Jersey swap: Yussuf Poulsen
Yussuf Poulsen is not your ordinary striker. In fact, he doesn’t score very often, but he is a constant nuisance. Today, he was one of Leipzig’s only players to find space on the attack. He also kept his composure despite being on the receiving end of several fouls, tactical or otherwise. So we’ll swap jerseys with him. As for the rest of RB Leipzig, thanks, but you can keep your jerseys.
Tip of the Cap: Robert Lewandowski
Robert Lewandowski came ready to do whatever it takes today to beat Leipzig, and that included far more than simply lurking around the penalty box. Lewandowski’s game has been evolving to encompass so much more. Today he not only led Bayern in shots, as one would expect - one of them bouncing off the woodwork for Thiago to convert - but he also has gradually transformed into a player who can dribble and pose a threat on the wings, registering three successful dribbles against Leipzig (out of five). To top it off, his stutter-step penalty kicks are unstoppable.
Golf clap: Xabi Alonso
Xabi had himself a fantastic game in the midfield today, coordinating effortlessly with Vidal and especially Thiago to ensure that Bayern squeezed Leipzig’s heart without conceding any defensive space. Besides his outstanding passing and composure on the ball, Alonso also showed he has plenty of life in his legs as he charged forward to support a breakaway counter led by Thiago, scoring on an expertly taken shot under a diving Peter Gulacsi.
Standing ovation: Douglas Costa
The fleet-footed Costa utterly terrorized Leipzig, especially in the decisive first half of the game. Costa danced around Leipzig’s defense and fired off multiple shots, one of them bouncing off the woodwork. Costa’s presence throughout out the match gave Leipzig’s defense a challenge that they simply could not cope with, exposing gaps that would be ruthlessly exploited by his teammates. He also drew contact from Peter Gulacsi, gifting Bayern a penalty kick that Lewandowski would not miss.
Meister of the Match: Thiago
This was is so easy. Thiago dominated this game from start to finish. Not only did he personally score a goal and register an assist on Xabi Alonso’s goal, he also led the field in touches (122) while passing the ball 90 times with 89% accuracy from an attacking position. On top of that, he came second only to Costa in dribbles (5). It was a complete performance by the Spaniard and a reminder of why Pep Guardiola insisted on bringing him to Munich. Thiago owned Leipzig today. We just watched perhaps the best single performance by a Bayern player this season.