Jersey Swap: Mark Flekken
What a game the Dutch international had! Bayern Munich had 11 shots on target tonight, out of which 9 were saved by the goalkeeper, who was spectacular. The trend of goalkeeping masterclasses against Bayern continues, with Flekken stopping Lewandowski, Sané, and Goretzka from scoring multiple times, with Thomas Müller also coming close on one occasion. He’s a major reason why Freiburg are so formidable and will have a huge say in their success in the Bundesliga.
Honourable mentions: Christian Günter, Nico Schlotterbeck
I was really tempted to give this award to the entire Freiburg side, for the intensity, the determination, and the quality of football on display. I was also considering handing this award out to Coman and Goretzka, but that would’ve been unfair to Freiburg, who was splendid today.
Streich’s side looked really good from the get-go, and Günter and Schlotterbeck really shone in the defensive side of things, with the former terrorizing Bayern’s right flank and the latter being a rock-solid presence, keeping Kingsley Coman in his pocket (which wasn’t all that difficult).
Der Bomber: Leroy Sané
The Bayern winger was once again super active in an LW/AM hybrid role, drifting into the half-spaces, dribbling through Freiburg’s defensive wall, and combining excellently with Davies multiple times. His assist was well deserved and was a super first-timed pass that fell perfectly on Lewandowski’s path. His finishing left more to be desired, however, but overall, this was another solid outing from the German winger.
Der Fußballgott: Thomas Müller
Make no mistake, Kimmich and Goretzka didn’t cover themselves in glory today. Yes, the latter grabbed a goal, and the former was instrumental in the buildup to both goals, but the passing was more or less shambolic, and Goretzka lost the ball so many times, I lost count. Müller had to pick up on the slack as a result, and often drifted to the 8 position, trying to carry the ball forwards. His one-touch passing, defensive work, and nifty turns made things difficult for Freiburg’s defense.
Müller’s assist for Goretzka’s goal after a beautiful one-two was a thing of beauty, and he would’ve had two more assists had he not passed to Coman. Another industrious performance from the Raumdeuter.
Der Kaiser: Lucas Hernandez
Another beastly performance from Bayern’s trusty LCB. Lucas was omnipresent in the defensive areas, clearing any ball approaching the penalty area and making some really vital blocks and superb interceptions. Some of the more noteworthy moments include a superb sliding tackle to dispossess Jeong in Bayern’s penalty area early in the first half, and a timely clearance to deny Grifo a good chance on goal. It isn’t a long shot to assume that had Nagelsmann not subbed him out, Bayern could’ve come out of this game with a clean sheet in the bag.
Honourable mention: Manuel Neuer
In the second half, Bayern’s #1 was incredible, making some stunning saves to keep Freiburg at bay. It was such a shame that Nianzou left him out to dry towards the end of the game when Haberer sent in a powerful shot that just couldn’t be stopped. The search for more clean sheets continues.
Meister of the Match: Robert Lewandowski
He’s the best in the world, and he keeps proving that so consistently. This award isn’t about his goal, which, by the way, was a work of great positioning and athletic ability. This is about just how much this man was involved in the build-up. He was once again outstanding with his hold-up play, dropped super deep so many times (Bayern’s midfield was bad, so he had to help), and even distributed the ball to the rest of the attack. Once again, he was left disappointed by poor finishing from Bayern’s wingers.
There was an instance in the second half when Lewandowski dropped deeper than Upamecano to receive the ball, made a turn to leave a Freiburg player for dead and sent a long lateral ball to Kimmich. The commentators noted his contributions in build-up and stressed just how important Lewandowski is to Bayern’s press and ball possession.
Yet another excellent showing from the Polish hitman, who will make France Football really regret their decision, when they award Messi or someone else the Ballon D’Or later this month.