Jersey Swap: Yuya Osako
Osako was Köln’s best player on the day and rightfully deserving of this award. He consistently threatened the Bayern defense and came the closest to putting them on top with a great header that forced a great save out of Neuer. If Köln had someone else as active on the day as Osako, perhaps this one has a different scoreline.
Tip of the Cap: Kingsley Coman
His performance isn’t going to show up in the box score in this one, but any person that watched the game will have come away impressed with Coman. His crosses were on point, and his pace out wide was a constant threat for the Köln defense to manage. With Bayern’s decision on turning his loan permanent, a good performance like this makes a no-brainer decision even easier.
Golf Clap: Manuel Neuer
There are zero debates that Neuer is the best goalkeeper in the world (and maybe the best goalkeeper ever, but that’s a debate for another day). His save in the 18th minute was breathtaking and a no-doubter. Osako’s header was surely going into the top right hand corner, but Neuer pawed it away with relative ease in a great diving save. The clean sheet was Neuer’s 11th of the season. There are eleven games left in the season. Can Neuer break his own record of twenty clean sheets (done twice)?
Standing Ovation: Thiago Alcantara
Calm. Composed. Cooler than the other side of the pillow (RIP Stu). Thiago never seems rushed and almost always picks out the perfect pass. His ability to lead the team from the midfield has been instrumental to Bayern’s ability to be as good as they are. His spin to fake out two Köln defenders in the lead up to the third goal was something magisterial.
Meister of the Match: Javi Martinez
Javi is the Meister due to his performance on both sides of the ball today. His goal was superbly taken to give Bayern the early lead, and then he remained a rock in defense for the remainder of the match. It’s tough to see any situation, barring injury, that Javi isn’t a lock-starter for the remainder of the season.