Jersey Swap: Lukas Klünter. With injuries to their top four strikers FC Köln was forced to start a 21 year-old right back up top, Klünter. The Billy Goats played in a defensive 5-4-1 so there were not many opportunities on the attacking end but Klünter worked hard for everything that came his way the entire match. He almost broke through on a few occassions but either Niklas Süle or Jerome Boateng was able to clean up in the end. Honorable mention goes to Timo Horn in goal who was able to keep the match respectable with a couple of nice saves including one super effort on a curling James Rodriguez shot that was headed just inside the far post.
Tip of the Cap: Thomas Müller. The last Bavarian standing is currently not an automatic starter but he took his chance well today. He provided the primary assist on an excellent header to Robert Lewandowski for the only goal of the match. His work rate was tremendous even though he was not able to score himself. Müller remains the inspirational leader of Bayern Munich and today’s performance was encouraging.
Golf Clap: Have to go with Tom Starke here. Starke knew beforehand that he would be starting and didn’t seem the least bit intimidated. Of course it helps when practically all of the action was at the other end of the field. However, Starke stepped up big time in the 87th minute when Köln had a big chance from close in that the stand-in keeper was able to parry away with a strong left hand to preserve the win.
Standing Ovation: Jerome Boateng. Cool and confident personified. On the defensive end Boateng didn’t let anyone get in behind the defense even though the line was very high. Offensively, it was Boateng’s long and medium range passing that was the key to unlocking Köln’s packed in defensive unit. Bayern had trouble getting through because there wasn’t a lot of space available with Köln doing a good job of clogging the middle but Boateng was able to bypass that area with some excellently weighted balls over the top. One of these balls landed on the head of Thomas Müller who then provided the service for Robert Lewandowski’s match winning goal.
Meister of the Match: Bayern didn’t really have a dominant performer in todays’s match so therefore the Meister goes to Robert Lewandowski who scored the game winning goal. Lewandowski’s overall performance was nothing more than average by his standards as he missed some other clear opportunities that would have put the game out of reach. But you can’t argue with a game winning goal. Three points is three points.