Bayern Munich's 2-0 win in Berlin is certainly what a 2-0 win should feel like, not the uneasy 2-0 win they achieved in the DFB-Pokal in midweek. With several key players out of the side, Bayern did not skip a beat and turned the Cinderella Hertha Berlin back into a pumpkin. There were a lot of positive things to take away from this performance, an important one before Bayern have to face Atlético Madrid in the Champions League.
1. Bayern scoring in different ways is exciting
Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller were Bayern's greatest strength in the first half of the season, but the club's reliance on them was their greatest weakness in 2016. Opponents began to pack the penalty area to take the space away from them, causing both to be either smothered in the box or have to take touches outside of it. However, Bayern are now scoring goals in different ways – corner kicks, midfield bombs, and slicing shots from the wings. Bayern scored two "different" goals against Berlin, and that is what ultimately made the difference. That diversity is what helps the best attacks win trophies, and their growing range of goalscoring.
2. Mario Götze's first touch makes him deserving of a contract extension
He may not be able to take on players like Douglas Costa, or leave opponents in the dust like Kingsley Coman, but Mario Götze showed Saturday his first touch is still the best one of the best on the team. Not many attackers in his position have had success against Hertha this season, but he was able to spin around Fabian Lustenberger with ease and continue chances for Bayern when first touches eluded other players. He was moving like the 19-year-old wunderkind he was at Dortmund, and he worked very well with Thiago Alcantara, Arturo Vidal and Douglas Costa. That is a type of player Bayern need to keep around, even if it is just a minor extension for now.
3. Bayern's reserve defenders are useful, especially for set pieces
Both transferring in the last two years, Medhi Benatia and Serdar Tasci paired together for the first time on Saturday, a set-up that provided Bayern with two trained center backs for the first time in a long time. They both played very well against one of the best counter-attacking teams in Germany, handling the elusiveness of Mitchell Weiser and manning up against Vedad Ibisevic. Their biggest impact came on set-pieces – a weakness Bayern have gotten away with during the center-back crisis – with Benatia winning balls in the air and helping to clear them away.
4. If Douglas Costa learns how to finish, he will be unstoppable
Douglas can do a lot of things, but so far this season, shooting and finishing has not really been one of him. His inconsistent finishing is the reason why Arjen Robben plays on the left when he is fit, and Douglas has to move to the left to make room. However, Robben's injury has forced Douglas to play more on the right and play the position in the inverted fashion Robben does. He moved back to the right when Franck Ribéry came into the game, but this time he unleashed a sizzling shot Thomas Kraft could not handle. If he finds a way to channel his inner Robben, he could be even better than Robben ever was.
5. Joshua Kimmich is a different kind of fullback that could fit well in a single pivot system
Needing to rest Juan Bernat and Philipp Lahm before a big Champions League clash, Pep Guardiola deployed a different fullback combination that many were expecting. Putting Rafinha on the left did not work, and David Alaba had to come off the bench to restore balance to Bayern's set-up. Joshua Kimmich got a full shift at right back, a position he played frequently with the Germany U21s before finally getting some room in midfield. He is not the overlapping, cross-firing fullback Bayern have depended on for so many years, but with Coman and Douglas providing much of the service, he can instead help build up the play from his position. That could work well in Guardiola's single-pivot system, though that system may completely change under Carlo Ancelotti.