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Arjen Robben Is Man of the Match against AS Roma

A suggestion was made to use a dartboard to pick the Man of the Match for the Roman Massacre, and chances are, whoever's name the dart landed on wouldn't have been a bad choice. But, the honor goes to Arjen Robben, by an ever so slight margin.

Arjen Robben opens the scoring against AS Roma in Tuesday evening's CL match
Arjen Robben opens the scoring against AS Roma in Tuesday evening's CL match
Alexander Hassenstein

In FC Bayern Munich's record breaking Champions League away win (no German team had ever scored that many goals in someone else's stadium), it was extremely hard to pinpoint one player that stood out above the rest, so completely dominating was the team performance against AS Roma.

But, pick we must, and the award goes to the Flying Dutchman, Arjen Robben, who apparently missed the memo about players over 30 starting to decline in their skills and stamina, and just continues to get better.  Right from the opening whistle, he was flying all over the pitch (and he's Dutch, hence the nickname), terrorizing his former Chelsea teammate, Ashley Cole, and anyone else who dared to help out.

His goal in the 9th minute, which gave Bayern the 1-0 lead, proved to be the can opener.  It came on a pretty give-and-go with the captain, Philip Lahm, followed by Robben's trademark move to the inside around a bewildered Cole, onto his left foot (newsflash, Roma, he likes to go to his left!!!), and ended with a sublime looping shot, out of Roma goalkeeper Morgan de Sanctis' reach, and just inside the far post.

His second tally, in the 30th minute, brought the scoreline to a whopping 4-0.  The run was perfectly timed, with a nice crisp pass from striker Robert Lewandowski into the open space behind Cole (newsflash, Cole, Robben is fast!!!), and he finished it with a strong shot that eluded de Sanctis.

In the second half, Robben turned provider, killing off any possible thoughts of a Roma comeback after Gervinho had made it 5-1, by putting a picture perfect through pass to Franck Ribery, which the Frenchman expertly lobbed over an over-matched Roma keeper to make it 6-1.

The rest of the game, the Holland international toyed with his opposition (mostly poor Ashley Cole), driving them crazy with his speed and dribbling.  But, what put Robben ahead for this award was his willingness to consistently come back and perform defensive duties.  Considering the score, and his stature as a star offensive player, that is anything but a given in the world of professional football, but one of the Dutchman's qualities that he has worked on over the last few years is to be more of a team player.  Show me Ronaldo helping out the defense, and it will be the first time it's happened.

So, despite outstanding performance from many a Bayern Munich player, be it Neuer's stellar goalkeeping, or Robben's fellow attackers Lewandowski, Mario Götze and Thomas Müller, or the string-pulling maestros in midfield like Xabi Alonso or Lahm, the defensive stalwart of Jerome Boateng, Robben stood out just a little bit more in an overall outstanding effort by the greatest club in the world (hint, I'm talking about Bayern).

So, who do you think deserves the award?

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