Bayern Munich trounced Fenerbache 6-1 earlier today and while there were many deserving candidates, we singled out some of the more exemplary performers from the match for our awards.
Jersey swap: Max Kruse
Former Werder Bremen man Max Kruse was the only real bright spot for Fenerbahçe in a day where even their own (stand-in) captain tried to walk off the pitch after being booed by their considerable support. After a mistake by Leon Goretzka, Kruse dribbled a long distance before calmly slotting it into the bottom corner from just inside the box with his right foot. In addition to his perfectly taken goal, he delivered a few good corners into the box and was really just the best out of a bad bunch.
Tip of the cap: Kingsley Coman
The young French winger had a great game at the Allianz arena. From the start until he came off, Kingsley Coman terrorized Fenerbahçe’s defense with his skills, his chemistry with David Alaba, a nose for goal, and speed. Coman’s hard work paid off in the form of a goal — an expertly taken left-footed shot that he buried into the bottom corner — and an assist where he dribbled down the left, ornamenting his play with a few step-overs before drilling in a perfectly placed low cross to an oncoming Leon Goretzka.
Coman’s turn of pace is truly astounding and was a nightmare to defend for Fenerbahçe’s defenders. Furthermore, he also displayed that great work-rate Bayern fans around the world have come to love as he tracked back defensively multiple times. To cap off a very good performance, the Bayern left-winger also won a few free kicks for the team as his trickery proved too hard to handle.
Golf clap: Renato Sanches
Since coming back for preseason, Renato Sanches has been a changed man. His decision-making has improved substantially and this new skill he has learnt was shown again against Fenerbahçe as he was calm and collected in possession, hardly ever giving away the ball cheaply. Sanches’ energy galvanized the Bayern team, which also benefited from Sanches’ relentless pressing and strong physical presence.
Another new trick in his locker is the “Thiago-esque” dribbling motion that Sanches now performs which was illustrated the countless times he took and got past his man. Sanches also scored a goal, so there’s that. Simply put, another great performance from Sanches and here’s hoping for more.
Standing ovation: Leon Goretzka
Goretzka was all over the pitch in another dominant performance. Although suffering the small blip of ceding possession for Fenerbahçe’s goal, the rest of his performance made up for his lapse of judgement. Throughout his time on the pitch the German international showcased his youthful energy and athleticism to its peak, constantly making runs in-and-out of the box while maintaining a defensive discipline. Goretzka also tracked back accordingly and provided high-quality passes to his teammates.
In addition, Goretzka was a potent set-piece threat all throughout the game as his 6-foot-3 frame lept through the sky like a Salmon to connect with the ball from two corners in which he almost scored. Although, he did get his goal — a bullet into the bottom left corner which left the opposing keeper with no chance. Yet, another superb performance from a Bayern player in this game and another tremendous performance from Goretzka in preseason.
Meister of the match: Thomas Muller
When Thomas Muller came on at the 20th minute for Serge Gnabry, the score was 0-0. When the Bayern team left the pitch at halftime, their zero had become a five. That says it all really... Muller’s arrival added a leadership and desire into the team that wasn’t there beforehand. Through his raumdauteuring ways, he drifted around the pitch, creating space for others, and also becoming an option for players to pass into for link-up play. Let’s also not forget about his near telepathic connection with Joshua Kimmich, which yet again, was superb.
The added grit and desire Muller brought to the table was exemplified through his first goal — a typical Muller tally — in which he slinked up behind an opposition player in control of the ball, tackled him, and nestled the ball into the bottom left corner. His second goal, albeit a penalty, was still expertly taken — an inside of the boot shot into the side netting. However, Muller’s third goal, like his first, was so, so typical. Somehow, the (former...) Germany international managed to sneak in behind the defense, expertly staying in Bayern’s own half before making his run as a means of staying onside. Muller reached the ball (multiple yards ahead of Fenerbahce defenders) and slotted the ball past the oncoming goalkeeper. It was a trademark Raudauteur goal.
This game was a true Muller masterclass. It’s obvious that when Muller is on the pitch, Bayern simply plays better and Niko Kovac would do well to remember that in the coming campaign.