What. A. Game. A game for the ages, a game that will go down in Bayern Munich’s history books as one of their best-ever team performances. Even more special, this spectacle took place against Barcelona, a side widely regarded as one of Europe’s best. We can safely say that the German teams’ UCL “curse” against Spanish sides has finally been broken. And Bayern are here to make a statement, to go all the way.
Today was a tough day for the awards, because this win was possible because of a superb team effort. There were a lot of great individual performances today, but some shone brighter than others. Without further ado, here are the match awards for the game:
Jersey Swap: Frenkie de Jong
The midfielder was the lone bright spark for Barcelona all game. Constantly helping with transitions, dribbling past Goretzka with ease, and spraying good passes all over the pitch, he had a good outing in what was a match to forget for his team. He has a very bright future ahead of him.
Honorary mention: Lionel Messi — Messi Created quite a few chances in the first 20 minutes of the game, then was marked out completely by a superb Bayern team performance. Even his glitter wasn’t enough to save Barca from a Bayern drubbing.
Tip of the Cap: Robert Lewandowski
This was far from Lewandowski’s best performance this season, but he had a very good outing. Always involved in the attack, his telepathic understanding with Thomas Müller gave Barca defenders fits all night. He recorded a goal and a great assist, with 5 key passes and a lung-busting performance up front. UEFA Player of the Season, definitely.
Golf Clap: Joshua Kimmich
Joshua Kimmich shows the world time and again that he can be a top player in every position. Back in his former role at right-back, he was great going forward, resilient in defense, and made some superb passes to carve open Barca’s midfield like a Christmas cake. He scored a goal with a great run in from behind and registered an assist off a great cross to Müller. Well deserved.
Standing Ovation: Serge Gnabry
Chef Gnabry gets cooking when the stakes are high. And the resulting goals are just delicious. He was a force to be reckoned with, and the collective sigh of relief from the Barca defenders after he was subbed out echoed throughout the stadium. His combination play was superb, and he was always active in attack, swapping positions with Lewandowski and Müller to give Barca too much to deal with. Again, a great goal and a very good assist to cap off a brilliant performance. That’s three different players with a goal and an assist now.
Meister of the Match: Thomas Müller
After the Chelsea game, I was quite surprised that Müller had a relatively quite outing at the Allianz. However, I called dibs on him coming back all guns-blazing with a very good showing against Barcelona, and he came with an arsenal of bazookas and MG-3’s. His movement and slick passing in tight spaces proved too much for Barca to deal with, and he went on to register 2 goals and an assist. The raumdeuter stepped up when it mattered the most, and the highlight reels from this game will forever resonate in Bayern and world football history as one of the best ever CAM performances. Extending him was one of the best things Bayern has done. Here’s to many more seasons of Müller manning the Bayern attack!
Meister of the Season: Hansi Flick
The awards just wouldn’t be complete without this guy. Before the Barca game, he mentioned in the press conference that he had a plan for handling Messi and the rest of the squad, and it showed in the game. This was a tactical masterclass, and the “dividing the pitch into boxes” drill seemed to have worked wonders. Bayern’s positional play and spatial recognition and exploitation was outstanding. Flick is the man of the moment, and one can only wonder how high Bayern will actually go with him at the helm till 2023.
Ivan Perisic — Perisic was very active on the flank and scored the goal that put Bayern in the lead. Bayern would do good to activate his clause to have a dependable winger in the ranks.
Philippe Coutinho — It’s quite telling that a man with 2 goals and an assist didn’t get into the awards, and that was the quality of the Bayern team tonight.
And a shout out to Alphonso Davies, who had a great outing at left-back while defending against his idol (and even getting fouled by him!).