Jersey Swap: Weston McKennie
Schalke’s best player, McKennie made numerous gorgeous crosses that were only missing the end product. He seemed to be involved in almost every single one of Schalke’s counter-attacks. A diamond in the rough, McKennie has an incredibly bright future ahead of him. Judging from his display tonight against one of the best squads in the world, the USMNT is lucky to have him.
Tip of the Cap: Alphonso Davies & Philippe Coutinho
Both were good, not great. Davies used his incredible speed to recover on a couple of occasions and it made the difference. But outside of that, Davies was another cog in a very effective machine tonight.
Coutinho had his chance. A beautiful curling shot that just missed the crossbar. Apart from that, he was involved in the creation of numerous chances, but nothing happened out of it.
Both of their performances are indicative of a Bayern team that, I think, underestimated Schalke, leading to a gritty 1-0 game that saw loads of possession but very few clear-cut chances.
Golf Clap: Leon Goretzka
Constantly finding himself in lethal positions in the box, Goretzka unfortunately constantly was missing the end product. He gets participation points for having the most chances of the match. His bicycle-kick was beautiful, but like the rest of his chances, just a little too much. Goretzka has earned to be in contention as Bayern’s starting attacking midfielder. His defensive skills will always be underrated, as we saw tonight, but his attacking abilities are just too good for Bayern to ignore. The more he plays, the better his final touch will be.
Standing Ovation: Joshua Kimmich
The goalscorer with a double nutmeg, the game-winner, Kimmich was in control of this game. He started as one of the two center-backs, yet we continually found him fighting his way forward and often succeeding. If there was any doubt that Kimmich’s current role is as a defensive midfielder, then I don’t know what is a greater sign.
Meister of the Match: Thiago
His passing was elite. Continually finding the necessary pass and threading the needle, Thiago was truly the maestro of this match. His goal-line dive to thwart a Schalke counter will stick out as his moment, but he truly was the man in control of Bayern’s dominance in possession and passing attack of the night vs Schalke. Even though there is talk about him returning to Barcelona, he’s Bayern through and through. And I for one, am glad he is.