The Bundesliga is back, and the first match of Rückrunde was a pure treat for football fans. Bayern Munich dominated the first half and gave TSG Hoffenheim a hard time, but after Julian Nagelsmann’s halftime pep talk, the game was even and could have ended differently. In the end, the scoreline was 3-1 in favor of Bayern as Leon Goretzka scored twice and Robert Lewandowski added a late goal. Without further ado, here are the match awards!
Jersey swap: Oliver Baumann
As mentioned earlier, Bayern dominated the whole first half. Luckily for Hoffenheim Baumann was incredible today. Bayern might have scored a few more if he were not there. He was a stable presence for Hoffenheim’s defense. Although, Nico Schulz had a good match and scored a goal, Baumann was more valuable today with his incredible saves.
Tip of the cap: David Alaba
David Alaba was on fire today! He had a few good shots here and there and was magnificent in defense (except the failure to catch Nico Schulz). Besides that, he was very stable defensively and was an important figure for Bayern today. However, what stands out the most today about him is his visionary assist to Goretzka’s second goal. It was a perfectly timed, perfectly curled, exceptional execution that left Baumann helpless. Manuel Neuer, Niklas Süle and Mats Hummels all had their bright moments today, but Alaba outshined them.
Golf clap: Robert Lewandowski
It was a great day for the Polish striker. He was constantly involved in dangerous attacks and was on the brink of a goal the entire game. Luckily, that moment came after a superb pass from James Rodriguez to Thomas Muller. He passed it to Lewy, and the striker put it past Baumann for the goal. On top of that, Lewandowski created chances and generally had good partnership with Muller throughout the match.
Standing ovation: Thomas Muller
I’m sure that most of us were quite suspicious when the starting lineup came out, especially when we saw Muller at right-wing, but he played a very important role today in attack and defense. He usually pressed Hoffenheim’s defense and quite often caused them to get rid of the ball in a panic. Then, in the next attack, we would see him helping out Joshua Kimmich with defensive duties and leading the counter attack. He visibly got tired near the end, but that didn’t stop him assisting Lewy on his 9th goal against Hoffenheim. He was unlucky not to score today. Hopefully, a goal for our Raumdeuterer comes soon!
Meister of the match: Leon Goretzka
We saw him today playing a different role from that of his last few games. Instead being paired with Thiago Alcantara, he played a more attacking role. Kovač was right about that for sure. Leon scored two goals today and turned in a brilliant overall performance. He played a vital role in Bayern’s dangerous counterattacks and also in preventing Hoffenheim’s attack. It is really inspiring to see him play this well. Goretzka’s development is obvious, and as he is less and less injured, his game was in constant rise. I hope I won’t jinx it now...