After conceding early, Bayern Munich were never able to take full control of the game. The early goal allowed Union Berlin to sit back and play the counter. Their hold-up play was outstanding, creating many dangerous breakaways. If not for small errors and outstanding play from both keepers, this game could have seen a lot more than two goals. Alas, Union split their first points with Bayern after a gutsy 1-1 draw. Here are our match awards.
Jersey Swap: Andreas Luthe
The Union keeper was outstanding tonight. Altogether he made four saves, none bigger than when he stopped Leroy Sané’s header from inside the box. Luthe had to dive and, at full stretch, scoop the ball out of the air before it crossed the line. Although his team arguably should have given him all three points by scoring more goals, Luthe kept Bayern from taking all three points back to Munich.
Der Bomber: Robert Lewandowski
Lewandowski scored again! This really shouldn’t be news to anyone, but it is still amazing to witness. With 13 Bundesliga goals this season, Lewy is scoring at an amazing pace again. But what I also noticed from him today, was his intent to create when nothing was working in Bayern’s attack. Rather than sitting back and just waiting for the ball to come to him, he was making runs to ball, which allowed things to happen for Bayern’s attack.
Fußballgott: Kingsley Coman
Along with the rest of Bayern’s attack, Coman didn’t much impress in the first half. However, I thought that Coman really ignited the attacking chances that Bayern had in the second. He was a great as always on the right-hand side of the pitch. His creative run and beautiful pass assisted Lewandowski’s equalized. While Lewy gets the credit for scoring the goal, that was all Kingsley Coman. All in all, Coman ended the day with four key passes as he attempted to wake up Bayern’s attack.
Der Kaiser: David Alaba
Union’s gameplan of sitting back and then countering tested our backline. Since Davies and Pavard were mostly pushing up into the attack, this meant that it was left to the two centerbacks. While I don’t think that either Alaba nor Boateng had a particularly stellar outing, there was one play of Alaba’s that stood out to me. In the first half, after Bayern conceded, Union had another free run at goal. Neuer came off his line and Alaba slid in to put a foot in the way. Union’s forward pulled back to shoot around, but Alaba kept inching closer while on the ground, closing the shooter’s angle. With such a small window to shoot, the ball ended up going wide. In a close game like this, we didn’t know how big that miss was, but looking back, it could have meant no points for Bayern.
Meister of the Match: Manuel Neuer
Like Luthe, Neuer was called on to make important saves throughout the game. Union was knocking on the door from the first minute, when Neuer was already called into action to make a huge save on the first of many dangerous Union attacks. Unfortunately Neuer didn’t get much help from his defense just three minutes later when Union scored of a free-header after a corner. Neuer bounced back like he always does and didn’t let that phase him. He went on to make three more vital saves throughout the game which allowed Bayern to claw back a point.