Jersey Swap: Leon Goretzka
There wasn’t much on Schalke’s part that would make the casual fan perk up in this domination by Bayern, but one of the very few players to stand out for the Royal Blues was the hard-working Goretzka. He had three shots on goal (of which two were high but didn’t miss by much), out of a total of five by the entire team. There’s a reason the rumor is going around that Bayern are interested in this 22-year old kid, whether that is actually true or not.
Tip of the Cap: Arturo Vidal
The warrior did his usual thing: he ran the entire game, popped up all over the field, got some shots on goal, and made some crunching tackles (all without getting a yellow card, no less). His tireless work on the field was one of the reasons Schalke couldn’t mount much of anything all game.
Golf Clap: Thiago Alcantara
The little Spaniard is a joy to watch. His deft, soft touch, his calm on the ball, even when surrounded by the opponent, and his silky smooth movement are all worth the price of admission on their own. He was the offensive motor in the midfield, and even got in on the scoring in the eventful first half hour.
Standing Ovation: Franck Ribery
It was a bit of a surprise to see the Frenchman start so soon after his recent injury layoff, but he didn’t miss a beat. He was involved in all three goals, including two direct assists, and looked eager to grab back his starting spot on the left wing, despite drifting more towards the middle this game. Poor Benjamin Stambouli’s head is still spinning from trying to contain Ribery.
Meister of the Match: Robert Lewandowski
His first goal was a carbon copy* of the one he scored on Schalke about a month ago in the Bundesliga. His assist to Thiago was perfectly placed on the Spaniard’s head. And his second goal was the final nail in Schalke’s coffin before a half hour had even passed. Together with Ribery, the Polish international ran roughshod over the Royal Blues, slicing and dicing the defense with exquisitely timed runs into the penalty box. Yep, two goals and an assist gets you the MotM around here. If he can keep this form through May, Bayern may be hoisting a fair amount of hardware this season.
* Young people, go ask your parents what that means