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Brace for impact: Thomas Müller leads match awards for Bayern Munich's 3-1 win

Thomas Muller's brace helps power Bayern Munich past a pesky Darmstadt side, but he wasn't alone in his efforts

Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Tip Of The Cap: Rafinha. He doesn't often get recognized for the work he does on the field. He's not the flashiest of defenders and rarely wows with any one particular skill, but he deserves a nod here. Much of the defensive responsibility fell to him with this being Serdar Tasci's first game and with Joshua Kimmich being shifted around the patchwork back line. Rafinha did an admirable job holding things together and even managed to chip in in the offensive zone with three shots and three key passes. Too bad he will have to serve a yellow card suspension with his fifth yellow card.

Golf Clap: Franck Ribéry. King Franck's much heralded arrival on the pitch came with baited breath as many Bayern fans were simply hoping for him to stay healthy. He did much more than simply not get injured. In the 38 minutes he was on, he asserted himself as a dominant force on the left flank. He had four passes which led to shots on goal including an assist on the final goal which put the game out of reach. If this brief stint is any indication, it would seem that reports of King Franck's demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Standing Ovation: Arturo Vidal. He led the game in passes, tackles, touches, key passes (a pass which leads to a shot on goal) and arials won with 10. The game seemed to flow through his feet and he played Darmstadt masterfully. His assist on Thomas Müller's first goal could not have come at a better time as it looked as if the lillywhites might hold on to their one goal lead. Vidal never got rattled by Darmstadt's tight defending and counter attacking, playing responsibly in his own end as well.

Meister Of The Match: Thomas Müller. His bicycle kick goal alone should be enough to give him the Meister, but he was great in other phases of the game as well. He used the space given to him very effectively and paired well with Robert Lewandowski to form a dangerous attack that in most games would have yielded many more goals. When his team was down by a goal, he put them on his back and carried them to a victory. Sure, he had help, but his two goals were absolutely brilliant and came at just the right time.

Jersey Swap: Christian Mathenia. In games such as these, it's easy to just give the swap to the keeper, but the 23-year-old Mathenia did a remarkable job making saves front point blank range on Arjen Robben and Lewandowski. Both players are world class goal scorers. This game could have easily become a laugher, but Mathenia kept Darmstadt in it for much longer than they should have been.

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