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5 Talking Points After RB Salzburg Held To Bayern Munich Draw

5 Talking Points After RB Salzburg Held To Bayern Munich Draw

RB Salzburg proved why we love Champions League nights, as they surprised most of us with their efforts in a 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich.

It looked to be a dream start to their last 16 encounter, which will feature a much tougher return trip to the Allianz Arena next month. But the win wasn't meant to be.

Nonetheless, Salzburg's young core shone at the Red Bull Arena, with a spirited first-half performance in particular. They held Bayern for most of the second too.

The German champions will take some positives from their dominance on the ball late on, but the performance was far beyond what we'd expect from one of Europe's titans.

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With the second leg set to be fairly intriguing with it all square, here are five talking points after the first leg:

5. Will Bayern maintain the same defensive shape?

Going with a back three showed Julian Nagelsmann's intent. He didn't seem to respect RB Salzburg's threat on the wings and that proved costly. It wasn't necessarily a wing threat that solely caused Bayern problems, it was more so their high line and lack of pace in the back three. Pavard and Sule in particular were caught out more than a few times, so Nagelsmann will have to reassess the game plan.

4. How serious is the injury to Noah Okafor?

Salzburg's Okafor was substituted off with only ten minutes gone in the game, but it's unknown whether it was serious or just a niggle. Matthias Jaissle believed it was serious enough to take him off, however, so we'll see what is said in the coming days. His replacement, Chukwubuike Adamu, did well in his absence, but Okafor has scored twelve times for the Austrian champions this season, so he'll be missed.

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3. Should Joshua Kimmich start the next leg?

It's another piece of evidence to suggest Bayern probably weren't expecting as much of a game as they thought. Joshua Kimmich was brought on in the second half and seemed to do well in midfield. He's been the preferred central option for Bayern this season, barring Covid complications, and it'll be hard not to think he'll start at the Allianz Arena.

4. How do you get the best out of Robert Lewandowski?

An underrated aspect of Salzburg's performance was how well set up they were defensively. Their back four maintained a line and didn't leave any holes for Lewandowski to capitalise in the box. It might require a tactical change or two on Bayern's doing. 26 Bundesliga goals in 22 games suggest the Ballon d'Or nominee isn't been utilised to his strengths, or maybe he just had an off night.

5. How will RB Salzburg fare away from home?

There's not much precedent for RB Salzburg in the Champions League knockout stages, as it's surprisingly their first trip to the last 16. In Group G, they won all their games at home but they couldn't get a result in Lille, Wolfsburg, or Sevilla. The Allianz Arena has enjoyed plenty of big European nights, so hopefully, the occasion doesn't get to them on March 8th.

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See Also: The Wily Veteran Eleven: Champions League Stalwarts From The Last 16

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