Jersey Swap: Ante Rebic. Having been forced to work diligently on both sides of the ball, Rebic was one of Frankfurt's most dangerous players going forward. Frankfurt didn't offer a whole lot on offense in the opening half, but Rebic constantly put Bayern's back line under pressure when they played their way out of the back, as they so often like to do. The Croatian found himself toe-to-toe with Jerome Boateng in Bayern's penalty area a number of times in the first half; Boateng did well to win the ball on every occasion, but Rebic's runs were cause for concern for Bayern. Boateng's last-ditch tackle on Rebic just outside the six-yard box in the 39th minute likely saved a goal and just 14 minutes prior, a lovely curling effort from Rebic forced a fine save from Tom Starke.
Tip of the Cap: Tom Starke. Retirement is overrated, isn't it? Starke only found out midway through warm-ups that he'd be starting between the sticks after Sven Ulreich sustained a groin injury. Starke was promoted to Bayern's number 2 on the depth chart earlier this week after Christian Früchtl picked up a serious injury to his foot in training. Despite the unexpected circumstances that led to his start, Starke stuck to his task incredibly well for someone who has played in a Bundesliga match for quite some time. A number of fine saves from the 36-year old brushed off any concerns of rust, as he ultimately helped Bayern secure three points. It was refreshing to see Starke looking confident and calm, especially considering how nervy things got for Bayern in the second half.
Golf Clap: Arturo Vidal. Vidal was forced to walk on egg shells for the majority of his 55-minute shift after receiving a yellow card in the opening ten minutes, but it was the Chilean's headed goal that ultimately saw Bayern escape with maximum points. He now has four goals from as many Bundesliga matches and has really turned a corner for the better ever since Jupp Heynckes gave him a stern talking to about his fitness. Perhaps lucky not to have received a second yellow, Vidal's overall performance was positive and his numbers on the stats sheet highlight his effectiveness: he was 100% with both his aerial duels (1) and his tackles (3), and also boasted a pass completion rate of 95%. It's incredibly refreshing to see Vidal string together positive performances, so hopefully he continues it.
Standing Ovation: Kingsley Coman. It comes as no surprise that Coman was one of Bayern's most dangerous players going forward. Coming off of a fantastic performance vs. Paris Saint-Germain midweek in the Champions League, the Frenchmen put in another positive shift in Frankfurt. Coman's blistering pace was on full display once again and his close control was exceptional - the quickness he shows with some of his twists and turns is nothing short of spectacular. He came close to adding a goal to show with his performance after a charging run in the 28th minute, but his laced shot went into the side netting.
Meister of the Match: Joshua Kimmich. It's next to impossible not to love this kid, and Kimmich has without question been one of Bayern's most consistent performers throughout the season thus far - he's hardly put a foot wrong. In typical Kimmich fashion, the 22-year old was constantly working up and down the right channel, offering as much going forward as he did defensively. It was his sublime, left-footed cross that found Vidal coasting in at the far post for the goal; indeed replay showed Kimmich look up to spot Vidal's run before he sent in the cross. Also, this was Kimmich's 100th appearance for Bayern! Time really does fly when you're having fun!
Arturo Vidal scores in his 4th straight Bundesliga game to give Bayern the lead at Frankfurt. https://t.co/3tgMJ3WIpG— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) December 9, 2017
BONUS: Jerome Boateng deserves honorable mention!
There are many occasions when it's hard to find deciding factors between who receives a BFW award and who doesn't, but Boateng's performance deserves recognition. The obvious sub-plot to this encounter between the Boateng brothers was more bark than bite, but Jerome was clearly the better of the two. There were more than a handful of occasions when he pulled off last-ditch, sliding challenges with an outstretched leg - the type of tackle that was representative how hard Bayern had to work to earn the three points against a disciplined Frankfurt side. It's a safe bet that Starke said “thank you” a few times to Boateng in the dressing room after the final whistle.
After a run of sub-par performances, Boateng's contributions today should give him a needed boost in confidence ahead of a packed fixture list before the winter break.