Bayern Munich shook off an uneven first half to decimate VfB Stuttgart in the second half. Here are some quick hitters on the match:
- I have been thoroughly impressed by the effort of Leon Goretzka of late. With another goal and overall stellar play, Goretzka is cementing himself as a necessary option in the midfield. Right now, the former Schalke man is playing with a passion and relentlessness in the final third that is helping drive the squad’s offense.
- Similarly, I though it was another excellent effort from Thomas Müller. Despite not getting on the score sheet, Muller proved his worth with his awareness, deft runs, and unselfish play. The same could be said for Thiago Alcantara.
- Manuel Neuer was solid...very solid.
- Seeing Robert Lewandowski miss a penalty kick is always shocking, but the Polish Hitman eventually found the back of the net with his late goal.
- Joshua Kimmich added two assists to his tally, which now stands at nine in the Bundesliga and 12 across competitions.
- Kingsley Coman was a force at times and forced things at others. The potential is certainly there for Coman to be an elite disruptive force, and he’s inching closer to that standing each time he takes the pitch.
- Kudos to Alphonso Davies for making his Bundesliga debut.
- I am not here to dog Javi Martinez, but he’s just no longer an option for Bayern unless there is a surplus of injuries in the midfield or at center back (Injury gods: “Perhaps in due time.”) Anyway, he wasn’t awful and he wasn’t necessarily even bad...it’s just that the team played significantly better without him. We should respect what Martinez has done as a player, but he’s a depth option for Bayern at this stage of his career.
It doesn’t sound like Bayer Leverkusen is anywhere near eager to sell off Kai Havertz. Sky Sports caught up with sporting director Rudi Völler, and Leverkusen’s head honcho was pretty clear that Havertz was not going to move on this summer.
It is normal that a “once in a century” talent will have other ambitions at one point. Then we will discuss it. But it’s not that time yet. He won’t leave in the summer.
Rumored Bayern target Rabbi Matondo might have a future in Germany even if the Bavarians do not follow up on their alleged interest. Schalke submitted a low-ball effort that Manchester City quickly shot down, but Die Königsblauen and even RB Leipzig could come back with a more appealing bid either now or in the summer.
Manchester City have reportedly rejected a bid from Schalke for wantaway teenager Rabbi Matondo. Matondo is yet to make his senior debut but has already rejected two contract offers from the Premier League champions. According to Sky Sports, Schalke offered €10m for the 18-year-old before they were instantly knocked back. RB Leipzig have also shown an interest in Matondo but Sky Sports claim that a summer departure is more likely.
Chelsea defender and Germany international Antonio Rüdiger is calling on Chelsea to retain Callum Hudson-Odoi.
What I can say is clear: Chelsea have to make him stay. It will be a pity if this young talent leaves us. He decides his future but Chelsea need to give him a new contract.
Interestingly, but not surprisingly, Pep Guardiola omitted Real Madrid when talking about the most successful clubs of the last decade and how he wants Manchester City to emulate them. Specifically, Guardiola referenced Bayern, Juventus, and FC Barcelona:
It’s important now that at the end of January we are still there. At the big clubs, that is the big difference. I’ve said many times: what are the best teams in the last decade? Juventus, Bayern Munich, Barcelona. These are the three best teams in Europe. Why? Because every season they win the league, every season they win the cups, every season they are there. Because they are the best. We can — not get close to them, because it’s difficult — but imitate them. Being in the competition until the last stages. Sometimes you are lucky, sometimes not, but be there. That’s what I want. Premier League, until the end. Carabao Cup final back to back? Chapeau, hats off to my players. Cup today, we win the game and get through. Prepare for Schalke (in the Champions League last 16). That is when you become a better team and a better club.
The best teams have to imitate these three teams, not the other ones. When I said Bayern Munich, Juventus, Barcelona are the best, it’s because it doesn’t matter what happened before, they go again. That’s the most difficult thing. Win one title, two titles, that can happen. But that consistency, every three days for 11 months during 10 years, that’s what I respect and admire the most. That will be my dream. Every single game and competition we try to do that. And so far, we have done it.
For a capsule-style recap of the Bundesliga’s weekend fixtures, just click here.