Bayern Munich’s final pre-season friendly also ended in a loss, with the Bavarians conceding three goals in the second half fielding a side completely comprised of U-23s. However, the first half saw a few good performances, giving reason to be excited. Here are the awards for today’s game:
Jersey Swap: Victor Osimhen and Nikita Contini
Osimhen, simply put, was a thorn for Bayern’s defense all game. Despite suffering a concussion in the second half, the striker put two in the back of the net in a span of three minutes. His composure in front of goal was remarkable, as was his dribbling and positioning.
Meanwhile, the “Neuer impersonation” from Bayern’s opposition keepers continues. Contini was brilliant between the sticks today, making timely saves, clearances and making sure Napoli took home the clean sheet. The keeper also served as a release valve for any pressure on the defense, and also helped with distribution.
Der Bomber: Jamal Musiala
To be very frank, none of Bayern’s attackers really impressed today, but if anyone had a good performance, it was Musiala. It was agonizing to see chance after chance created by the young wizard wasted due to a poor first touch, a bad shot or a mistimed run. Musiala sent the Napoli defense helter-skelter with his sublime dribbling and pace. His vision was also great; he picked teammates in good positions and sent in great through balls and crosses and was let down by shoddy decision making. We can expect another season full of great goals, assists and memorable moments from the wunderkind.
Der Fußballgott: Leon Goretzka
Goretzka was pretty much a one-man midfield for Bayern in the first half. He did a great job linking up defense and attack, and I was especially impressed with his distribution and long balls. He was spraying gorgeous balls all over the pitch, and a few of those passes created some very good goal-scoring opportunities. It was pretty obvious that he missed his partner in crime, Joshua Kimmich, but considering this was his first game back, it was a solid outing for Bayern’s Hulk.
Der Kaiser: Dayot Upamecano
The Frenchman had another solid outing, partnering with Nianzou and dominating as a defensive pairing. Napoli’s attackers were more or less kept out of the game in the first half, thanks in no small part to Upamecano’s resolute defending and timely blocks and interceptions. He was also very good with ball distribution, and recovered the ball in time before any chances could be created. If there’s any position Bayern might have a dearth in quality or options, it just won’t be the defense.
Meister of the Match: Tanguy Nianzou
Nianzou is ready for first team action. He was brilliant today, doing everything right: putting in great tackles, winning his aerial duel, going in super strong on his challenges, winning the ball back in advanced positions and distributing the ball skillfully, kickstarting attacking sequences. His chemistry with his teammates also seemed great. This young man is ready for a starting spot, and it sure looks like there will be one hell of a competition for Bayern’s 2 CB spots the coming season. If I were Hernandez or Süle, I’d watch out.