See, it works! On Wednesday evening, FC Bayern celebrated a comfortable 4-0 win over Mainz 05 in the DFB Cup, making it perfect for the quarter-finals. After three draws at the start of the year, the first win of 2023 came on Wednesday evening.

For the first time this year, the Munich team played with a back three instead of a back four – with success! “The main idea was that recently, when we played against such deep opponents, we often lacked a midfielder to play balls from the wing back into the center,” said Julian Nagelsmann after the game on ARD about his tactical trick .

Benjamin Pavard, Dayot Upamecano and Matthijs de Ligt formed the defensive group in front of Yann Sommer, in front of them Joshua Kimmich played as the sole six. Last-minute signing Joao Cancelo and Kingsley Coman acted as rail players in the four-man midfield along with Jamal Musiala and Leroy Sané.

Thomas Müller acted between striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and the center of midfield as a so-called “overnumbered player”, according to Nagelsmann. The Bayern coach went on to say: “We simply have a lot of good offensive players, sometimes you have to take a little more risk when we’re struggling in a different order than we did last time.”

According to Nagelsmann, the system change has nothing to do with Cancelo, who was loaned out by Manchester City on Deadline Day and prepared the Munich team to make it 1-0. The 35-year-old has often relied on this basic order in the past.

“For me, this is always a model for the future. In my first season at Bayern we also played with a back three during a very successful phase. Then there was a lot of pressure from outside and everyone wanted to see a different order, although that wasn’t so often,” added the coach of the German record champions at Sky. “Most of the time it’s not a question of order, whether in good times or bad. It is always a question of attitude and implementation.”

It remains to be seen whether Nagelsmann will also rely on the back three on Sunday (5.30 p.m., DAZN and in the AZ live ticker) against resurgent Wolfsburg. In any case, the system was also well received by Kimmich, who was named “Man of the Match” after the game. “It worked really well today. We have many players who can play both systems, so we can act very flexibly.”

This article was written by Christina Stelzl

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The original of this article “Nagelsmann gets Bayern back in top form with this tactical trick” comes from the evening newspaper.