Bayern Munich toppled Borussia Dortmund 3-2 at the Allianz Arena in a game that was both scrappy and easy on the eye. After an excellent first-half display which saw the Bavarians take a quick 2-0 lead and Julian Brandt pull one back, Dortmund came out roaring in the second half and threatened to take the game away from Bayern. A Manuel Neuer save, as is often the case, prevented this from happening, and Bayern won it late on through Joshua Kimmich. Without further ado, here are the awards:
Jersey Swap: Julian Brandt
While Erling Haaland certainly made a case for it in the second half, terrorizing the Bayern defense until he was taken off, rather dubiously, after a quiet first half, I decided to give it to Brandt because Dortmund did not really pose much of a threat in the first half aside from Brandt and at times, Marco Reus. It seemed to me that if BVB was to going to have a chance, Brandt would have to do something and he did so with a well-taken finish for his side’s first goal.
Der Bomber: Robert Lewandowski
A quiet game by his standards; however, he was well marked and still found it within him to earn two assists, one for Corentin Tolisso’s opener and another for Joshua Kimmich’s winner. Unfortunately, they’re not officially counted as they were scored from rebounds, but the effort still matters. He was Bayern’s outlet late on in the game as well.
Fußballgott: Thomas Müller
Müller was ever-present in all areas of the pitch as well, making things happen in his own clever way. He was making runs down the right side, playing in a cross or two, Although Bayern generated most of their first half attacks on the left through Alphonso Davies and Kingsley Coman, Müller made sure to be a threat on the other side and pop up while BVB was busy dealing with Bayern’s left. His goal was a raumdeuter-special; the header looked like it was going wide but, ended up going in.
Der Kaiser: Lucas Hernandez
Bayern’s backline seemed to be able to handle everything in the first half up until Brandt’s goal; Hernandez was a calm presence there and Erling Haaland was marked out of the game. In the second half, there was not much he could do about the goal and kept up his tenacity. Manuel Neuer comes a close second due to making himself big enough to make Thomas Meunier nervous enough to miss in a one-on-one situation, and due to the save he made against Haaland; however, we could say that about Neuer in every game and this award would end up going to him every match Bayern plays in.
Meister of the Match: Joshua Kimmich
On Sunday, as Bayern struggled mightily against Hoffenheim, we saw Kimmich run and run until he could run no more. Hansi Flick cannot rest him because he is a combination of the original Fußballgott, Bastian Schweinsteiger with his darting runs into the final third along with tackles in midfield, and Philipp Lahm with his runs up and down the right flank. That third goal was his creation entirely. He stole the ball in midfield when both teams looked tired and seemed to have settled for penalties. He had the determination to finish even after Marwin Hitz saved the first attempt. Ladies and Gentleman, that goal was no mistake.
Louis Van Gaal used to say that Thomas Müller must play; now, we all know Kimmich must play. Kimmich scores when it matters most — a goal against Borussia Dortmund in a title decider last season, a goal against Liverpool the season before and a goal against Real Madrid a few seasons ago come to mind. He came up again today with the winner. I am full of admiration for his versatility and his creativity. I hope that he gets to rest soon because, if there is one player whose loss Bayern cannot compensate for at all, while Lewandowski and Müller come to mind, it is absolutely Kimmich in my view.
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