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Match awards from Bayern Munich’s penalty shootout win over RB Leipzig in the DFB-Pokal

So much drama in this one, and we came out on top!

RB Leipzig v Bayern Muenchen - DFB Cup Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

Jersey Swap: Emil Forsberg. Even before converting his penalty in the 68th minute to put Leipzig up 1-0, Forsberg was Die Roten Bullen’s most consistent threat going forward until he was subbed off in extra time (109th minute). He’s such a crafty dribbler with incredible close control that gives him the ability to find his way out of tight areas. The Swedish international constantly wriggled his way through the half spaces between Bayern’s midfield and back line, which opened up space for his teammates. It seemed as if the only way Bayern could stop him when he was nearing their penalty area was to foul him. Had Naby Keita not been sent off, Forsberg could have inflicted a lot more damage, but he was forced to drop far deeper when Leipzig were playing with 10 men.

Tip of the Cap: Mats Hummels. Without a doubt, Hummels was the best defender on the pitch alongside Leipzig’s Willi Orban. Tasked with keeping the pacey Jean-Kevin Augustin at bay, Hummels stuck to his task exceptionally well and was Bayern’s concrete wall in the back line. Dominant in his aerial duels, getting in last stitch challenges, making good decisions with his distribution out of the back — all things we’ve come to expect from Hummels, and all were on display against Leipzig. Despite having to track Augustin for the better part of the Frenchmen’s 57-minute shift, Hummels hardly missed a beat when Timo Werner was introduced for the remaining half hour before the penalty shootout.

Golf Clap: Kingsley Coman. Especially in the first half when Leipzig were on the ascendancy, Coman was one of Bayern’s only players posing an attacking threat. His pace in the counter attack stretched Leipzig’s back line on a handful of occasions and as it’s been the case for the past two weeks, he had no shortage of confidence taking players on and getting around them. He was perhaps slightly guilty again with the quality of some of his crosses, but his delivery has been improving under Jupp Heynckes. Coman walked off the pitch rather gingerly when he was replaced by Javi Martinez in the 60th minute — let’s hope it’s just a bit of fatigue and that there’s no kind of muscle injury that occured.

Standing Ovation: Arjen Robben. For a player who’s been dubbed at times to be past his prime due to his age, Robben was one of the few players on the pitch that kept going full throttle until the penalty shootout. Though he might not have possessed the final product, Robben was constantly finding space to receive possession and was always looking to deliver a cross into Leipzig’s penalty area. Once Leipzig had gone down to 10 men, too, Robben started to get a bit more creative with his movements off the ball and he did a considerable amount of switching between both flanks. What was especially refreshing, too, was the amount of second balls Robben was winning and how much he would come and help his teammates close down Leipzig’s players when they were in possession in their own half — not something you see every week from Robben, but you could see in his demeanor that there was no way he was going to let Leipzig win.

Meister of the Match: Thiago Alcantara. Thiago was the man who got Bayern back into the match with his whipped-home header in the 73rd minute, just 5 minutes after going 1-0 down from Forsberg’s penalty. It was a lovely ball in from Boateng, but Thiago did exceptionally well to generate enough power and whip the header to slot it home. With Corentin Tolisso and Arturo Vidal acting as the dual pivot in the center of midfield, Thiago was given plenty of freedom to roam forward and it almost looked like, at times, that he was playing a modified number 10 role of sorts. He was always looking to thread give and go’s with his teammates and looked the most like Bayern player to grab a winner before the end of regulation. His brilliantly timed volley in the opening stages of extra time forced a fine save out of Peter Gulacsi and really started to pour momentum in Bayern’s favor before he was subbed off in the 101st minute.

BONUS: Sven Ulreich.

We have to give credit where credit is due and it was Sven Ulreich’s save on Timo Werner in the penalty shootout that ultimate got Bayern through to the next round of the DFB-Pokal. It’s now the second occasion where Sven has come up big during a penalty shootout after he’d saved two penalties against Borussia Dortmund back in August to help Bayern claim the DFL-Supercup. This could serve to be a massive confidence booster for Ulreich and you could see how much it meant to him when his Bayern teammates were celebrating with him.

RB Leipzig v Bayern Muenchen - DFB Cup
Get in there, Sven!
Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

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