In his first game as head coach, Hansi Flick guided Bayern Munich to a comfortable victory against Olympiacos to make it 4 wins in 4 matches in the UCL group stage for the German Champions, qualifying comfortably for the Round of 16. Despite the fact that Bayern failed to score a single goal even as the clock ticked past the hour mark, it was one of those games where the entire team put in a good shift and it was only a matter of time that the goals would come. They came in the 69th and 89th minute from two good runs of play. Kingsley Coman’s cross was tapped in cleverly by Robert Lewandowski, who assisted the Ivan Perišić for the second goal after receiving a grounded cross from Corentin Tolisso in the box.
All in all, Bayern always looked like they had more than a few gears left to go and once the first goal went in, they cruised through to the end of the game. Brace yourselves for the match awards after an even performance by the entire team.
Jersey Swap: José Sá
Although the whole Olympiacos back line had a solid game, it was the Piraeus Number One who kept Olympiacos in the game, making 9 saves in total. There were several times where the onlookers expected to see the net bulge but for José Sá’s stops. Two strong headers from Lewandowski and Leon Goretzka would have no doubt found the back of the net if not for the Portuguese keeper. Strong in goal, no mistakes, no spills, cleaned up crosses close to goal and thanks to his saves, thanks to Sá, the Greek side can walk away from the Allianz Arena with only two goals conceded.
Tip of the Cap: Hansi Flick
After the resignation of Niko Kovač as head coach of Bayern, assistant coach Hans-Dieter “Hansi” Flick took over as interim manager. In his first game at the helm, he picked a midfield double pivot of Joshua Kimmich and Goretzka with Thomas Müller ahead at CAM. This turned out to be a fantastic move as the midfield were terrific in controlling the game, from helping out in the defense to connecting well with the attack. It was free-flowing football that lacked the final finish, until the final thirty minutes.
Golf Clap: Leon Goretzka, Joshua Kimmich and Alphonso Davies
It was a proper team performance where it would be unfair to leave out either of these three for the awards. You’ve already read it above: Kimmich and Goretzka put in strong performances in the middle. Goretzka at the 8 position with his athleticism paired well with Kimmich’s defensive midfield duties at the 6 and they meshed together overall for a perfect pairing of the German National team duo. Together they had a pass success of 88%, created 3 chances and made 8 recoveries, a promising combination for the pair of midfielders.
It was Alphonso Davies’s first start in the Champions League and he had yet another good game at left-back. He has held his own time and again even when playing out of his natural position. 7 duels won, 3 interceptions, 2 successful tackles and 1 clearance, not bad at all for a 19-year old winger playing at LB, not to forget 4 in 4 successful long balls. Keep it up Phonzie!
Standing Ovation: Thomas Müller and Kingsley Coman
Don’t ease up yet. Müller was at his creative best today, playing wonderful through balls that the rest of the team unfortunately failed to capitalize on. He was fouled clearly twice early on in the opposition’s box, but the penalties were not given by the ref. Müller was “raumdeutering” non-stop as he roamed in the final third, dangerously connecting with the rest of the Bayern attack. Partially because the simply failed to take advantage of some of his positive play, a team-high 5 key passes are the only numerical highlight of his statistical performance today.
French speed demon Kingsley Coman terrorized the Olympiacos defense with his searing pace and tricky feet, which paved the way for Lewandowski’s opening goal that came at long last in the game. Having made 6 successful dribbles, Coman missed out on MOTM as he was his own biggest opponent, missing two big chances — one of his own speedy creation and the other a sweet grounded cross from Serge Gnabry that went across the open goal begging to be tapped in. Despite his shortcomings, this was a much better and much more confident performance by the French National, whose past few matches haven’t been up to mark.
Meister of the Match: Robert Lewandowski
He’s done it again!! 21 goals in 17 games in all competitions this season! And it’s still only November!
Who else could it have been to break the deadlock and score the opening goal! Bayern were trying everything but couldn’t find a way to put the ball into the Olympiacos goal, with Lewandowski himself coming close more than once. It was in the 69th minute when Coman dribbled past his defender to get into the box and sent the ball across to a waiting Lewandowski, who calmly put it past José Sá to finally score and put Bayern 1-0 up. He picked up an assist in the 89th minute, helping Ivan Perišić score and seal the game at 2-0.
Also, a hearty congratulations to our Man on Fire and his missus on their second child! Alles Gute!