With results going their way in midweek, Bayern Munich had the chance to clinch their ninth consecutive Meisterschale against Mainz; however, Mainz wasn’t just going to roll over and let Bayern celebrate the title in their home stadium. Two first half goals were enough to get the job done and increase their chances of playing in the Bundesliga another season. Perhaps the only good news of the day is that Lewandowski got a stoppage time goal to help on his hunt to catch Gerd Müller’s record. Here are our match awards:
Jersey Swap: Jonathan Burkhardt
Burkhardt only played the first 45 minutes, but that was enough to cause Bayern trouble and set up Mainz for the win. His goal in the early stages of the game — a knuckler that Neuer couldn’t get properly in front of — allowed Mainz to sit back and defend, only going forward on counters. While it is not always pretty soccer, Mainz was able to park the bus and may be the first that have been able to successfully sit back and defend for a large portion of the game against Bayern.
Der Bomber: Robert Lewandowski
After missing what felt like an eternity, Lewandowski was finally back on the pitch for Bayern. As it was for the entire team, it was a frustrating night for Lewy. Two silver-linings to draw from the day: 1) Lewandowski did not aggravate his injury and 2) he was able to score a goal to inch closer to the Gerd Müller’s 40 goal mark. In the right place at the right time — as he often is — Lewandowski pounced on a backwards header from a Mainz defender and was able to slot a ball over the keeper. Unfortunately, this was deep into stoppage time, and Bayern were not given a chance to get forward again.
Fußballgott: Joshua Kimmich
If asked, I don’t think that any of Bayern’s midfielders would claim this title after today’s performance. The Mainz defense was able to hold Bayern’s midfield in check, not letting them keep possession in the middle of the field. Statistically, Kimmich was the best on the night. With exactly 100 touches, he was able create four key passes with 84% accuracy. Kimmich also played a full 90 minutes, unlike any of his fellow midfielders.
Der Kaiser: Jerome Boateng
Boateng’s performance today is why many Bayern fans would like to see him stay in Munich. He was the last man back for much of the game, while others pushed forward. He made many timely steps to win the ball back or herd it back to Neuer. In my (probably biased) opinion, Boateng was unlucky to pick up a yellow card when he looked to have won the ball. Even worse, Mainz would score the eventual game-winner off of the resulting set piece. Towards the end of the game, Boa also creeped further and further up the pitch, serving balls into the box and out wide for the wing backs to run onto.
Meister of the Match: Alphonso Davies
In a frustrating match, Davies was one of few that stood out throughout the match. His speed was key on both sides of the ball. As we have become accustomed to, Davies chased down the defender from behind and easily won the ball multiple times. For most of the match, the attack was going through Davies up the left side of the pitch. Although not much happened for Bayern in the match, Davies was very smart and looked calm and collected on the ball. He passed with 91% accuracy, showing that he made the right decisions with his passes. All in all, a good performance on a forgetful day.