It was definitely a hard battle between the two teams. Bayern Munich was better side without any doubt, but Red Star Belgrade fought well and was exceptional defensively.
Bayern had a good start and had a clear attacking plan and in the end, it all paid off. So, without further ado, here are the match awards!
Jersey swap: Milan Borjan
The goalkeeper was very good today with the rest of the defense. He had a few marvelous saves. I don’t know how goalkeepers get so good against Bayern, but they all seem to like the challenge. Surely, if Borjan wasn’t up to his task, Red Star would have conceded a few more.
Tip of the cap: Ivan Perišić and Philippe Coutinho
Both players could be slightly dissatisfied with their performances. Both of them had decent chances and both of them missed quite a few. Ivan Perišić was slightly more effective today since he provided an assist and was inches away from scoring a goal, but he, unfortunately, hit the woodwork. Coutinho proved that he isn’t a finished article just yet. He had a lot of good passes and a few good shots but was unlucky not to score. Both of them are still adapting and they will be useful for the Bavarians.
Golf clap: Thomas Muller
I know — it’s unfair to put a player who just played over ten minutes in the match awards. But bare with me. But from the time that he came in, Muller immediately livened up the attack. His run-ins made the defense often split and he would make space for other players, or he would find a good position where he could potentially produce an assist. So in just ten minutes he scored his trademark goal and almost had an assist (if Robert Lewandowski had more luck). That itself speaks volumes of his impact on Bayern’s play.
Standing ovation: Kingsley Coman
A truly wonderful match for the Frenchman. He scored the first goal after Superman-like diving header. He didn’t focus that much on dribbling and was more active as a squad player. He had four key passes tonight and his stats are only getting better as the season progresses. He was also helpful for Bayern’s press towards Red Star’s defense and had three successful tackles.
Meister of the match: Thiago Alcantara
What is there to say? Masterful. Truly masterful. When Thiago is on top of his game, it’s a pure joy to watch him play. And tonight, Thiago was on top of his game. He bossed the midfield and gave the much-needed tempo to Die Rekordmeister. He was involved in attacks and was very important for defensive work. What I really admired about him today is that after a misplaced pass, he immediately chased the player and won the ball back. Usually, players who are technically gifted as he is, they usually don’t run after the ball that much, but Thiago is really on another level. He finished the game with 89% passes, two key passes, and an assist to his name.
- Lucas Hernandez: Hernandez really had a good match today and was probably one of the most important players for Bayern in the first 20 minutes. He played the whole match at left-back and his performance was impressive.
- Robert Lewandowski: It doesn’t happen often that when you score a goal, you don’t get picked for the awards, but today is a bit different. Although Lewa really DID have a decent game, his numerous misplaced shots just left a bad impression on me, and that’s why he didn’t make the final cut.