In a game that saw a massive lineup overhaul from their normal setup, Bayern Munich was in a fight for all three points.
The only starters from Saturday’s game against Stuttgart who kept their jobs today were David Alaba and Lucas Hernández. The team travelled to Madrid without the services of Manuel Neuer, Robert Lewandowski, and Leon Goretzka. Therefore, some massive changes were made to this lineup, featuring the Bayern Munich first team debut of Bright Arrey-Mbi.
After conceding early, Bayern’s toothless attack struggled to get chances in front of goal. A late substitution brought on some of the regular starters and proved to be the difference for Bayern Munich, leading to a penalty and a draw for Die Roten.
Jersey Swap: Marcos Llorente
The Spanish midfielder was all over the pitch today and made his impact known on the game. His passing accuracy was key, and his movement with the ball up the pitch helped Atletico score their first goal of the game. He further pressed his style on the game as the main ball mover for Atleti all match. His performance was fantastic for the Spaniards and led to amazing results all game.
Der Kaiser: David Alaba
In the weird back three/back five formation that Bayern rolled out this game, David Alaba’s role as the middle center back helped keep this team’s defense intact. It was an effort we haven’t seen from him in a while as far as effort and consistency goes. A further point of note should be how well he worked with Niklas Süle on his right side. After this match, I wouldn’t be shocked if Hansi Flick decided to start playing the two alongside each other in central defense more often.
Der Fußballgot: Jamal Musiala
Musiala’s play early on was one of the few bright spots for this team in the first half. His pass accuracy was fantastic and he made a number of key passes to build up the little attacking Bayern did. Add on to that a beautiful weaving run which almost led to a shot on goal and that closed out a very good first half for him.
His second half was equally impressive. After Thomas Müller came on in the 61’, Musiala’s role shifted toward deep-lying passing and covering the backline. His physicality and intelligence came into play a number of times; especially when he made a beautiful run to swipe away a Llorente chance on net.
Der Bomber: Thomas Müller
His substitution in the 61’ marked a turning point for this Bayern Munich squad. The team began to move the ball up the pitch through the performances of the Raumdeuter. He put a number of shots on net in the first 20 minutes he was on the pitch, though none really scared Jan Oblak. Then, in the 85’ Müller’s beautiful dribbling in the box got him cut down by Mario Hermoso and the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty. It was cleanly put away and Bayern’s unbeaten streak in Europe lives to see another day.
Meister of the Match: João Félix
In a game which featured absolutely no attacking from Bayern at all, we are left with the man who scored the first and only goal of this game. Felix’s goal in the 16’ came in from a beautiful low cross from Marcos Llorente. Alexander Nübel had been performing well up to this point, but nobody would have been able to save Felix’s effort. In addition to that goal, Felix was on fire throughout the rest of the game, marauding around the box and putting up great chances. His shot and fantastic play in the first half set the tone for the game early, and we give him MOTM here.
Other Performances of Note
- Eric-Maxim Choupo Moting: EMCM never seemed like a threat to the Atletico backline, failed to put away chances (or even take them in some cases), seemingly absent in the one position Bayern needed to step up tonight.
- Douglas Costa: He challenged the backline a number of times, but only put one shot on goal. A great rebound performance from Stuttgart, but not exactly what we needed.
- Leroy Sane: In a game where he was the only high quality attacker, he really missed his chance to have an impact on the game. 1 shot in the first half, none in the second half. A disappointing showing from him.
- Serge Gnabry: After coming on in the 61’, he didn’t do much of anything to build up the play or put any chances on net until the 82’. I’m surprised Kingsley Coman wasn’t substituted on.
- Bright Arrey-Mbi: His Bayern Munich debut saw the youngster playing mostly as a left wing back. He needs more time to develop, but his play didn’t result in giving up a goal either.