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Daily Schmankerl: The aftermath of Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Monchengladbach; Manchester City wants Thiago Alcantara; and MORE!

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The Bundesliga title race is on!

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Die Folgen: Bayern’s scorching 5-1 win over M’Gladbach (Bavarian Football Works)

The game may have caused Niko Kovac to shed his scarf in the first half, but Bayern Munich was always firmly in control. Here are some quick hitters on the match:

  • The return of Thomas Muller paid the exact type of dividends we thought it would. Not only did the Germany international find the back of the net in the first half, but his creativity and manipulation of space offensively made Robert Lewandowski’s life much easier.
  • Speaking of the Poland international, some will lament the chances he missed (like the tweet below) instead of the brace that he had. Over the past few weeks, Lewandowski has played extremely well, but was just missing that extra bit of help to lead the offense. With Muller back in tow, Lewandowski looked extremely dangerous and more confident. This is the type of performance that could help get him fully back on track.
  • Javi Martinez continued his excellent run of play. I had serious doubts earlier in the season that Martinez was anything more than a veteran reserve at this point, but he’s proven over the past few weeks that there is still much fight left in his game.
  • It was a spirited effort from Rafinha, who was solid on the night. The veteran outside back will need to get his game time in as he prepares to have a vital role against Liverpool in a few weeks.
  • James Rodriguez had a very strong effort, but it looks like he’s having some confidence issues with his scoring. It would be good to see the Colombian find the net soon in hopes that it helps him regain that aspect of his game.
  • The center back duo of Jerome Boateng and Niklas Sule did a terrific job of limiting the damage. Facing Thorgan Hazard, Lars Stindl, and Alassane Plea is no easy task for Bayern’s entire back line and while it wasn’t perfect, Boateng, Sule, Rafinha, and Joshua Kimmich did enough to help limit the pressure on Manuel Neuer.
  • Eden Hazard’s little brother is an absolute menace by the way.
  • Thiago Alcantara was excellent as well, but that is pretty much par for the course these days with him.

If you missed our Match Awards or Observations, give them a look.

Pep scoping Thiago (The Mirror)

We all knew this day would eventually come. Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola wants his club to make a run at bringing in Thiago.

Pep Guardiola wants to raid Bayern Munich and be reunited with Thiago Alcantara for a second time. The Manchester City boss is a huge fan of the Spain international, who is seen as a long-term option to replace Fernandinho as a holding midfielder.

Guardiola took over as Bayern boss in 2013, and quickly signed Thiago from Barcelona for £21million. City will have to smash the club record £60m they splashed out last summer on Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez to have any chance of landing 27-year-old. Bringing in an influential midfielder is a summer priority for manager Guardiola.

Rummenigge waxes philosophical on the topic of Werner (Münchner Merkur)

While he wouldn’t specifically address Timo Werner, Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had this to say about the reaction of RB Leipzig to the rumors that Werner was headed to Bayern.

I have a lot of experience in the business and whenever you deal so aggressively with transfers like (Red Bull), that’s not in the interest of the club.

Steakgate returns! But why? (Münchner Merkur)

Wolfgang...dude, you are way late to the party on this.

The CDU politician and Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble has distributed in an interview with the radio media group a swipe against Franck Ribery. He warns against showcasing wealth and also cites the gold-steak debate as an example.

”Footballers should also pay more attention to the effect their behavior has on the public. Why do you have to spread pictures of eating a gold-leaf steak?” the politician wondered.

ICYMI: The Chris Richards trilogy (Bavarian Football Works)

If you missed our three-part series on USMNT hopeful Chris Richards, today would be a good day to check it out.

Brandt had himself a day (@WhoScored)

Bayer Leverkusen’s Julian Brandt was excellent in his squad’s 2-0 win over SC Freiburg.