Jersey swap: The cat. Elusive, quick, instinctual...the cat had all the tools for success on the pitch and walked in like he owned the place. Total boss. Honorable mention to the raucous Besiktas fans. Great atmosphere and loud for the majority of the game.
Tip of the cap: Arturo Vidal. Vidal brought his normal tenacity to the game and gave Bayern Munich some energy when it needed it in the first half. In a game where most of the lineup seemed to be experiencing a little bit of a hangover from the weekend, Vidal was a motivated presence in the central midfield.
Golf clap: Rafinha. With the Bayern central defense only needing some clowns, a tent, and a ringmaster to get the circus started in the first half, the box-to-box play of the wily Brazilian veteran was super important to Die Roten as they needed some sort of stability on the back line. In addition to his defensive work, Rafinha ventured upfield and was involved offensively as well. His attempted cross just moments into the second half resulted in an own goal, which provided some much-needed breathing room at that stage of the game.
Standing ovation: Thiago Alcantara. Before he left the game with an apparent foot injury, Thiago scored Bayern’s first goal on a beautiful feed from Thomas Müller. It is Thiago’s one-hundredth goal for Bayern Munich across competitions. Much like the rest of Thiago’s tenure with Bayern, his impressive play was overshadowed by injury woes. Get well soon, Thiago!
Bayern take the lead at Besiktas! Müller picks out Thiago perfectly to go up 6-0 on aggregate. pic.twitter.com/sXJSvMvcmX— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) March 14, 2018
Meister of the match: Thomas Müller. Playing on the right wing, Müller was at his play-making best as he constantly applied pressure in the first half, looked to get teammates involved, and ultimately set up Thiago’s goal to give Bayern an early lead. Müller was sharp and quite frankly looked like one of the only Bayern players motivated to take the pitch at times. He was active and always looking to push forward and on this day, that was more than enough to garner him our Meister of the Match honors.