle.
With Hradecky rooted to the spot, Coman was able to take a couple more touches to line up his shot. It was as cool as you’d like.
That goal proved vital, with Bayern adding two more before halftime to take an emphatic lead into the break.