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Match awards from Bayern Munich’s hard-fought win against RB Leipzig

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It was a tough match and in the end, a well deserved win. See which players made the most impact!

MUNICH, GERMANY - DECEMBER 19: Franck Ribery of Bayern Munich celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and RB Leipzig at Allianz Arena on December 19, 2018 in Munich, Germany.
Ribery cut right and watch three defenders slide on by.
Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

Although Bayern had several good chances throughout this one, the winner came late in the game from one and only — Franck Ribery! Maybe Bayern saw a glimpse of what the Liverpool match is going to look like. In the end, the most important thing is that Bayern secured 3 points and narrowed the gap between themselves and Borussia Dortmund. It was interesting to see Bayern’s defense looking stable and confident without making costly errors. Now, for what you all came here for — the awards!

Jersey swap: Kevin Kampl

The Slovene had a great match tonight. His task was to plaster Bayern’s midfield, and he did that marvelously. For most of the game, Bayern had problems with transitional play, and it was mostly because of this man. Towards the end, Thiago Alcantara took a deeper role in midfield and then Bayern gained more stability. But Kampl was always there to track counter-attacks or to pressure midfield players. Peter Gulasci is also worth mentioning, with few brilliant saves he managed to keep (most of the match) Bayern’s attempts at bay.

Tip of the cap: Joshua Kimmich

Another game, another great performance. The only way is up for this young right-back. Tonight, he had a difficult task to watch over Bruma, and he did that marvelously. Besides his incredible work in defense, he was (as usual) quite active up-front. If Gulasci wasn’t up to his task, Kimmich would have probably scored that header. Fortunately, Bayern won, so we don’t have to grieve about that missed chance. Altogether, he had a 86% pass accuracy and 2 key passes.

Golf clap: Franck Ribery

Most of the match, he was more active defensively than in the attack. Most of the match, he was waiting for a duel either to get fouled or to wait for David Alaba to run past him so he could give him the ball. I was frustrated by that, but... In the 83’ minute came a moment of brilliance, and he scored a beautiful goal. With one single move, he put out of business Konrad Laimer and Ibrahima Konate, waited a bit and made a perfectly timed shot, which ended behind Gulasci’s back. It is good to see him scoring his first goal this season in the Bundesliga, and let’s hope it won’t be his last!

Standing ovation: Mats Hummels

I was really happy for him today. After Poulsen called him out as the weakest spot in Bayern’s defense, it was quite satisfying to see Hummels dominating Poulsen the whole match. He left him and Timo Werner almost zero space to move. Throughout the game, he played concentrated and was always at the right position to stop counter-attacks. It is really good to see him back at his very best. There is still some work to be done for him and the defense altogether, but he was one of the main reasons why Manuel Neuer kept his clean sheet today.

Meister of the match: Thiago Alcantara

He had a very difficult match. He was constantly pressed by Werner, Poulsen and Kampl, and I was surprised how well he handled it. He made few errors here and there but altogether had a great match and gave Bayern much needed confidence in midfield. When he started playing more defensively and was in front of Sule and Hummels, that’s when Bayern gained stability and was able to create better chances. Even when Goretzka struggled with Leipzig’s high pressing, Thiago remained calm and kept things under control. He made 90% successful passes and made a remarkable defensive impact.