Jersey Swap: Max Kruse
This one wasn’t even close. After months of speculation about whether Bayern was planning on buying Werder Bremen’s rising star (or were involved in bringing him back to Germany in the first place), most people’s eyes were on Serge Gnabry, but former Germany international Max Kruse stole the show. He scored the only goal for the hosts, was a constant threat on counters, whistled a very nice volley past the goal, and completed a team-leading 91% of his passes, as a forward, no less. Gnabry had more shots, but none were particularly troubling for Manuel Neuer, with most going well wide.
Tip of the Cap: David Alaba
It was like the good old times. The Austrian international was running up and down the left flank, accompanied by his buddy/big brother, Ribery, and was creating problems for the Werder defense. Even though he didn’t look great getting spun around on Kruse’s goal, there is no way he doesn’t get a mention after scoring that peach of a free kick goal. Apparently practicing his set pieces in a competition with Renato Sanches paid off.
Golf Clap: Joshua Kimmich
Sliding into the starting lineup for the injured Arturo Vidal, Kimmich made the most of his opportunity beside Xabi Alonso in the middle of the field. He was present all over the pitch, working hard on both ends, recorded over 90% passing accuracy, and sprinkled in some nice through balls here and there. The only thing you could complain about were his corners, that never seemed to get into the dangerous areas, but Carlo Ancelotti should have no reservations about using his youngster again.
Standing Ovation: Franck Ribery
When the Frenchman is fit, he is a joy to watch. Reunited with his buddy (see Tip of the Cap above), Ribery ran and dribbled his way through the Bremen back line time and again, taking on multiple defenders at a time, and delivering nice crosses, including the one to open the scoring. If he stays healthy, Bayern fans will have plenty to cheer about this season.
Meister of the Match: Arjen Robben
If not for Robert Lewandowski up front, you might have thought we all went back in a time machine, with Ribery and Alaba on the left, and Philipp Lahm and Robben manning the right flank. The Dutchman showed that he is back in form, blowing through defenders at will, who often had to foul him to slow him down. The goal on a cross feed from Ribery was a lipsmacker, and his hustle was exemplary. It’s no wonder Bayern inked him to an extension recently, because Arjen showed there is still plenty of top-level football left in him.