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Five Observations: Bayern Munich dismantle Rostov 5-0

In what turned out to be a simple match for the Bavarians, Joshua Kimmich shined and led Bayern to a fully deserved 5-0 win, bagging two goals himself while putting in yet another impressive performance in the center of the park.

FC Bayern Muenchen v FC Rostov - UEFA Champions League Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

Douglas Costa looked Rusty

In his first start back from injury, Douglas Costa provided his usual energetic self down the left flank, though his final touch of creativity seemed to elude him tonight. Outside of his blistering pace, though, he didn’t offer too, too much in his time on the pitch, with his crosses often times finding the heads or feet of no one. Though a return to form should happen sooner than later, it’s apparent that even at the age of 33, Franck Ribery is still the better option in front of David Alaba. Unreal.

Joshua Kimmich is becoming more and more daring

Though Kimmich’s performances last year were beyond anything anyone could have reasonably expected out of him, he still seemed to lack the poise and courage to move forward and try something on his own. That seems to have changed this year. Whether it’s due to instructions from Carlo Ancelotti, or just a result of him feeling more comfortable on the pitch, Kimmich has added a touch of creativity to his game in recent weeks. Four goals in the last ten days would be an impressive tally for any striker, let alone a 21-year-old defensive midfielder. If he keeps up this kind of performance, he’ll see his name in the starting line-up much more frequently.

Müllers nose for goal is back

After a goal-less summer at the Euro and no goals to open the season for Bayern, some had feared that Müller was still looking for his touch and killer-instinct in front of goal. Luckily for us, he seems to have found it in recent weeks. After goals for Germany and a goal vs Rostov, Müller seems to be back in the groove. His movement in and around the box provided danger as always, and his simple touch to raise the score to 2-0 was a classic Müller goal, making the finish look much easier than it probably was.

Time to dial back expectations for Renato Sanches?

Coming into the season, many thought Renato Sanches was bound to break out in a big way. After a strong first season for Benfica, and an incredible Euro 2016, expectations were high, and rightfully so. But after seeing him in the last two games, it may be time to step back and give the kid some more time. It’s clear that the Bayern style of play is still a bit foreign to him. Last year at Benfica, he was allowed to do much more on his own and create with the ball. The Bayern “pass and move” style of play is something he’ll have to get used to.

Just like it took Arturo Vidal a few months to adjust last season, it’ll take Sanches a while to get acclimated to life in the midfield of Bayern Munich. Note that this is not a knock on his quality, but simply an observation on his tactical familiarity with a completely new system. Considering he missed a large chunk of the preseason not only due to the Euro schedule, but also an injury, it perhaps shouldn’t come as a big surprise. At just 18, though, he’ll have plenty of time to figure it out.

Please bounce back, Mr. Bernat

After a strong debut season in 2014/15, Juan Bernat had a bit of a down year last year, seeing his playing time decrease quite a bit, while also not putting in the solid shifts we grew accustomed to two years ago when he was given playing time.

Today, he looked solid both in defense and attack after he was introduced for Mats Hummels at the 50 minute mark, even scoring Bayern’s fifth goal shortly before the final whistle. Hopefully, the 23-year-old former Spanish international can use this to build his confidence back up and perform to the levels everyone knows he’s capable of.

A capable back-up would go a long way in case of injury, while also providing David Alaba with more opportunities to play in the center of midfield, potentially against lower level teams that will require less defensive acumen from the former winger.

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