It wasn’t pretty but Bayern Munich did what they do best: win. With six changes from last week’s game against Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayern chose to rest players against Köln. At the start of the match, everything was going the way of the home team, until a 13th minute penalty was given for a handball in the box. Thomas Müller stepped up and converted it to give Bayern the lead. This gave Bayern the confidence back and Gnabry scored another in stoppage time of the first half. Neither team could get anything going until Köln pulled one back in the 82nd minute, This made for a nervy final ten minutes, but Bayern were able to finish it off and take home all three points. Here are our match awards.
Jersey Swap: Ondrej Duda
Many Köln players had a great game — as we are accustomed to against Bayern — but Duda stuck out throughout the whole game. His touches were all very tactical and often put his teammates through for a chance to attack. On the day he had four key passes. The rather odd thing is that he didn’t record a single shot attempt. Maybe he was trying to be an unselfish teammate, but sometimes you need to take chances against Bayern.
Der Bomber: Thomas Müller
Müller was tasked with leading the Bayern attack, without the world’s best striker to pass the ball to. This was not Bayern’s most proficient scoring effort, but they did just enough to get the job done. Müller was his usual self, running through all parts of the field to win the ball or accept a pass from his teammates. He also stepped up and took the penalty extremely well. He has not had to take many since Robert Lewandowski joined, but he didn’t miss a beat. Müller continues to show why we still need him playing at Bayern.
Fußballgott: Joshua Kimmich
Kimmich had another fantastic game, contributing on both sides of the ball. He constantly pestered the Köln attack and won the ball back numerous times. His best contribution led to the eventual game-winner. Shortly before halftime, Kimmich intercepted the ball with a slide tackle, which sparked the Bayern counter. Kimmich got the ball back and played a nice ball into Gnabry who ended up scoring, giving Kimmich another assist.
Der Kaiser: Javi Martinez
It might not have been the most flashy performance, but Martinez played very well in the central defensive midfield role. He was there to assist the center-back pairing Niklas Süle and Jerome Boateng. Knowing that he could help sure up the defense allowed Hansi Flick to rest David Alaba for most of the game. A performance like this shows why it was good to keep Javi at Bayern this season.
Meister of the Match: Serge Gnabry
Gnabry stepped up big in Lewandowski’s absence in the attack. His header in the box in the 12th minute was looking to set up a teammate, but instead found a Köln defender’s arm, drawing the penalty that broke the deadlock, and allowed Bayern to take control of the game. Although Kimmich’s effort and assist were brilliant, Gnabry’s finish was special. He received the ball about 40 yards from goal and dribbled into the box, around two defenders, and slotted the ball past everyone into the far corner of the goal. Great stuff today from the German international.