Hooray! We broke the deadlock this week. Sort of.
I selected Franck Ribery as this week's Man of the Match following an impressive 25 minutes in Bayern Munich's 2-0 win over VfB Stuttgart. To say that Bayern Munich transformed when he entered the pitch is an understatement. Prior to his substitution, Bayern Munich while leading were content to play a much more conservative possessive game. While on the scoreboard it was working, Bayern Munich had stopped generating high quality chances far previously as Stuttgart opted to protect and score on the counter.
Upon the introduction of Franck Ribery the whole dynamic changed as Bayern Munich suddenly became much more direct in their attacks. Bayern Munich quickly gave the Stuttgart defense fits as they repeatedly broke through their defensive structure and generated quality chances. The addition of Ribery gave the game a much more vertical characteristic and suddenly Bayern Munich's attacks against Stuttgart came in ever increasing numbers until finally in the 85th minute Ribery scored the goal ahead goal to put the result beyond the shadow. Only a goal line clearance prevented Ribery from adding to that total later in the match as well.
However, you the readership opted to go a different way selecting the very impressive Xabi Alonso as your man of the match with an aggregate score of 4.30. It's an understatement that Alonso has been one of the most impressive additions to this Bayern Munich side, dwarfing even the highly vaunted addition of Robert Lewandowski. He's been well north of 4 in the community ratings despite only have been with the club for just over 2(!) weeks. His passing ability and his tactical acumen were on full display in this match as he dictated play from deep in midfield and later from a position in the backline after Holger Badstuber's went down with further injury.
Coming in just behind Xabi Alonso though was the author's man of the match selection in Franck Ribery who the community gave the second highest marks in deserved fashion after his return from injury. Rounding out the list of the other top performers is the always impressive Manuel Neuer, while Mario Götze saw a slight bump from his Goal of the Week candidate strike in the 25th minute. The only other high performing member of Bayern Munich was Jerome Boateng who played in an exceptionally well despite being utilized in an odd rightback/centerback hybridization that left many people scratching their heads as to whether Bayern Munich were playing a 3 or 4-man backline.
Overall, it was a solid performance as every Bayern Munich player was ranked about 3, or average.
Scale: 1 - Abject; 2 - Poor; 3 - Average; 4 - Above Average; 5 - Exceptional; 0- Incomplete