Let’s get this out of the way early: There were not many quality individual performances from Bayern Munich on the pitch today during its 2-1 loss to Hoffenheim. This is one of the few instances we’ll see where it would easier to pick out who was bad rather than who was good...but here we are.
Frankly, Corentin Tolisso, Thiago Alcantara, Serge Gnabry, Philippe Coutinho, and Niklas Süle all ranged from shaky at best to bad at worst on this day, but that is a subject for another time. Still, it’s just one game — one poor, uninspired effort — in a season that is far more of a marathon than a sprint.
Let’s get down to business and try to sort out who was good enough to earn an individual accolades in what was a truly disappointing performance.
Jersey Swap: Sargis Adamyan
Sargis Adamyan had a brace and could have easily had a hat-trick if not for a bit of a misplay on his part and an extreme amount of hustle from Jerome Boateng. Adamyan was just one of several Hoffenheim players who stood out including Florian Grillitsch, Stefan Posch, and Robert Skov. Each of those players were thorns in the side of Bayern Munich, but Adamyan delivered the two decisive blows.
Tip of the Cap: Kingsley Coman
It might seem odd to see Coman here after he was subbed out so early (60th minute), but he was truly one of Bayern Munich’s only effective offensive players early in the game. Niko Kovac has shown the ability to push the right buttons with some of his substitutions over the past two years, but this was a big whiff on his part. I was on board with bringing in Ivan Perisic, but it would have been for Serge Gnabry, who was not on top of his game today. Coman’s speed and ability to create offense was missing from the line-up and would have been a boost as the squad tried to battle back from a deficit.
Golf Clap: Joshua Kimmich
Kimmich was another player who brought an inspired effort to the pitch, but was overshadowed by the poor performance around him. At right-back, Kimmich was a constant threat to create offense from the flank and looked confident and dangerous.
Standing Ovation: Thomas Müller
On a normal day, Müller might not have been elevated this high, but his assist on Bayern Munich’s lone goal was one of the game’s few bright spots. Sure, Müller made a couple of early gaffes (he was shaking off an ample amount of rust no doubt), but showed exactly why he’s a valuable part of the squad even if Kovac does not see fit to play him anymore. In many ways, this was a reality check for Kovac. If he thinks he does not need Müller’s influence in games moving forward, it could be a difficult path ahead.
Meister of the Match: Robert Lewandowski
Lewandowski was creative and inspired early on, but was not exactly at his best or sharpest. Still, because the Polish Hitman was setting himself in positions to make plays and it was simply a matter of time until he found the back of the net, which he did in the 73rd minute after a terrific ball from Müller. In the end, it was once again the persistence and fight from the 31-year-old that shone through a very uneven performance from the team. Without his scoring presence, it is tough to think how Bayern Munich would thrive on many game days where they suffer through a bit of a malaise — like they did today.