It was a crazy roller coaster of a game as Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin tied 2-2 in a contest that could be best classified as a dominant, yet unfulfilling performance. Regardless, we present the BFW Match Awards from what was still a solid effort by the Bavarians.
Jersey Swap: Niklas Stark
Stark has all the makings of a terrific defender — whether that future is as a deep-lying midfielder or center-back does not much matter. The boss of the Hertha Berlin defense, Stark anchored the effort for Die Alte Dame and was a constant thorn in the side of the Bayern Munich. The thing that stuck out most about Stark was his confidence. Whether it was mixing it up with Robert Lewandowski or closing down on Kingsley Coman, Stark played like someone who had no doubt about his actions on the pitch.
Tip of the Cap: Thomas Müller
Müller was creative and disruptive, terrorizing the Hertha Berlin defense. While he did not get on the score sheet with a goal or an assist, Müller’s vision, passing, timely runs, and overall efficient play was a driving force behind why the Bayern offense functioned so well. There were several contenders for the final two spots and I could have easily selected Benjamin Pavard, Corentin Tolisso, or Thiago Alcantara, but opted for Müller and the man in the next spot below based on their offensive persistence.
Golf Clap: Kingsley Coman
The only way to slow down Coman was to grab and hold him repeatedly, which the referee let pass by enough for Hertha Berlin’s defensive unit to make it an accepted practice. Sure, Coman was drawing fouls, but each foul was a lost opportunity for a better scoring chance. Regardless, Coman put all of his pace and skill on display.
The constant threat that Coman presented caused the Hertha Berlin defenders much frustration. Coman is going to be an absolute handful for the Bundesliga to deal with this season.
Standing Ovation: Serge Gnabry
Gnabry had the assist on Lewandowski’s goal in what was a stunning effort that started with Lewandowski. The ball was carried forward by Joshua Kimmich and Gnabry himself before the Polish Hitman finished the play. Gnabry looked every bit as confident and dangerous you would expect after a very successful 2018-2019 campaign. Though he failed to convert a couple of good opportunities later in the game, Gnabry was still outstanding on the day.
The thought of Gnabry and Coman bringing the danger down the flanks for Bayern Munich is something that all fans can get excited about.
Meister of the Match: Robert Lewandowski
Lewandowski was an absolute force in the contest and was nearly unstoppable. The striker’s constant movement and relentless driving to the net did not always yield goals, but he ensured that the Hertha Berlin defense had to dedicate itself to finding a way to slow him down. What made this effort special from Lewandowski is the aggression and forcefulness that he played with.
The Polish Hitman is in great form to start the season. There looks to be no doubt that the 30-year-old striker is ready to resume his role as the Bundesliga’s pre-eminent goal scorer.