Bayern Munich were the better team against Union Berlin but were once again unable to kill off the game and conceded a penalty goal in the 86th minute. This was the first game that the Bavarians have played this season without either Niklas Süle or Lucas Hernandez in defense, and Alphonso Davies got his first official start with the first team.
Here are some awards from the match:
Jersey Swap: Sebastian Polter and Rafal Gikiewicz
Gikiewicz made numerous saves to keep the game within reach for Union Berlin. He made some incredible saves to deny Serge Gnabry a few goals as well as keeping Robert Lewandowski from scoring more than just one goal. In the dying moments of the game, the besieged goalkeeper also made a wonder save from a close range header from Leon Goretzka.
Sebastian Polter meanwhile came on as a substitute in the 67th minute and drew a penalty just nineteen minutes later. He made a delayed run into the box off of a long ball and then was pushed from behind by Bayern’s Benjamin Pavard. The striker converted the penalty, which led to some tense moments in the final few minutes for Bayern Munich.
Tip of the Cap: Alphonso Davies
Bayern’s speedy youngster made his first start in a Bayern shirt today as a left-back, rather than his more natural winger position. The Canadian consistently made runs down the flank and ran back to do his defensive duties.
He was quite successful in his dribbling and often sped away from his marker with the ball. His forward runs were dangerous — with one of them setting up Lewandowski for Bayern’s second goal. All in all, Davies was where he needed to be defensively and made timely interceptions to stop some of Union Berlin’s counterattacks, while also displaying great strength when muscling attackers off the ball. A commendable performance from the youngster.
Golf Clap: Robert Lewandowski
Once again, Robert Lewandowski scored what ended up being the game winning-goal. He did, however, also miss a few other chances, which is why he isn’t higher up on the list. Benjamin Pavard was also being considered for this award until he conceded a penalty late in the game which gave Union Berlin a spark. Lewandowski meanwhile scored a powerful effort from the edge of the box which slotted in at the bottom right corner.
With his goal today, the Polish international becomes the first ever player to score in all of the first nine Bundesliga games of the season. He is also the first player to score in thirteen consecutive games for Bayern since Gerd Müller in the 1969/70 season. Once again Lewandowski proves how consistent he is and that he truly is the best striker in the world. With the form he’s in right now, it seems as if his potential is limitless.
Standing Ovation: Manuel Neuer
Bayern and Germany’s captain once again proved his worth to the team. His leadership skills were on full display as he continuously yelled at his defenders to get in position. Neuer was invaluable for Bayern as he saved whatever came his way, only letting in a penalty towards the end of the game.
His positioning never let him down, making things look easy. In the 58th minute, the captain even saved a penalty at the bottom left corner. It was by no means a bad penalty; it was a low, hard drive to the corner. Neuer got down quick and saved it with a strong wrist before catching it and starting a counter-attack. Bayern will be hoping that Neuer stays injury free this season and his good form continues
Meister of the Match: Thiago Alcantara
Thiago was everywhere today. He made tackles, completed dribbles, turns, long balls, and passes with the outside of his foot. He could and did do everything for the Bayern midfield. At times he was the only actual midfielder on the pitch for Bayern, when Thomas Muller and Philippe Coutinho were further up the field in more attacking roles.
Thiago has had a bit of an off season so far for Bayern but this was a performance that we had become so accustomed to. If he can play like this consistently, then Bayern can have high hopes for this season