With so many players for Bayern Munich through coronavirus and injury, all the writing was on the wall for Adi Huter’s Borussia Monchengladbach side to come to the Allianz Arena and get a result. Thanks to goals from Florian Neuhaus and Stefan Lainer, that’s exactly what happened as Die Fohlen cancelled out Robert Lewandowski’s 18th minute goal that had put Bayern in front. Bayern had their fare share of chances, particularly in the second half, but keeper Yan Sommer put on yet another masterclass against the reigning Bundesliga champions, helping his side come away with a massive three points.
Jersey Swap: Matthias Ginter.
It’d be easy to give to jersey swap to Sommer since he, for whatever reaosn, always seems to have a career performance against Bayern, but Ginter was very solid at the heart of ‘Gladbach’s backline. His performance was typified by his clearance off the line just before the halftime whistle to deny Thomas Muller making it 2-2 after Lewandowski has struck the post from an incredibly tight angle. Per WhoScored, Ginter finished the match with a total of 6 tackles, the most of any player in the match. He was also dominant in the air, winning 3 aerial duels, second only to Benjamin Pavard who tallied 4. While it might not have been an aesthetically glamorous performance from Ginter, he was often the man in the right place at the right time for ‘Gladbach and his goal line clearance for Muller’s chance was ultimately the difference between three points and just one.
Der Kaiser: Niklas Sule
It was a back four of Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Sule, Benjamin Pavard and Marcel Sabitzer, which is something we have never seen at Bayern. Nagelsmann had to make rotations out of necessity, but Sule was by far the most effective defender in Bayern’s back line. He might not have registered the most tackles in the box, but he often made timely touches or deflections deep in Bayern’s defensive third when they were caught on their heels on the counter attack. He was often the last man back for Bayern and was able to slow play up enough using his speed and strength to give his teammates time to track back and reset. Between Sule and Kimmich, it was a comedy of errors that led to Neuhaus’s goal, but that was perhaps only one of a few things Sule did wrong on the night. It’s reassuring to know he can slot back into center back after a spell as right back and still do a solid job against a pacey Breel Embolo and subsequently Alassane Plea when he came on.
Fußballgott: Jamal Musiala
First off, why was he wearing the number 42 kit with “Tolisso” on the back? Anywho, Musiala, while he certainly didn’t have his best outing, was lively on both sides of the ball. He created a handful of chances for Bayern playing from the deeper midfield role that he only jus recently started playing towards the end of the hinrunde out of necessity. He’s far more effective as an attacking winger or midfielder, but Nagelsmann isn’t exactly spoiled for choice right now. He nearly found an equalizer with his toe poke just after the second half started, but Sommer was wise to the task, per usual. Not surprisingly, Musiala had the most successful dribbles of the match alongside Serge Gnabry with 5 a piece. He had a timely and important interception around the 40 minute mark, too, when ‘Gladbach was on he break and very easily could’ve added a third before the halftime interval.
Der Bomber: Thomas Muller
Another match and yet another assist for Thomas Muller. Still, the Raumdeuter didn’t exactly cover himself in glory against ‘Gladbach, but he was lively in the attacking third, expectedly so. He showed brilliant awareness to play the quick pass to Lewandowski for his goal and was involved in most of Bayern’s credible chances after that. He was inches away from finding the back of the net more than once and had his shot just before halftime cleared off the line by Ginter. Had luck gone his way just ever so slightly more, it could’ve been a 3-2 or 4-2 win for Bayern, but sometimes luck, or lack thereof, is defined by inches, centimeters, or millimeters. He tallied a total of 6 passes, which was 4 more than second-placed Lewandowski, Lars Stindl, and Luca Netz (2).
Meister of the Match: Robert Lewandowski
Had it not been for typical heroics against Bayern from Sommer, Lewandowksi would’ve recorded a brace, at the very least and Bayern would not have dropped points. The first touch for his 18th minute goal was nothing short of sublime, taking his league tally to 20 on this season thus far and he hit both the crossbar and post on the night. He adopted slighlty wider and/or deeper positions at times to try to get on the ball more, but his service was also lively and he nearly assisted Muller and Kimmich with two separate crosses from similar areas on the left flank in the second half. He tried just about everything to find a second goal for Bayern, but it just wasn’t to be with the 6 shots he recorded.
By the way, we happen to have a podcast on all things Bayern Munich. Check out our review of last night’s game below or at this link.
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