In a highly-anticipated game between the top two teams in the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich and Rasenballsport Leipzig were evenly matched. In a league where we expect nearly four goals per game, a 0-0 draw is not always what the fans want to see. Both teams missed big chances and lacked any finishing capabilities in the final third. For the third time in a row in the Bundesliga, Leipzig and Bayern have split the points. Here are our match awards.
Jersey swap: Dayot Upamecano
A big reason for Leipzig’s shutout of Bayern is due to Upamecano’s performance. He was able to break up passes and crosses coming into the box with ease. He also had a clearance off the line in the first half, when it looked like Robert Lewandowski would put the hosts in the lead. Leipzig’s defense, as a whole, was awesome today, but Upamecano stood out.
Tip of the cap: Jerome Boateng
All season we have heard that Boateng is washed up and too old to be relied on in this system. Fortunately for Bayern, Boateng has stepped up and filled in for injured players and has helped get Bayern back to the top of the table. Today he had to defend Timo Werner and Christopher Nkunku. Although he did look to be a bit slower than before, Boateng still made great decisions and kept the two attackers at bay, even with them targeting him specifically.
Golf clap: Thiago Alcantara
Thiago was brilliant on the ball today. Especially in the first half when he was able to operate in loads of space. He completed 89% of his passes, most of them trying to poke holes in the Leipzig defense. He had an amazing shot from just inside the box early in the first half that was curling back on goal, but Leipzig’s goalie was up for the task and parried it away. That could have changed the game drastically, had it gone in. Overall, it was another consistent perfomer from Thiago.
Standing ovation: David Alaba
Another player who has stepped up and filled the gaps for injured players is David Alaba. The Austrian defender showed off both his skill and adaptability. Already playing out of position as a center back, Alaba slid over to play right-side center back when Boateng was replaced by Lucas Hernandez. In both spots, he shined. His brightest moment came when Manuel Neuer came way off his line and didn’t win the ball from Werner. Alaba was able to stay calm and made a goal-saving block, while making sure not to use his hands.
Meister of the match: Alphonso Davies
Davies has become a mainstay for these awards in the past months. He consistently proves that he is one of the brightest young stars in all of Europe. Today, that brilliance was again on display. He played up and down that right side and dominated both with the ball and defending. His speed was again on display on both sides of the ball. He created a few chances for his teammates by getting to the end-line and crossing the ball back towards the penalty spot, but no one was able to get a foot on the end of one of his crosses. For North American fans it was great to see what could be a match-up for years to come, both internationally and in the Bundesliga, as Tyler Adams often went against Davies. It will be interesting to how far both of these players go.