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Match awards from Bayern’s gritty 2-0 win against Union Berlin

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Bayern’s Bundesliga season resumed with a hard fought, routine win against Union Berlin. The overall team performance was far from impressive, but the boys got the win after a 2 month long layoff, which is what matters.

1. FC Union Berlin v FC Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga Photo by Hannibal Hanschke/Pool via Getty Images

Bayern Munich kick-started their Bundesliga restart with a 2-0 win against Union Berlin. The game left a lot to be desired, aside from a few brilliant individual plays. Here are the match awards:

Jersey Swap: Marius Bülter

A thorn in the side for Bayern’s defense the entire game, Bülter was active on the flank throughout, putting in some great crosses and testing Neuer twice from close range. His interplay with teammates and great one-two’s with Anthony Ujah and Christopher Lenz created some sticky moments in an otherwise comfortable outing for the Bayern defense.

Tip of the Cap: Manuel Neuer

Captain Neuer’s first game back was a display of the highest quality and demonstrated that he hasn’t missed a beat. Two good saves in the first half, followed by a vital block at close range in the second kept, the score 0 on the other side and saved the defense some blushes. If he stays in this form, there will be no more arguments over who the best goalkeeper in the world is at present.

Golf Clap: David Alaba

A very solid outing for the Austrian international. Alaba was always there at the right place, making several crucial interceptions, using his pace and agility to keep the opposition forwards at bay and winning 6 out of 7 duels. There was not much more you could’ve asked from Alaba today.

Standing Ovation: Benjamin Pavard

It’s always great to hear the commentators go “Pavaaaarrrrrr” on the mike whenever he scores. His goal late in the second half effectively put the game to bed — a well taken header off a Kimmich corner, maneuvering the ball between two Union Berlin defenders, straight into the bottom right corner. Pavard’s work on the right flank was also worthy of praise, and he was defensively very solid, frustrating both Lenz and Bülter. Another great performance overall.

Meister of the Match: Thiago Alcantara

I cannot stress this enough: an in-form Thiago is one of the top 3 central midfielders in the world. Actually, he even makes a good argument for being the best at the position. Thiago won 3 (!) aerial duels, made 4 interceptions, and boasted a passing accuracy of 88% in a game where the ball seemed to oscillate between the two teams for large periods. And Thiago’s dummies and fakes are the icing on the top of every performance. This is a man at the peak of his powers, and Bayern will continue to be in a great position to win it all if he continues this rich vein of form.