Bayern Munich are heating up just at the right moment. Niko Kovac seems to have finally gotten through to his team of stars as the Bavarian giants have been dominant on both ends of the pitch. Following a defensive masterclass against Liverpool, Kovac has unleashed his side’s attacking prowess, while maintaining a stranglehold on the opposition attack.
Not even an ill-timed and seemingly poor decision to exile Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and Thomas Müller from the National Team could slow the German juggernaut. In fact, Sandro Wagner was (unsurprisingly) right. Bayern are playing like a team with a chip on their shoulder and a fire in their bellies.
Today’s performance was absolutely faultless from the manager to the ball boys to the Südkurve. Jurgen Klopp must be worried as Liverpool prepare for a trip to the Allianz Arena.
Note: Literally every player could have been selected for an award.
Jersey Swap: Bruno Labbadia and Koen Casteels
A huge shout-out to Bruno Labbadia who is winless in his last FIFTEEN matches against Bayern Munich in all competitions. He was even nice enough to help the Bavarian giants overcome a four-goal differential to overtake Borussia Dortmund for the league lead.
On a more serious note, Koen Casteels performed valiantly in defeat. The Beglian keeper faced 12 shots on target, saving six. He really didn’t have much of a chance on any of the six goals scored by the Bavarians.
Tip of the Cap: Serge Gnabry
Serge Gnabry is turning into one of Bayern’s most consistent threats in the attacking third. His movement in and around the box resembles that of a striker, while his pace and ability on the ball place him in an elite attacking class. His first goal was a brilliant tap-in, for which he cut across the face of the Wolfsburg defense to connect with Thomas Müller’s driven cross. Gnabry’s next moment of class put his improved decision-making on full display as he received a well-weighted through-ball and slid it across the face of the goal to Lewandowski for an easy finish. He could have gone for goal himself, but his unselfishness ensured his Polish teammate could guide the ball into the back of the net.
Two key passes, a goal and an assist make a solid shift for the German winger, who was subbed early into the second half to rest ahead of the midweek tie with Liverpool. Kovac’s men need more of the same if they want to advance past Jurgen Klopp and the Reds.
Golf Clap: Robert Lewandowski
Two goals and a record-breaking performance for the Polish Hitman don’t even begin to explain the quality of Robert Lewandowski’s performance. The Bundesliga’s top-scoring foreign player put on a clinic in hold-up play and served as the focal point of the Bayern attack all afternoon. His ability to link with the midfield and his wingers allowed attackers to flood forward, leaving Wolfsburg with little to do but grab the ball out of the back of the net. Three dribbles, one key pass, and an active display make this a Man-of-the-Match-worthy performance.
Lewandowski makes Bundesliga history pic.twitter.com/Rs4CNBBj0w— B/R Football (@brfootball) March 9, 2019
Standing Ovation: James Rodriguez
James Rodriguez looked his old self tonight as he pulled the strings from central midfield. His vision and passing absolutely dissected the Wolfsburg back line all match. With three key passes, three accurate crosses and four accurate long balls, the former-Madrid man was precision personified. In addition to his passing prowess and a gorgeous goal from the top of the box, the Colombian play-maker made multiple passes that led to goals or goal-scoring opportunities. He was truly untouchable in the midfield today. A confident James bodes extremely well as Bayern gear up to face a Liverpool midfield with Fabinho at the base.
Meister of the Match: Thomas Müller
TAKE THAT JOGI LÖW! The Raumdeuter raumdeuter’d all game in Munich. He looked like a man on a mission on the right wing, connecting with Joshua Kimmich, drifting inside, and pressing relentlessly. His pinpoint cross to find Gnabry opened the scoring and his deft flick left Casteels frozen in position for the fourth. He gave the Wolfsburg back line and midfield fits all afternoon as he consistently changed his point of attack opening up space for Joshua Kimmich, James Rodriguez and Robert Lewandowski alike. He will be missed in the midweek match against Liverpool, but if the Bavarians can advance he will be vital as Bayern challenge across three competitions.
The Spanish maestro continues to serve as the heartbeat of Niko Kovac’s side. Four key passes, three interceptions and a 95% (!) pass accuracy tell you all you need to know about the performance of Bayern’s number 6. His assist provided the cherry on top of yet another metronomic display.
Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng:
TAKE THAT JOGI LOW x2!! Hummels and Boateng are both worthy of a shout for any of the match awards, but such a dominating attacking display bumps them to honorable mention. The Volkswagen club only managed one shot on target and this was largely due to their sound defending, positioning and decision-making with the ball. This duo has something to prove after a trying couple of seasons, but this performance served as a flashback to the 2014 World Cup winning partnership.
On any other night, Kimmich would have received a match award for an active attacking display that saw him score a goal, complete five accurate long passes, and three quite impressive dribbles. He too, will be missed against Liverpool.
- Franck Ribery: Enough said.
What did you think of tonight’s performance?