Bayern Munich’s offense looked its very best against a very attack-minded Leverkusen side, banging in an impressive 4 goals before Leverkusen had the time to blink. The defense however, was not quite as good, and leaked in 2 goals that could’ve easily been prevented, along with some uncharacteristically sloppy play at times. Overall, Flick’s mastermind game-plan was executed well once again, as Bayern look closer than ever to clinching a record 8th Bundesliga title.
This was a very good team performance from Bayern, although a few individual performances stood out from the rest. Here are the match awards for today’s game:
Jersey Swap: Charles Aránguiz and Florian Wirtz
Aranguiz was the midfield engine in what was a very brave, well-concerted effort from Leverkusen. His excellent ball distribution, passing accuracy of 86%, and well-timed tackles and interceptions made life difficult for Bayern’s midfield today, which looked quite disjointed, especially in the first half. A very respectable performance.
Florian Wirtz, at 17 years and 34 days(!), became the youngest goal-scorer in Bundesliga history, scoring against Manuel Neuer of all people. After cutting inside with his left foot, he curled a sumptuous shot past Neuer and into the far corner. The youngster impressed after being subbed in, giving problems to the Bayern defense with his passes and interplay. A very impressive performance.
Tip of the Cap: Kingsley Coman
Coman’s performance was enigmatic. In the beginning, he was frustrating to watch, making poor decisions, taking too much time on the ball and attempting shots from bad positions. However, as the game progressed, he showed why he’s still an important part of Bayern’s plans.
After racing down the flank to receive a ball from Goretzka, the Frenchman calmly curled it into the far post to put Bayern level in what was a great goal. He was also heavily involved in the second goal, feeding Muller with an exquisite backheel, who went on to assist Goretzka. Coman caused many problems for Leverkusen today, and his form seems to be improving. With improvements in decision making in the final third, he could be a world-beater.
Golf Clap: Jerome Boateng and Robert Lewandowski
Before the game, I was highly skeptical of Boateng starting, since I felt his lack of pace would be a big problem against a pacey Leverkusen front line. He went on to prove me wrong and put in a splendid effort. David Alaba was surprisingly poor all game, making ill-timed tackles, poor decisions, and being caught off-guard in dangerous positions. Boateng however, was there to make timely interceptions, winning all his aerial duels and registering a passing accuracy of 90%. His vertical balls forward were a delight to watch, and he would be having two assists if not for some missed chances from Lewandowski and Gnabry.
Lewandowski, our trusty Polish hitman, was at his very best today. Yes, he only scored one goal (which was a brilliant header), but his contributions in midfield were immense. He put in a lung-busting shift, and was everywhere in the midfield and attack at one point. Another aspect of his game that is starting to become routine is his ability to initiate goal-scoring moves forward, which he or some fellow teammate would go on to finish. His passing was spot on, and Bayern is indeed gifted to have such a well-rounded striker up front.
Standing Ovation: Thomas Müller
Thomas Muller is finding himself in the awards very often, and for good reason — he’s simply the best AM in the world on current form. He pitched in another 2 assists today, putting his Bundesliga total at a magnificent 20, matching Kevin De Bruyne’s all-time Bundesliga record with 3 games to go (for Müller). His crosses were a sight to behold, and his intelligent interplay confused defenders the whole game. Yet another great performance from our Raumdeuter.
Meister of the Match: Leon Goretzka
There were concerns over Goretzka’s form after the Bundesliga restart, but with each game this man has cemented a spot in Bayern’s talent-crowded midfield. His physicality was on full display, and he did excellently to win the ball off Diaby and teed off Coman for the first goal with an absolute scorcher of a pass. Shortly after, he scored the second from outside the box in what was a well hit shot. His commendable work rate helped Bayern in defense and in attack. It’s amusing to remember that we got him for a free. Superb shift.