Bayern Munich and Julian Nagelsmann had the best league game they could have wished for before going into a big Champions League midweek fixture against FC Barcelona. Closing out a 2-0 victory against TSG Hoffenheim whilst managing to preserve energy, rest some players as well as give some youngsters minutes, the coach couldn’t have asked for a better game. Without further ado, here are the match awards:
Jersey Swap: Nobody
Hofffenheim were unlike their usual selves today. They have stung Bayern several times in the past and almost always look to do so. This time however, the story was different. Hoffenheim were uncharacteristically not lethal in front of goal. Usually finishing even half chances against Manuel Neuer of all people, the home side struggled to threaten the Bayern goal manned by the dependable deputy, Sven Ulreich.
Taking nothing away from the excellent display by the Bavarian defenders, it would be fair to say that a “typical” Hoffenheim side would have scored at least one goal today.
Der Kaiser: Dayot Upamecano
This is the toughest one of the game. The defenders put in very good shifts individually as well as a collective unit. Upa lead the charge while De Ligt played the stablilizer role behind the Frenchman. With 6 of his 7 tackles won and being a rock in one-one situations, Upa truly shut down any aspirations from the Hoffenheim side to pounce on mistakes and score some cheeky goals.
Fußballgott: Leon Goretzka
Leon took up the destroyer mantle as usual. His performance was vital to help cover Joshua Kimmich and complement his partner in midfield. Body blocks, rough tackles, recovering runs to pressure opposition attackers, blasting the ball at goal, it was a very Leon-esque performance that was a vital part of keeping the opposition firmly under Bayern’s paw nearly the whole game.
Der Bomber: Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting
The best thing about Choupo ? He never stops surprising you. Even today he popped up and made some very clever moves that caught Hoffenheim on the back foot. His scoring touch was on display today in addition to the provider role he has been playing off late.
There is a lot more to Choupo that Bayern can benefit from and with the form he’s been, he has quietly become a very dangerous threat in and around opposition boxes. His movement is a little unorthodox for a number 9 which can perplex and throw off either his or his teammates’ markers. Add in his silky footwork and penchant for being a big team player, he could be the final piece to finish the number 9 replacement “package”.
Meister of the Match: Joshua Kimmich
The midfield wiz had an underrated game today. He enabled the rest of his teammates to organize attack after attack while Leon Goretzka covered for some conceded balls from his partner. It was perfect pair in the midfield. Kimmich paced the game and was key in Bayern’s plan to not go all out and slow down the game in several phases and conserve a lot of energy.
With 4 key passes and 88 percent pass rate, Kimmich kept the ball moving and slicing the opposition when an opportunity arrived. With controlled pressure the captain and his men closed off the game with a very important 3 points on the road that will undoubtedly boost both their position in the table as well as their confidence.
Special shoutout to Jamal Musiala on that fantastic goal from a difficult angle. There could have been some better chances today had some of the attackers tried to lay balls for their teammates rather than shoot, but it is what it is and perhaps Nagelsmann will address that issue. Overall, a business like game that had the perfect outcome for its architect, Julian Nagelsmann.
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