Julian Nagelsmann and Leon Goretzka urged Bayern Munich to become more ruthless after a 2-1 win against humble Stuttgart on Saturday.
Bayern had a solid two-goal lead at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, playing just over an hour after Erik Maxim Choupo-Moting added Matthijs de Ligt to the first half.
The guests took their foot off the gas at this point, and it almost backfired as Juan José Perea pulled his foot back late and Tanguy Koulibaly headed in an inch in stoppage time.
Despite an expected goal return (xG) at the finish of 2.30 compared to Stuttgart’s 0.67, Nagelsmann admitted that Bayern almost lost.
“After we were leading 2-0, we had a few counter-attacks that we didn’t finish,” he told Sky Sport. “We had the game under control, but if you concede late, the situation becomes tense again.
“We have to convert our chances better and go for the third goal, then we will destroy him.”
Goretzka, who scored a game-high xG of 0.54 without scoring, agreed with his manager’s assessment.
“We made a few mistakes after taking a 2-0 lead,” he said. “The opponent did not believe that he could win something in the game after losing 2-0.
“We must act accordingly, but we have not been able to do so in the last 15 minutes.”
100 – @FCBayernRU have scored 100 away goals in the Bundesliga against Stuttgart to date and become the first team in Bundesliga history to achieve this milestone away against a single opponent. Anniversary. #VfBFCB
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) March 4, 2023
Thomas Müller, whose assist in Choupo-Moting’s shot marked his 300th straight goal in the Bundesliga, looked to capitalize on his team’s sluggish finish.
“We were happy. We won and are top of the table again,” said Müller. “When Bayern are there, I always have a good feeling.
“The fact that the game got tight at the end could be a good test for the Champions League game against PSG.
Bayern lead the round of 16 against Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 ahead of Wednesday’s second leg at the Allianz Arena thanks to a goal from Kingsley Coman in the return leg.
Asked if he intends to stay in the same squad as against Stuttgart, Nagelsmann didn’t say much.
“I have to analyze and see how PSG are doing and then I will make a decision,” he said.
Bayern have won four of their last five league matches and are ahead of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the table thanks to superior goal difference.
10 consecutive champions have won 13 away games against Stuttgart, one of four teams with 19 points in the bottom of the division.
“It was an important victory for us,” said Choupo-Moting, who signed a new contract on Friday. “Of course we haven’t shown our best game and we can improve some things.
“The opponent did not give up and complicated the task. After their goal, you could feel the atmosphere in the stadium and that they were hoping for a point.”