#1: James Rodriguez nails his job interview
James Rodriguez did not have the best of starts under Jupp Heynckes. Deployed in the #10 role against Hamburg, the Colombian struggled heavily and had to be subbed off for Muller at half time. Now, with both Thomas Muller and Kingsley Coman out injured, he absolutely needed a good showing to prove that he still had a place on the team.
And boy, did he show up. James ran the show against RB Leipzig, combining with David Alaba to wreak havoc down Leipzig’s right flank. His goal to open the scoring was the result of some great interplay between him and Robben, and he almost set up another two or three chances for his teammates - missed headers by Javi Martinez, Mats Hummels, and Thiago Alcantara come to mind.
With Robert Lewandowski going out injured, the Bavarians will need James to keep putting in performances like these if they want to extend Jupp Heynckes’ perfect start to his fourth tenure.
#2: Sebastian Rudy has to be the steal of the summer
Sebastian Rudy ... what is there left to say? 64 passes at 94% accuracy against one of the best pressing teams in the Bundesliga, all from a guy who arrived on a free transfer from Hoffenheim in the summer. Rudy controlled the tempo of the game from start to finish, recycling the possession and spreading the play to involve the flanks. His game was reminiscent of Xabi Alonso’s performances under Pep Guardiola, which is not a statement that can be made lightly.
At the rate he’s going, Rudy will have a starting position in the team nailed down by the winter break. He seemed to have problems with his thigh in the middle of the second half - Bayern fans will hope that it was nothing, since he was able to finish the game.
#3: David Alaba is slowly coming back to form, and he is magnificent
Apart from Thomas Muller, there was probably no player who suffered a greater dip in form under Carlo Ancelotti than David Alaba. Once hailed as the best left back in the world, the Austrian saw his performances plummet both in terms of quality and consistency over the last 18 months.
Now however, he seems like a man reborn. Alaba absolutely dominated Leipzig’s right flank, making marauding runs and providing support to his partner James Rodriguez - the two formed an effective duo on Bayern’s left. The Austrian put in a lung-busting performance, running up and down the pitch several times over to keep Leipzig from threatening the Bayern goal. The performance was reminiscent of his incredible displays in the 12/13 season when Bayern won the treble.
When Juan Bernat comes back from injury, Jupp Heynckes will likely relish the luxury of having two starting quality left backs to choose from.