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Match awards from Bayern Munich’s disappointing 2-1 loss to Real Madrid

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After going 1-0 up, Madrid pegged back two important away goals, and now we have work to do in leg 2.

Bayern Muenchen v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Semi Final Leg One
MUNICH, GERMANY - APRIL 25: Joshua Kimmich (L) of Bayern Muenchen celebrates with team-mate James Rodriguez after scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final First Leg match between Bayern Muenchen and Real Madrid at the Allianz Arena on April 25, 2018 in Munich, Germany
Bayern Muenchen v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Semi Final Leg One MUNICH, GERMANY - APRIL 25: Joshua Kimmich (L) of Bayern Muenchen celebrates with team-mate James Rodriguez after scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final First Leg match between Bayern Muenchen and Real Madrid at the Allianz Arena on April 25, 2018 in Munich, Germany
(Photo by Lukasz Laskowski/PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images)

Jersey Swap (J.D): Marcelo. If I had to describe my feelings on the first 43 minutes of this match, I would say I was ‘cautiously optimistic.’ Then Marcelo happened. I can never be too mad at a defender scoring, especially when the goal is of that quality. There is not a keeper in the world who is denying that ball’s divine right to be in the back of the net. Marcelo had already been Real’s best defender before he drew them level with that absolute screamer and there was a palpable shift in the match after his goal. Bayern went from being robust to inept, and the second goal felt inevitable after that. Bayern pressed hard all match but Marcelo and the rest of the Real back four was impenetrable and they deserve all the credit for this victory.

Tip of the Cap (J.D.): Mats Hummels. Losing Jerome Boateng early had a crippling effect on Bayern’s defense and, despite the result, their defense deserves a lot of credit for their play this match. Mats Hummels picked up a lot of the slack when Boa went down and took over capably as the de facto defensive leader. Ronaldo was limited to just 28 touches today, the lowest number of touches for a player on either side who played all 90 minutes (via WhoScored). Of course Real found other ways to score, as they always do, but Hummels deserves a tip of the cap for making sure that Real’s most dangerous weapons were largely non-factors. Real struggled to find purchase behind the Bayern back line, the only two times Ronaldo really got loose he was flagged for an offside and, later, a handball. The unit played cohesively and held their line spectacularly, forcing Real to take lower percentage shots. Unfortunately they converted those shots, but that does not change the fact that this was an intelligent and well-executed strategy. Hummels deserves the lion’s share of the plaudits for this.

Golf Clap: (T.A). Tough tossup between Franck Ribery and Corentin Tolisso. Ribery had quite an effective match in the sense that he was really in the mood to run at Madrid’s defense, but his final product was truly lacking. The fact that he didn’t convert any of his chances is a little concerning, but it was still good to see him contiguously get into good positions; no player won more dribbles than him (5). For a good while towards the end of the second half, too, he really looked like the only player in the mood to create a chance to bring Bayern level at 2-2. For Tolisso, he came on as a substitute in the 75th minute into a tough situation, but he was, for the most part, effective with his forward distribution. He had a coupled of dangerous through balls in the closing stages; in particular, Robert Lewandowski should’ve done far better with his chance in the 88th minute after Tolisso played him a brilliantly-weighted pass into Madrid’s penalty area. Who knows how much more effective Tolisso could’ve been had he come on earlier?

Standing Ovation (T.A): James Rodriguez. James was out to make a statement against his former club, and for the most part, put in a solid shift. Deployed in the center of midfield just ahead of Javi Martinez, James did a good job of providing the outlet pass that turned defense into attack and sprung Bayern forward. It should come as no surprise that James completed the most key passes of any other player on the pitch (4), and boasted a pass completion rate of 90%. Additionally, James took no prisoners with his 50/50 challenges against his former teammates, and won all 4 of the tackles he went in to; the joint-2nd most of the match alongside Raphael Varane and Thiago Alcantara. James also covered more distance than any other Bayern player during the 90 minutes (11.54km) Take nothing away from James’s performance, he did not deserve to be on the losing side on this occasion.

Meister of the Match (T.A, J.D): Joshua Kimmich. The 23-year old was well and up for the task and his goal in the 28th minute got really got Bayern into the match after Madrid had enjoyed a spell of dominance in possession. After a few looks, it was clear that Kimmich had a look at Keylor Navas’s positioning after panning the box to look for someone to cross to; when he saw Navas slightly out of position, he elected to shoot, and Navas was a bit too slow to react - take nothing away from the clever finish from Kimmich. Getting forward as he so often likes to do, Kimmich also recorded 3 key passes (2nd most in the match) and a total of 56 successful passes (90% completion rate.)