In a game where a few Mainz 05 players made a better case for featuring in the awards than certain Bayern players, Bayern Munich dominated for the first 30 minutes before falling apart spectacularly. Mainz put in a superb defensive performance, with young goalkeeper Finn Dahmen really impressing in his debut for the club. Bayern found themselves trailing by 2 goals at half time.
However, Hansi Flick’s pep talk seemed to have worked wonders once again, with the team looking like a new beast in the second half. The introduction of Niklas Süle and Leon Goretzka added some much-needed balance, and the Bayern attack came out roaring, being much more clinical and displaying good organization and chemistry.
Here are the match awards for today’s tale of two halves:
Jersey Swap: Jonathan Burkhardt and Finn Dahmen
Burkhardt was Mainz’s best attacking outlet, and a thorn that really troubled the Bayern defense, especially in the first half. His link up play was stellar, and his well-placed, powerful finish for Mainz’s first was a piece of art. Really good outing.
What a debut that was for Dahmen! Mainz may have just unearthed the next big German goalkeeping talent! At just 22, he was possibly Mainz’s best player today, making numerous world-class saves to keep the Bayern attack at bay throughout the first half, and replicating this fine form in the second, keeping the scoreline from going 15-2. Frustrated the Bayern attack throughout, and definitely has a bright future ahead.
Der Bomber: Müllendowski
Couldn’t choose between the two, so awarded both of them. Müller was brilliant throughout, and if Serge Gnabry and Corentin Tolisso could actually finish, should’ve had at least six assists today. Lewandowski added another brace to his super impressive tally, taking him to 19 goals this season in just 14 games. He should’ve had a couple of assists too, if Tolisso didn’t send the ball flying to no man’s land each time.
The work rates of these two players is also something to really applaud. Making tireless runs all game, helping the midfield out, playing in the wings when the supply isn’t up to standard and constantly putting pressure on the opposition defenders, Europe’s most lethal duo were once again on fine form.
Fußballgott: Joshua Kimmich
My oh my, how much we’ve missed our mentality monster! Kimmich had a near-perfect game today, linking the defense and attack beautifully in the first half and helping Bayern dominate proceedings, before chipping in with a goal and an assist in the second half to ensure Bayern grabbed all 3 points. This man is unstoppable when fit and running. He was moved to right-back in the second half, and thrived there too. It really seems like there is no position Kimmich can’t be amazing at. Top performance from a top player.
Der Kaiser: Niklas Süle
It speaks volumes about the defense when your best defender was a player who only featured in the second half. Bayern’s defense was atrocious in the first 45 minutes, caught napping multiple times. Jerome Boateng and David Alaba embarrassed themselves nearly every time Mainz went forward, and should really do better to make a case for a starting spot, with two capable CBs putting up better cases on the pitch.
Süle instantly added defensive solidity, was a strong, commanding presence at the back, made some well-timed blocks and won all his aerial duels, and put in his best impersonation of Benjamin Pavard with a cracker of a volley into the top left corner. He’s definitely a mainstay in Bayern’s champagne XI on current form. Süle was a giant in every aspect on the pitch today.
Meister of the Match: Manuel Neuer
Neuer is getting very comfortable in the MotM section these days. Another incredible performance from Bayern’s captain, especially in the first half when he was left to dry by the defense. He made up for them in numerous occasions, making some superb saves throughout the game.
Special mentions go to two amazing saves however: one game early into the first half, when Neuer found himself isolated against Danny Latza, who fired a shot towards goal. Neuer stretched his leg to block the ball away in what was a heart-in-the-mouth moment for Bayern fans. Tremendous save. The second save, arguably the best save of the game, came in the second half that saw Robin Quaison fire at Neuer from close range. The ‘sweeper-keeper’ had to make a superb reaction save, jutting his arm out in a split-second decision that saw the ball rebound off the post. Just unbelievable stuff.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Neuer is one of the best keepers of all time, and as long as he’s performing this way, I don’t see Alexander Nübel getting any game time outside the DFB-Pokal (barring a BuLi game or two when Flick decides to rest Neuer).