Jersey Swap: Sebastian Rudy
The former Bayern Munich man had the unenviable task of trying to slow down the Bavarian attack, while also trying to help create for his teammates and did an admirable job. His service on set pieces was excellent, but his Schalke teammates could not convert when called upon. Rudy was calm on the ball and aggressive while defending to help keep Die Königsblauen competitive in the match. He won’t be happy with the result, but maybe this will ease the sting?
Tip of the Cap: David Alaba
Alaba has quietly been one of Bayern’s best and most consistent players all season. Sure, his free kick attempts didn’t result in a goal, but both were excellent and on frame. If that is the worst thing I could muster about Alaba today (and it wasn’t even bad!) you know he had a really solid game. Robert Lewandowski turned in a strong performance and was considered here for his all-around effort, including his conversion of a penalty kick for a 2-0 lead, but Alaba deserved the nod.
Golf Clap: James Rodriguez
All of a sudden James is a header machine, right? Despite coughing up a good attempt on a perfect feed by Robert Lewandowski and missing another on a great look from Franck Ribery, James put forth another very good effort. Aside of his early goal, James’ ability to interchange positions with Thomas Müller is something that both players should be lauded for as well. Those adjustments created a ton of issues for Schalke, especially early on in the game. With some excellent runs and creative work when on the flank and in the center of the field, it was yet another quality performance from James.
Standing Ovation: Niklas Süle
Süle was an absolute beast defensively and helped limit Schalke target man, Naldo, to just one off-target header attempt from a set piece. Not only did Süle successfully blunt that weapon for Schalke, but he was also sturdy defensively overall and a menace to the Schalke attackers. His presence moreover allowed Joshua Kimmich to confidently press higher when the opportunity arose. It should also be noted that Mats Hummels was also extremely strong today at center-back for Bayern. With Jerome Boateng as the third piece of the set, the group has been incredibly formidable so far this season.
Meister of the Match: Thiago Alcantara
Thiago’s move to the “6” has been brilliant for the lineup and has stabilized play in the midfield. If you think about it, when was the last time you were genuinely concerned while Thiago was sitting deep? It’s that type of confidence that has allowed Bayern’s attackers to venture freely forward and apply so much pressure to the opposition. If Thiago is willing to commit to this move for the long-term (and why wouldn’t he?), it should be an exciting season for Die Roten.