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Match awards from Bayern Munich’s 4-0 thrashing of Mainz

What a great way to kickoff Oktoberfest!

FC Bayern Muenchen v 1. FSV Mainz 05 - Bundesliga Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images

Jersey Swap: Daniel Brosinski. It’s difficult to pick out too many standout performers from Mainz this afternoon, but Brosinski put in a hard-worked shift before being subbed off in the 65th minute for Jean-Philippe Gbamin. Brosinski almost made Bayern pay for some sloppy play from Mats Hummels in the 7th minute when he stripped the center-back of possession and paced forward before releasing a low, driven, right-footed shot. In all fairness, he should’ve given Manuel Neuer more to do, but it was an early warning for Bayern nonetheless. Brosinski must also be applauded for his defensive efforts, as he spent most of the afternoon bunkered down in his own half. He provided a lot of last-ditch challenges in and around Mainz’s 18-yard box that actually saw him personally concede the most corner kicks in the match.

Tip of the Cap: Thiago Alcantara/Arturo Vidal. Although ordinarily an award given to only one player, it was incredibly hard for the pair’s work rate in the center of midfield to go unrecognized. Despite some sloppy passing in the opening stages in the first half, Thiago and Vidal absolutely bossed the midfield all afternoon. Thiago was a constant transitional link between attack and defense for Bayern, and Vidal’s tracking back was exceptional - he cleaned up a lot of messes for Bayern in those half spaces between midfield and defense. Carlo Ancelotti has toyed with his midfield a fair amount so far this season, but the middle pairing of Vidal and Thiago worked its magic this afternoon. Their interchangeability was on display, too; when Thiago ventured forward, Vidal would remain disciplined and hold a more retreated position, and vice versa.

Golf Clap: Thomas Muller. Going out on a limb here, but Muller never stopped working this afternoon. He went in hard to challenges, fought for everything, and got his teammates involved. A player who’s quite often been under-utilized by Carlo Ancelotti in the past, Muller proved again today that he most certainly has a significant presence in the starting eleven. Although Arjen Robben might contest that he got the slightest of touches on it, it was Muller who opened the scoring for Bayern in 11th minute with an outside-of-the-foot shot after Kimmich had found him just in inside Mainz’s 18-yard box with a delicate knock-down pass. Muller also provided the assist for Robert Lewandowski’s first goal in the 50th minute with a perfectly weighted low cross from the right flank.

Standing Ovation: Joshua Kimmich. The 22-year old was officially named the man of the match, and rightfully so. Kimmich assisted three (one could argue that he didn’t assist Muller’s goal) of Bayern’s four goals, had the most touches on the ball (144), and boasted an 88% pass accuracy rating. He routinely got forward on the right flank, and his delivery into Mainz’s penalty area got significantly better as the match went on. His sublime cross to Lewandowski in the 77th minute for Bayern’s fourth goal of the afternoon capped off what was another fantastic performance from the youngster. It’s certainly worth mentioning that Kimmich is quickly becoming a relatively regular recipient of the ‘standing ovation’ award here at Bavarian Football Works.

Meister of the Match: Robert Lewandowski. This award very easily could’ve gone to Robben for how consistently positive he was in the attacking third, but Lewandowski’s brace was incredibly timely given his negative comments about Bayern’s transfer activity (or lack thereof) earlier this week. He received a fair amount justifiable criticism for his comments, but what better way to silence the critics than with a brace to help his side to a 4-0 triumph to clear the air just a bit. Lewandowski easily could’ve bagged a hat-trick, too, but a few of his chances went begging in either half. Still, though, Lewandowski is getting into the right areas in front of goal and seems to be starting to click a bit more with the likes of Muller, Robben, and Ribery - a refreshing sight for Bayern fans.

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