Bayern’s starting lineup was buzzing
Jupp Heynckes opted for an attacking lineup against Paderborn and his choices did not disappoint. The feverish movement in the offensive end, which was bolstered by numerous combination passes and overlapping runs, kept Paderborn on their collective heels. Kingsley Coman was a terror on the left side as he contributed a goal and an assist, while Robert Lewandowski, Joshua Kimmich, Corentin Tolisso, and Arjen Robben (twice) also found the back of the net. More impressive than the scoring, however, was the electrifying pressure that Bayern exerted on the Paderborn back-line. Whether it was Thomas Muller (during his brief time in the game before leaving with an injury), James Rodriguez, Arturo Vidal, or any of the aforementioned players, Bayern was on a seek-and-destroy mission offensively. The chemistry displayed by the team might just have given Heynckes a formation to lean on for knockout games in future competitions.
Jupp Heynckes can just flat out manage talent
Bayern is afforded the luxury of a deep and exceptionally skilled roster that is loaded at every position. Along with all of that talent, however, comes the need to ensure that it stays happy enough to avoid the type of disturbance that can derail a team on track for great things. It is possibly this one aspect of Heynckes’ style that has differentiated him from his predecessor, Carlo Ancelotti, the most. Make no mistake, this is a high-maintenance group for Bayern, but Heynckes has gotten the squad to buy into what he has been selling. Whether it was Kimmich’s sideline goal celebration with his back-up Rafinha, or the immediate recognition of the play-maker AND the goal-scorer after a Bayern goal, Heynckes has taken a roster full of stars and made it a cohesive unit.
Niklas Süle continues to surprise the opposition with his pace
Maybe it is his 6’5” (1.95m) frame that makes Süle appear to be more lumbering brute than agile sprinter, but the 22-year-old center-back almost always outraces the opposition to win a loose ball and seemed to out-pace every Paderborn player that attempted to challenge him with ease. Süle’s natural tools give him an extremely high ceiling for how he could develop. Spending at least a few years with both Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng as mentors should make Süle into one of Bayern’s most savvy acquisitions if he can continue to progress accordingly.
It was encouraging to see Robben reach the score sheet twice
Between injuries and a consistent midfield/wing rotation, Robben has had some uneven performances of late. Against Paderborn, however, Robben played with brilliant creativity and scintillating speed from the outset. While he didn’t score until the latter part of the contest, to see the Dutchman play with the intensity he displayed against Paderborn was a very good sign for Heynckes, as the expectations for this Bayern squad grow by the game. Quality set-ups by Sebastian Rudy and Franck Ribery afforded Robben the opportunity to nail down a brace late in the contest.
Tolisso’s field play may be up and down, but he is always a threat in the box for headers
One goal for you, Coco. YOU GO COCO! pic.twitter.com/dpHphjR0hd— FC Bayern US (@FCBayernUS) February 6, 2018
The most expensive signing in Bayern’s history was extolled as a building block for the future by Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on the German broadcast prior to the game. Tolisso, indeed, has had some moments of brilliance in an up-and-down freshman campaign with the Reds. Even if his decision-making is sometimes questionable, the Frenchman is quickly becoming one of Bayern’s most valuable assets inside the box as he tallied his fourth header goal, out of six total, for the season.