In what turned out to be a highlight match of the season and a proud game for German football, Bayern Munich held RB Leipzig to a 3-3 draw to maintain their two-point cushion at the top of the Bundesliga table. It was a thrilling contest between two sides that locked horns over aiming to win control using the same methodology — gegenpress footballing.
In the end, Die Roten’s resilience and unpreventable ability to score goals meant that they were able to stop Die Roten Bullen coach Julian Nagelsmann’s plan of masterminding an upset in its tracks. Here are the match awards from another Klassiker of a match that we witnessed:
Jersey Swap: Emil Forsberg
It was a terrific performance from Leipzig’s offense and in the center of it all was Sweden international Emil Forsberg. Deployed in a false-9, Emil Forsberg was the orchestrator of his coach Naglesmann’s plan. His linkup play often disfigured Bayern’s defense and his vision helped Leipzig capitalize on a poor offside setup from the Reds’ defense.
Der Kaiser: David Alaba
Deployed in his former position, David Alaba did what he does best — manifold the team’s offensive production. In a game where center-backs Niklas Sule and Jerome Boateng lacked control on the ball, Alaba took his playmaking duties with him to the left flank. Alongside Kingsley Coman, the two proved to be a menacing threat to Leipzig defense and constantly exploited the weak openings through their interchanges.
He was the most press-resistant defender of the match and even from a wide position, he was found in the thick of Die Roten’s play. Winning all six of his challenges in addition to recording two tackles as well as interceptions, it was a convincing showing from the Austrian on the defensive side of things.
Der Fußballgot: Jamal Musiala
Coming on for injured Javi Martinez, Jamal Musiala’s substitution turned out to be a game-changing one. The marvelous teen once again displayed his remarkable intelligence, often winning second balls that saved Bayern from a few counter attacks and providing some creativity through the central channels. He never shied from taking his chances and displayed his individual brilliance on the Bavarians’ much-needed opener. And this very thing sets him apart from the players of his age group. Where a typical 17-year-old would struggle to find his bearings, Musiala fearlessly takes-on his opponents and takes responsibility even when surrounded by a group of best players in Europe.
Tough game against a very strong opponent tonight. Happy to get another goal⚽️ but not the result we wanted. pic.twitter.com/ORaNQJziig— Jamal Musiala (@JamalMusiala) December 5, 2020
Bringing on Roca might’ve made sense considering that his midfield dictating qualities would have proved useful against a gegenpress-ing Leipzig. But Musiala also is making a strong case for himself with his distinct style of play that he brings to the table.
Der Bomber: Thomas Muller
The undisclosed assistant manager Thomas Muller’s performance was a sight of joy for spectators. Raumdeuter-ing at its finest, the 31-year-old’s goals were an example of many of his typical goals — reading the play well and then being at the right place at the right time. In addition to his match-levelling brace, Muller further set up two chances for his teammates.
While he struggled to gain control through the middle, just like the rest of his teammates, he oozed with confidence in his actions and forced Saxony backline into errors with his well-rested partner Robert Lewandowski. After having shared the pitch for the last five years, Muller has formed a striking chemistry with Frenchman Kingsley Coman, well on path to developing into the one he had with his old friend, Franck Ribery.
Meister of the Match: Kingsley Coman
King of the match, king of our hearts. A right coach coupled with optimum fitness levels, Kingsley Coman is finally getting the opportunity to develop into the player we imagined. It was a difficult choice for MOTM between Muller and Coman but ultimately, the Frenchman’s grandeur of a performance stood out from the rest of his teammates. Not only did he provide a hat trick of assists, the 24-year-old showed a remarkable understanding of when to stretch the field and when to drop inside to pick a pass.
Kingsley Coman is the first player to assist three goals from open play in a Bundesliga game this season.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 5, 2020
The first time he's achieved the feat in his career. pic.twitter.com/KUOCE3H1vZ
His positioning complemented David Alaba’s underlapping as well as overlapping runs and the two tormented Leipzig right-back Nordi Mukiele and center-back Ibrahima Konaté with their superior chemistry. The true heir of King Ribery’s throne, Coman’s place on the left wing remains undisputed and Bayern are reaping the rewards of trusting in this phenomenon through thick and thin.