Bayern Munich kicked off their quest for a three-peat as Bundesliga champions on Friday with a 2-1 victory against VfL Wolfsburg. While it does seems that Pep Guardiola will never be able to select from a full compliment of players due to injuries, the match against Wolfsburg showed us that Bayern still have a gem of a youth system that will continue to churn out diamonds.
In a new feature here at Bavarian Football Works, we're going to select a man of the match and allow you, the community, to vote on player ratings. We'll continue tracking the posts throughout the season which will allow us to bring that data back to you as we progress through the campaign.
Before I select my man of the match, I personally want to take the time to single out the performances of Gianluca Gaudino and Holger Badstuber. Gaudino stepped into the starting lineup at only age 17 against a quality Bundesliga side and performed very well. He rarely misplaced a pass and wasn't overly bodied off the all by the more physical Luiz Gustavo. Overall, it was a great performance from the young kid, and you can see why Guardiola is so high on him. As for Badstuber, his return to the field in a Bundesliga match is a welcome site, and it is his first official match for Bayern in 629 days. He showed well and is going to be an important player for the club moving forward this year.
Man of the Match
However, there is no question who the standout of the match against Wolfsburg was. Arjen Robben terrorized their backline throughout the match and contributed a goal and assist to lead Bayern to victory. And, there is one thing that everyone needs to remember. The Robben that we saw on Friday is only performing at around 80%. He's going to be a joy to see at 100%.
His assist was special to watch. Robben cut it on his left foot, but then cut back to his right to fool Gustavo. With the Brazilian midfielder out of the picture, Robben's pass to the middle of the penalty area was shinned into the net by Thomas Müller to get Bayern started. The goal would come just after the second half restart. It was just a sprint up the middle before beating Max Grün (who had a spectacular game, by the way) with a left footed shot.
Who was your Man of the Match?