Nagelsmann unsurprised by Cancelo’s Bayern debut due to Pep influence
Julian Nagelsmann had no doubts Joao Cancelo would settle in on his Bayern Munich debut at Mainz after playing under “one of the best managers in the world” in Pep Guardiola.
Bayern have been held to three consecutive 1-1 draws in the Bundesliga, but they ended their winless run with an emphatic 4-0 crushing of Mainz on Wednesday to reach the DFB-Pokal quarter-final.
Manchester City loanee Cancelo started the game, just a day after joining the German champions, and assisted Eric Choupo-Moting’s 17th-minute opener with a pinpoint right-wing cross.
Nagelsmann was unsurprised to see wing-back Cancelo flourish on his first start after working under former Bayern head coach Guardiola.
“Joao played a very good game. He was very creative, played some great passes and crosses and also made very good deep runs,” he told reporters.
“He was playing under one of the best managers in the world. I just told him to play his game and not to think too much.”
Jamal Musiala and Leroy Sane added first-half goals soon after Choupo-Moting’s header, before substitute Alphonso Davies secured victory in the latter stages.
Victory marked a significant improvement to Bayern’s post-World Cup form, as Nagelsmann hailed an “important” first win in 2023.
He added: “I’m very satisfied with the result and the way we played. Games against Mainz and Bo Svensson’s teams are extremely difficult.
“We were more aggressive with the ball going forward than in recent games. We defended well and kept a clean sheet which was important.
“It was a deserved and important win, not only in this competition but also after we failed to win our games since the start of the year. We want more of the same against Wolfsburg on Sunday.”
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