Bayern Munich took one step closer to their 9th consecutive Bundesliga title with a 2-0 win over Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Here’s who stood out.
Jersey Swap: Lukas Hradecky
Bayer’s goalkeeper didn’t have his best game today, but he did have a better one than his teammates. He was the main reason why Bayern did not manage to score a single goal in the second half. True, he was slightly at fault for the first goal when he spilled Thomas Muller’s close range shot for Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to pounce on, but other than that, he was not at fault for much. If it wasn’t for him in goal, the game would have ended with a lot more convincing scoreline to the home side.
Der Kaiser: Alphonso Davies
Bayer have some of the fastest attackers in the Bundesliga, and it showed today. The likes of Moussa Diaby and Leon Bailey were constantly bombarding Bayern’s flanks with their runs. Fortunately, they were ultimately unsuccessful, many thanks to Alphonso Davies. The Canadian youngster has been getting back to form late in the season after a slightly slow start, and his full talent was on show today. His speed was on top, clocking up over 35km/h. Naturally, he was named the fastest player of the match. He was shutting down counterattacks left right and center, and dare I say, we were treated to the raw talent that made us Bayern fans fall in love with him in the first place.
Der Fußballgott: Joshua Kimmich
Bayern’s midfield trio was pretty impressive today, and made sure that the team had a firm grip in the middle of the park for 90 minutes. Kimmich was the standout performer among those three, and not just because he scored a goal. He was cutting passes here and there and spraying good balls forward at will. If David Alaba was the defensive anchor for this game, Kimmich was a typical deep-lying playmaker, dictating the play from deep in midfield. And of course, I know I said this wasn’t the only reason, but his goal was very well taken as well. A finish that Robert Lewandowski would have been proud of. It’s astonishing how Kimmich has been playing every game due to Bayern’s thin squad, yet still manages to produce performances like these week in week out.
Der Bomber: Jamal Musiala
My, this kid is special. Getting a second consecutive start from his MOTM winning performance vs Wolfsburg, Musiala picked up exactly where he left off and continued to dazzle. His slick skills and fancy footwork were on show from kickoff until he was subbed off. He was mainly positioned on the flank, but also drifted into a more central position when Muller was pushing forward, and he did not look out of place in both positions. The main gripe I had with Musiala today is that he didn’t manage to score, because he really did deserve a goal. But even without a goal to his name, Musiala proved that he is indeed a very talented player, and that he fully deserved to start this game. Will he start against Mainz on Saturday as well? I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if he does.
Meister of the Match: Hansi Flick
Hear me out.
Flick’s week has most likely been pretty hectic, what with his bombshell announcement this past weekend about his wish to leave the club at the end of the season. Hey, it sure was a crazy week for Bayern fans all over the world, so I can only imagine how crazy it’s been for the man responsible. The reason I’m naming him MOTM is because of how professionally he’s handling the situation, and by that I mean not letting his future get in the way of his present. If you look at some other coaches across the Bundesliga this season, say Adi Hutter and Marco Rose, both their respective teams hit quite a few roadblocks after their departure was announced. Whether that be attributed to lack of motivation or something else, it was not a good sign for Flick and his team with a tough Leverkusen team coming up in just a few days. But Flick remained focused and got his team a win, taking the title race in a firm grasp. He apparently told the team before the game that they could take a big step towards their goal, which they did. I really hope we can win the league and celebrate one final trophy with one of the greatest coaches in the club’s history.
One-sentence ratings for the rest
Neuer: Made a number of decent saves and kept a clean sheet. 7/10
Pavard: Ran up and down a lot and wasn’t bullied by Bailey’s pace. 6/10
Boateng: Wasn’t too bad but some decisions were a bit rash. 6/10
Hernandez: Didn’t have too much to do but did what he had to. 6/10
Alaba: Was very good in defensive midfield and played a crucial role in the goals. 7/10
Muller: Quiet for his standards, but more or less assisted the opener. 6/10
Coman: Finishing was poor and crossing was average. 5/10
Choupo-Moting: Scored the opener and got another chalked off for being an inch offside. 7/10
Sane: Decent moves but horrible finishing again. 5/10
Nianzou: Showed glimpses of his talent. 6/10
Goretzka: Got into some good positions. 6/10
Sarr: Wasn’t troubled that much. 5/10
Scott: Looked lively and got a few shots. 6/10
Whole Team: Good win, now let’s do it one more time and win the league. 8/10
Davies 7/10, Kimmich 8/10, Musiala 8/10, Flick 9/10