Jersey Swap: Ralf Fahrmann. It feels weird giving him the nod for having let in three goals, but he was hardly at fault for any of them. If it weren’t for a handful of fine saves from Fahrmann, it easily could've finished 5 or 6-0 to Bayern. He made most of his exceptional saves in the first half, too, to be precise, which kept his side on level terms before Robert Lewandowski converted his penalty. He did exceptionally well to keep out Sebastian Rudy’s volley in the 8th minute and subsequently denied Thomas Muller on the tail end of the ensuing corner kick. Just moments later, he was called into action once again to deny Corentin Tolisso, who fired in a driven shot from distance. Objectively, it’s hard to not feel bad for Fahrmann, because he did so well to keep Schalke in the match. Bayern’s continuous onslaught, however, was bound to produce goals.
Tip of the Cap: Arturo Vidal. He was only involved for a little over 20 minutes, coming on as a substitute in the 69th minute, but the Chilean hardly put a foot wrong. Coming on just four minutes after Thiago Alcantara, the two completely bossed the center of Bayern’s midfield after Carlo Ancelotti had seemingly made the decision to sit on the 2-0 lead to close out the match. With Sebastian Rudy anchored as the primary holding midfielder, it gave Vidal plenty of license to roam forward and it paid a dividend in the 75th minute when he brilliantly volleyed in James Rodriguez’s lobbed pass. Vidal’s goal put the proverbial nail in the coffin for Schalke.
Golf Clap: Thomas Muller. It seems as if Ancelotti is finally taking the hint — most of the players in the squad benefit from Muller’s presence in the starting XI. You can always count on a relentless work rate from Muller, and Tuesday was no exception as he wore the captain’s armband. He was tasked with playing multiple roles, too, after Ancelotti made the tactical decision to take Lewandowski off in the 65th minute - Muller assumed a more advanced role with Thiago Alcantara’s entrance, almost playing as a false 9. With the way Muller worked, he was deserving of a goal with his headed effort in the 51st minute that struck the right post after a fine ball from James Rodriguez. Arguably could’ve given this award to Rudy for how consistent he was all game, but Muller covered all sorts of ground and constantly got his teammates involved.
Standing Ovation: Kingsley Coman. His interchangeability on either attacking flank was impressive. Coman was constantly swapping sides and caused Schalke’s back line loads of problems almost every time he received the ball in the attacking third. His final product could be improved, but there’s no denying his bursting runs were lethal. In particular, he was doing exceptionally well turning on his defenders with his back to goal; he almost always found a way around whoever was closely marking him. If his finishing improves even the slightest, Coman will be deadly this season.
Meister of the Match: James Rodriguez. First Bundesliga start, first Bundesliga goal, and he also added an assist to arguably his best performance in a Bayern Munich shirt. James made a few questionable passes in the opening stages, but from then on, virtually everything he did was positive. He won the penalty kick that lead to Lewandowski’s opening goal in the 25th minute with a bursting run down the left channel into Schalke’s penalty box. His left-footed finish in the 29th minute was calm and collected to give Bayern the two-goal cushion. Rodriguez came close to doubling his goal tally in the 88th minute when he got a foot to Muller’s low, driven cross, but Fahrmann reacted well to deny him. What’s most refreshing from James’ performance was how he grew in confidence as the match went on - he was constantly hungry for possession and was always looking for the return ball.