Well that was stressful. Bayern Munich had to fight hard, but they picked up three invaluable points away to Vfb Stuttgart. Here’s who stood out in the 3-1 win.
Jersey Swap: Silas Wamangituka
Not only does this man have a mouthful of a name, he was more than a handful for Bayern’s defenders on the field. His sheer size and speed constantly bombarded Bayern’s flanks all game and he deservedly got an assist on VfB Stuttgart’s opener. His highlight of the game, though, wasn’t the pinpoint cross to Tanguy Coulibaly that gave Stuttgart the lead, but his dribble in the second half that saw him bamboozle three Bayern defenders and almost produced an equalizer. He was also the fastest player on the pitch today, clocking up 34 kilometers per hour. What’s more, this guy’s only 21-years-old. Wow.
Der Kaiser: Manuel Neuer
Neuer had a horrendous start to the game, failing to connect to a cross that ultimately saw him conceding, and making a hash out of Jerome Boateng’s attempted pass that could have seen Bayern concede literally seconds after Kingsley Coman’s equalizer. But in the second half, he was the only part of Bayern’s defense that didn’t look like it was going to fall apart. He made a vital save late in the second half that would have crushed any hopes of a victory, and held firm between the sticks to see his side clinch the three points. He wasn’t at his best, no, but he came back in the second half strong, which is pretty hard for goalkeepers when they’ve played a bad half. Yes, I speak from experience. Also, his slip and fall when kicking the ball forward was sure to crack a lot of people up.
Der Fußballgott: Leon Goretzka
Did you see this man run all around the pitch today? I don’t know how much ground he covered, but he was absolutely everywhere yet again. Bear in mind that Goretzka was running all around a mere three days ago against Salzburg, and he did the same exact thing for 90 minutes today. Of course, because of the fatigue, his passes weren’t as accurate as we would have liked, but he more than made up for it with his utter dominance of the midfield. With Joshua Kimmich sidelined, Bayern’s midfield lost a huge asset, but Goretzka is evidently doing his very best to fill that void, and for that alone, he deserves praise.
Der Bomber: Robert Lewandowski
Today wasn’t Lewandowski’s best day, as was the case for most of the team. However, he took up the role of tanker — in other words, getting the stuffing beat out of him — and he played it well. Even as he was being elbowed, tackled, jabbed, and whatever else Stuttgart could throw at him; he never showed any sign of slowing down and he also helped out quite a lot in defense as well. Put simply, he was everywhere Bayern needed him to be, and it’s a pleasure to see how much effort he’s putting into things that are seemingly not on his job description, such as backtracking 30 yards to put in a tackle in his own area.
Plus, THAT. EFFING SHOT. Simply magisterial. Petition to change his name from ‘Robert’ Lewandowski to ‘Rocket’ Lewandowski?
Meister of the Match: Kingsley Coman
Mr. Lisbon was easily the best player on the pitch by a mile today. He constantly terrorized Stuttgart’s flanks with his pace and quick dribbling, and came up with a myriad of chances on his own. He was in the right space and the right time for the equalizer, and he proved that he was the right man for the moment by taking a slight touch and firing in at the near post. A goal Franck Ribery would be proud of. Also, he was the one who assisted Lewandowski’s cracker of a winner, although, yes, I guess he didn’t play as big a part in it as you would have thought. Anyway, in the second half, Coman was still the most active player, changing flanks and attempting dribbles and shots as he pleased. Ever since that night in Lisbon, he’s been on fire, and hopefully he’ll produce even more of his magic in future games.
Ratings for the rest
- Pavard: Left his flank unguarded a few times but always managed to cover up. 6/10
- Boateng: Very unimpressive. Almost cost Bayern a goal and never looked his usual self. 4/10
- Alaba: Also immensely unimpressive. Almost cost Bayern a goal and always looked his current usual self. Gets an extra point because he kind of came to life later. 4/10
- Hernandez: Uncharacteristically poor. But I’ll give him this, he was fired up and raring to go. Did you see him run right onto the pitch after getting treated for an injury and flying straight into a tackle? My goodness. 5/10
- Tolisso: Don’t think he had a bad game, especially coming back from injury. Hopefully whatever subbed him off isn’t serious. 6/10
- Gnabry: Made some good runs but finishing needs improvement. That first half 1-on-1 would have made things a lot easier. 5/10
- Muller: Ran around a lot but wasn’t inspiring in any way. Wasn’t bad, wasn’t good. 5/10
- Sule: Didn’t do much wrong in defense. 5/10
- Nianzou: Congrats on your debut! 6/10
- Sane: Assisted Costa’s goal. 6/10
- Costa: Was utterly useless until his goal, but killed off the game. 7/10
- Martinez: Did he injure himself? Hopefully not. 5/10
- Coach: I don’t think he can do much when his squad is clearly depleted of energy. The best Hansi can do is motivate the players like he normally does. His hug to Tolisso was so darn sweet. 6/10
- Whole Team: Expect a lot of games like this until Christmas. We’re out of fuel, and we don’t have much time to refuel. Good that we won in these circumstances. 6/10
(Award winners: Neuer 7/10, Goretzka 8/10, Lewandowski 8/10, Coman 9/10)