Bayern Munich’s first two ‘games’ of the new year started off with a dull first 45 minutes against the impressive Bundesliga newcomer, Fortuna Düsseldorf. Bayern dominated possession, but created a very limited amount of goal-scoring chances, while Fortuna should have gotten a penalty in the last few minutes of the game. Bayern’s coolness won the penalty shootout, Niko Kovac’s men scored 8 out of 9 penalties.
The second game against Borussia Mönchengladbach was no different, although it was slightly more exciting with the introduction of Bayern’s new signing, Alphonso Davies. However, the game play was much the same as Bayern enjoyed the most possession while the team from west of the Rhine tried to attack on the counter. Bayern won the Telekom Cup without scoring a single goal in regular time.
Jersey Swap: Michael Rensing and Patrick Herrmann
Rensing’s save against Coman’s header was nothing but brilliant. The former Bayern keeper kept a clean sheet and saved Alaba’s penalty, although he did let in the other eight. Herrmann created some half-chances and was Borussia’s creative outlet when going forward. He had a very nice dribble that left Hummels on the ground and a good cross to Ibrahima Traoré which the Guinean international should have done better with. He was one of three who missed the penalty in the final, however.
Tip of the Cap: Hummel’s title-winning penalty
A so-called Panenka penalty always looks so pleasing to the eye. To use it as a title-deciding kick is classy, even if that title was the Telekom Cup.
Golf Clap: Alexander Lungwitz
The third-youngest Bayern player to participate in the Telekom Cup impressed with his constant running on the left side of the pitch. Lungwitz was enthusiastic and aided Woo-Yeong Jeong with his clever overlapping runs. He was extremely offensive today, and while this weakened his defensive contribution, Bayern fans saw a young man who resembled Philipp Lahm in terms of his playing style.
Standing Ovation: Niklas Süle
He was the best player against Düsseldorf: safe and solid at the back, and he smashed in the decisive penalty. Bayern’s defense looked a bit shaky at times; however, Süle had a solid 45 minutes with accurate passing and an overall cool head. Süle has impressed this season, and I believe he will only improve in 2019. He could be the future of Bayern’s and Germany’s defensive line.
Meister of the Match: Thiago Alcântara
Thiago dominated the midfield against Gladbach with his pinpoint passing and creative dribbling. He always looked to move the ball forward and was Bayern’s creativity for the full 45 minutes against Die Fohlen. The ball was glued to his feet whenever he was in possession, and when Thiago plays well, it is a beautiful thing to watch. He makes football look so ridiculously easy. A Spanish Maestro.