Jersey Swap: Niclas Füllkrug
Due to FC Bayern’s domination of this game, there wasn’t much to pick from in terms of an impressive performance by a Hannover player, but Füllkrug did the best he could with the few touches his team would be allowed. He had a total of four shots, with three on target, and would have had a goal on a penalty kick, had it not been for the mass invasion of the penalty box — by both teams — causing a retake and a subsequent save by Sven Ulreich.
Tip of the Cap: Arturo Vidal
The Chilean did his usual thing: High effort, lots of running, uncompromising tackles, and getting in the box to cause danger for the opponent’s defense. No ball is ever given up on, there’s always time for a bone-rattling tackle, and, if time permits, why not just score the opening goal as well. A strong all-around performance from the Tattooed One, with an impressive 97.5% pass rate.
Golf Clap: Thomas Müller
Coming back from an injury layoff — highly unusual for the extremely durable German international — didn’t appear to cause many problems for Müller. A very few heavy touches aside, the Raumdeuter looked like he hadn’t missed a beat, making his trademark runs into dangerous spaces, working hard on both sides of the ball, and, as we are all accustomed to, providing two assists — would have been three, if Robert Lewandowski’s goal had not been reversed on a marginal offside call after video review — all while leading the team on the field as the captain.
Standing Ovation: James Rodriguez
The Colombian sure looks like he’s getting comfortable in Munich. He’s been lucky to get a lot of playing time with the various injuries Bayern has recently had, but he has made the most of his opportunity. If you had to use one word to describe his performance today, it would be “omnipresent”. He was constantly on the move, always available for a pass, and accordingly racked up the most touches of any player in the game today, at 121 — that’s Xabi Alonso territory. His defensive work was very strong too, as he noticeably did not give up on plays, quickly following up turnovers with pressure. With a total of six shots — tied with Vidal for the team lead — and pretty through passes to his teammates, he was always a source of danger for the visitors. With a few private lessons from Arjen Robben on how to bury those looping left-footed shots in the top corner, and he could be among the scoring leaders for Bayern.
Meister of the Match: Kingsley Coman
If this wasn’t his best game in Bayern red, it was close. The 21-year old Frenchman dazzled his defenders with his footwork, spin moves and speed, wreaking havoc along the left flank. He was so quick, that most of the time, Hannover players were left grasping at air when they tried to pull him down after being smoked by his moves. And even his crosses looked much improved, consistently finding his teammates in the box.
To crown his outstanding game, he scored a pretty goal, after a fantastic first touch off a long cross from Müller, burying it under the crossbar, and drew a penalty kick after one of his many dribbles, which Robert Lewandowski converted for the Polish striker’s 14th tally of the season. If not for the wastefulness of his teammates, Kingsley could have added some assists to his scoreline as well, but let’s not get picky, and acknowledge an outstanding game by King Coco!