WOW. What a match. Bayern Munich escape Nürnberg with a point, but given the crazy ending we just witnessed, the points could’ve gone either way.
Jersey Swap: Matheus Pereira
Even before breaking the deadlock in the 48th minute for FC Nürnberg, Matheus Pereira was the most dangerous player going forward for the home side. He was a constant nuisance down the right channel, requiring a lot of attention from both David Alaba and Kingsley Coman, who had to track back. As Niko Kovac and Bayern presumably expected, Nürnberg set up in a completely defensive shape in the first half, but Pereira was always the one looking to spring forward when Bayern had defenders committed forward. Although Sven Ulreich made a good save on the initial attempt in the buildup to his goal, Pereira was the man in the right spot at the right time and remained calm and collected, slotting his left-footed shot past Ulreich at the far post. All in all, Pereira was the main difference maker for Nürnberg.
Tip of the Cap: Kingsley Coman
Aside from missing an absolute sitter one on one with Christian Mathenia in stoppage time, Kingsley Coman caused problems for the home side and was always looking to create changes. Even as the home side sat deep defensively for most of the match, there were several occasions where Coman used his clever turns and change of pace to create space for himself and whip balls into the penalty area. He was one of few Bayern players, especially in the first half, willing to take defenders on and try to create something. Per WhoScored, Coman was joint-top with Serge Gnabry for most dribbles attempted in the match (5) and also joint-top with Thiago Alcantara for successful dribbles completed (3). He also provided the cross that Serge Gnabry scored on. He very well could’ve received “Meister of the Match” had he not missed the one-on-one at the death and secured the three points for Bayern.
Golf Clap: Niklas Süle
Collectively, Bayern did not defend anywhere near their best today, but Süle made a number of timely interventions that ultimately thwarted dangerous chances for the home team. Just after Bayern went down 1-0, Süle made a brilliantly-timed sliding challenge to deny a shot from close range as Nürnberg took advantage of an unfortunate slip by Mats Hummels on a fast break. Additionally, Süle was wise with his passing, completing more successful passes than anyone else in the match (91). He rarely made a poor decision and was a dominant presence in the air, winning a total of 7 aerial duels (2nd most behind Patrick Erras).
Standing Ovation: Thiago Alcantara
Thiago was characteristically calm and composed in the middle of the park for Bayern and was pinpoint with his distribution once again. He also did well to adapt to having to drop a bit deeper in the second half when Niko Kovac made the decision to take off Javi Martinez in the 57th minute to bring on an attacking player in James Rodriguez. It should come as no surprise that Thiago boasted the highest pass completion percentage (96) of anyone in the match and he did quite well on a number of occasions playing it tidily out of the back when Nürnberg’s high press was on.
Meister of the Match: Serge Gnabry
Gnabry made the important difference for Bayern, plain and simple. Bayern’s attack noticeably improved after he came on for Thomas Müller after halftime. There was a slightly fortuitous deflection from the defender on his goal in the 75th minute that helped it over Mathenia, but he made the right run that was found by a nice lobbed cross from Coman. Gnabry’s confidence has been growing significantly with each week that passes. He has now scored 5 goals in his last 7 Bundesliga matches. If Gnabry had started that match, Bayern might’ve been a lot more dangerous in the attacking third in the first half, which is something Kovac should keep in mind for the remaining three fixtures.