Jersey Swap: Marlon Ritter. With the exception of the scene in which Sven Michel dispossessed Niklas Süle and provided a would-be assist to Phillip Tietz—who missed the open net—Paderborn’s most dangerous chances came on set pieces and build-up play through their central attacking midfielder, Marlon Ritter. Ritter flirted with a free-kick goal twice in the first half, once firing just outside the net and later again provoking a diving save from keeper Sven Ulreich. Ritter threatened Bayern Munich again in the second half, but was twice let down by teammates: Sebastian Schonlau headed a free-kick past the net, and Ben Zolinski served Ritter too late for him to capitalize on the chance.
Tip of the Hat: Joshua Kimmich. Another game, another goal for Bayern’s supercharged right-back. Kimmich brought his best offensive game to Paderborn, linking up repeatedly with Arjen Robben throughout the match and driving Bayern’s offense on the right flank.
Kimmich served up three key passes for his teammates and was rewarded with a well-earned goal of his own off a long ball from Mats Hummels. Bringing the ball down in the box, Kimmich sized up the situation, saw Lewandowski half-marked by two defenders to his left, and coolly shot the ball past Paderborn’s keeper inside the near post. That goal snuffed out any hope that Paderborn might advance in the DFB Pokal by a “fourth miracle.” Kimmich dashed off the field and into the arms of his backup, Rafinha, to celebrate. #Team.
Golf Clap: Mats Hummels. In contrast to his stablemate Niklas Süle, who seemed occasionally caught off guard by the attack-happy hosts, Hummels was rock solid all night, clearing away any and all danger that came his way, and sometimes his teammates’ way.
What a pass by Mats Hummels! pic.twitter.com/uXSR9l6Uk8— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia_vid) February 6, 2018
In addition to his lights-out defensive work, Hummels seemed to take a cue from Jerome Boateng and contributed equally on offense. Hummels lobbed two key passes his teammates’ way and crowned his evening with a brilliant assist off a Boateng-esque long ball to Joshua Kimmich.
Standing Ovation: Kingsley Coman. Coman was voted the fans’ man of the match, and for good reason. He dazzled almost all evening. Coman ran wild from beginning to end, giving Paderborn’s defense, and especially right-back Lukas Boeder, motion sickness. Coman burned Paderborn's defense to the tune of a 68% rate of won duels, scoring a goal of his own and providing an assist minutes later to Robert Lewandowski. Coman had no shortage of opportunities thereafter, but somewhat less luck in seizing them until he made way for Franck Ribery.
Meister of the Match: Arjen Robben. Perhaps I am slightly biased (I refer the reader to my profile picture), but for me, Robben truly was the Dutch Meister tonight. At halftime, Robben had already logged an assist, 3 shots, and 4 key passes, while winning two out of three of his duels with Paderborn’s defense and managing a stellar (for a forward) passing rate of 89%. And that was at halftime.
By game’s end, Robben had added two goals of his own. Robben ravaged Paderborn’s left flank all evening, as he combined relentlessly with Müller, then with Corentin Tolisso, and throughout with Kimmich to create space for attacks on goal. While Robben seems to struggle lately in executing his trademark cut inside, he has compensated by functioning as an advanced pivot, almost like a wide-right attacking midfielder, distracting defenders and creating chances for teammates. When chances fell his way, he capitalized on them, most spectacularly with a beautiful shot into the far corner.
Arjen Robben with a typical Robben goal pic.twitter.com/lqXWgVDp9e— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia_vid) February 6, 2018
It was not, however, a “typical Robben goal,” because Robben cut inside off the ball. Tolisso's cross fell to the feet of Sebastian Rudy, who ever so delicately set it up for Robben to fire with his left foot. It is as if Robben has reached the end of a transfiguration from soloing egotist to consummate team player. His effort did not go unrewarded tonight.