Jersey swap: Timo Werner
While there were others who had a greater impact for RB Leipzig in the Finale, this time I am taking this award’s title literally. Timo Werner should swap his jersey for FC Bayern red. The German international has been linked with Bayern and would compliment the team very well. Others in consideration for the swap were Yussuf Poulsen, Emil Forsberg, and Peter Gulacsi.
Tip of the cap: Joshua Kimmich and David Alaba
Both full-backs were great on both offense and defense. They did their jobs as defenders to keep everything tidy, while still getting forward often. They also each got an assist for Lewandowski’s two goals. Alaba’s came from the by-line, which Lewy was able to redirect with his head past the diving keeper to open the scoring. Kimmich’s assist came on a pass that was from his own half of the field. After gathering the ball up he bent it around two defenders with pace, allowing Lewandowski to run past Upamecano and beat the keeper one on one. It was one of the most beautiful passes we have seen in a long time.
Golf clap: Kingsley Coman
Kingsley Coman had another solid performance, as we have come accustomed to from the young Frenchman. His goal in the 77th minute was a thing of beauty. After taking a deflection, the ball went straight into the air and was heading towards Coman in the box. He wound up like he was going to take it on the volley and everyone believed it. Instead, he brought it down with an amazing touch then moved past the defenders and scorched the ball into the top shelf of the goal.
Standing ovation: Manuel Neuer
Manuel Neuer couldn’t have come back from injury at a more opportune time. He made an amazing save at the beginning of each half that, had he not made, could have changed the game entirely. The first came in the 10th minute when Poulsen had a free header on goal from a corner kick. Neuer made a quick reaction save and put it of the bar. Luckily Niklas Süle was there to clear the ball away. The other big save came shortly after the break. Emil Forsberg got in behind the defense and was one on one with Manu. Rather than coming out of his box, Neuer stayed in and made himself big. Doing so made the shot go off his leg and arm and then out for a corner kick. Neuer’s performance today showed that he is still world-class.
Meister of the match: Robert Lewandowski
Lewandowski’s first goal in the 28th minute changed the complexity of the game. Up until then Leipzig was the more dangerous team. Lewy’s header, scored from a cross by Alaba into the box, gave Bayern the momentum they needed. Although Leipzig looked dangerous at times, Bayern controlled the game from then on. Lewy’s second goal came after Kimmich’s amazing pass from the back. The ball curled around the Leipzig defense and allowed Lewy to run at the keeper, one on one. He took the ball beautifully in stride and was able to chip Gulacsi from the penalty spot. With today’s performance, Lewandowski hushed the critics who say that he doesn’t score in the big games. Let’s hope that next season brings bigger opportunities and bigger, more meaningful goals.