What a game that was! Bayern’s face-off against Dortmund in Der Klassiker’s latest edition was arguably the game of the season in terms of the overall quality of football, with some glorious passing sequences, well-timed challenges, and THAT sumptuous goal. Both teams put in their best performances, so it was quite hard to pick from the bunch. Without further ado, though, here are the match awards for today:
Jersey Swap: Lucasz Piszczek
The Polish defender shone in Dortmund’s great display today. Always there to bail out the defense in sticky situations, making timely tackles, interceptions and being the proverbial shield that defended Dortmund’s goal all game. With 5 great tackles and some good positional play, he was able to silence Lewandowski, a feat not many defenders have accomplished this season.
Bonus: The entire Dortmund team. This was arguably their best display this season, and every player put in a lung-busting effort. Respect for a fine performance from the Black and Yellows.
Tip of the Cap: Jerome Boateng
There was major doubt before the game on whether Jerome Boateng was the right choice to start alongside David Alaba in what was arguably the most important Bundesliga matchday of the Hinrunde. Boateng just came up in spades and showed that he still has it in him. Boateng played with confidence at the center of the defense all game. His timely tackles, interceptions, and occasional long balls capped off what was a solid outing for the German international.
Golf Clap: Alphonso Davies
The lightning-fast Canadian was present all over the left wing. Making some great runs to help teammates up front, then tracking back well on time to regain the ball from the opposition has become Davies’ signature style of play. Today’s game epitomized just that. His best moment of the game came when Haaland was through on goal with no one before him but Neuer, and Davies just made a sprint with a speed of 35.3 km/h(!) to get back in time and make an interception. He is Bayern’s resident flash.
Even some pros were blown away:
Alphonso davies is fast as f***— R.Lukaku Bolingoli9 (@RomeluLukaku9) May 26, 2020
Standing Ovation: Kingsley Coman
Coman gets the ovation courtesy of a fantastic display in the first half of the game. Creating numerous chances with his slaloming runs, trickery, blistering pace and some great chances created, he was a thorn in the side of the Dortmund defense. Hummels had to literally give his shirt a sharp tug, because that’s the only way you can stop a sprinting Coman. His second-half performance left a lot to be desired however, but his high offensive output is the reason he’s this high up.
Meister of the Match: Joshua Kimmich
Was there ever any doubt? Kimmich was easily Bayern’s best player on the pitch today. He covered every blade of grass and boasted a pass completion rate of 89% in a gritty midfield affair. He made 4 interceptions from the center of the park, created some great chances for his teammates and gave us a glimpse of the wizard he is with a sumptuous goal — a beautiful chip from between the Dortmund defense over a helpless Roman Bürki into the net. His goal of the season contender proved to be the match-winner for Bayern, but it is only one among a myriad of reasons why Kimmich deserves the top award for today.
Honorary mention: Manuel Neuer
Captain Neuer showed us yet again with a commanding display between the posts why he’s regarded as the best goalkeeper in the world at the moment. He put in some crucial tackles outside the box, played some great passes to his teammates, served as an outlet during stuffy situations in midfield, and made two world-class saves to deny what would have otherwise been surefire goals. Bayern will be the better for extending this remarkable man till 2023.