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Observations from Bayern Munich’s 1-0 win over Tigres UANL in the Club World Cup Final

FC Bayern downed Tigres UANL 1-0 to capture the Club World Cup title. Tigres was North America’s first ever club that made it to the finale.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Tigres UANL - FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020 Photo by Gaston Szerman/DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Season for the history books

Six trophies. Six. Bayern have won SIX trophies this past season. Absurd. Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, German Super Cup, Bundesliga, & the DFB Pokal for the 2020 season. Now add the Club World Cup. Not only will Bayern’s jersey have that beautiful Champions League trophy patch, now they’ll also have the patch on their chest. And for Thomas Müller, Manuel Neuer, & Co, it will look very familiar to a certain patch from 2014.

If the 2019-2020 season had any absurd stat, it’s this. Hansi Flick. Das ist alles.

Take a bow, North America

Tigres UANL became the first team from North America to make the Club World Cup final and boy did they play their heart out. Through the first half, Tigres has a claim to say that they should’ve been in front given some incredible build up play by their French talisman, André-Pierre Gignac, and Tigres’ staunch defensive effort.

Tigres constantly challenged FC Bayern’s defense, which was missing Jerome Boating due to personal issues as well as a midfield without two of their three regular starters in Leon Goretzka and Thomas Müller, both whom are COVID-19 positive.

At the end of the day, FC Bayern won 1-0 thanks to incredible play by Lewandowski and Kimmich and a suburb goal by Benjamin Pavard. But Tigres need to absolutely give themselves on the pat on their back for properly representing North America and CONCACAF.

Kimmich is the “World’s Best Midfielder”, fight me

What else can be said about Kimmich? Against a team he has never played against before in his life on a stage as big as the Club World Cup final, Kimmich absolutely dictated every bit of play from the Midfield.

Kimmich was everywhere tonight. The 26-year-old was offensive and a major driving force behind almost every single one of Bayern’s push forward. Does he miss his partner-in-crime Goretzka? Yes. But Kimmich has shown more than anything he will take the team on his shoulder and raise them higher. He truly is the nest midfielder in the world.

Offside plays a big role

Two major events had offside calls involved. First, Kimmich’s goal which was ruled offside as Lewandowski might have interfered with the goalkeeper’s vision on the ball. The goal should have put Bayern up 1-0 midway through the first half. But what offside and VAR has taketh, it giveth.

One leg and one foot. On Pavard’s goal in the second half, the side judge initially ruled Lewandowski offside, but VAR came back with some force and determined that the Polish striker was initially onside. Pavard then scored the game-winning and trophy-winning goal on a silver platter in the 59th minute. VAR is here to stay whether we like it or not, but it’s encouraging that it did not get both decisions wrong.

Gnabry and Sané are subpar

Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sané continued their worrying trend of subpar play. If you take out Sané’s near goal in the second half, the duo was largely invisible. In all honesty, I’d be more concerned about Gnabry, as Sané is still well within the timeframe of being somewhat hindered by his ACL-injury. Whether or not he can return to the form we saw in his best Manchester City years remains to be seen, but I'm inclined to believe he can get better.

Gnabry on the other hand has had his fair share of subpar matches and the footballing world has noticed. Indecisive, turnover prone and lapsing in defensive judgment, Gnabry appears at times as nothing more than a body rather than the Champions League world beater he was during Bayern’s championship run last year. Gnabry will need to quickly improve his consistency and play level to avoid anymore further questions about his form.

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