A hat trick of assists — now that’s something you don’t see every day. But it’s exactly what Bayern Munich winger Serge Gnabry served up for FC Barcelona’s enjoyment and edification on Wednesday, much to his manager’s delight.
“I’ve known Serge for ages,” Julian Nagelsmann explained in his pre-game press conference ahead of Saturday’s Mainz 05 clash (via @iMiaSanMia). “He thinks a lot, so you always have to explain things to him. We had two or three good conversations. He’s an exceptional footballer with exceptional quality. He worked hard on himself and we saw the result on Wednesday.”
Gnabry hasn’t had the easiest time finding his feet this season, drifting in and out of the lineup as well as being shifted from the inside to the outside. But he’s finding his form now — linking up with Sadio Mané on the opposite wing, and making a push for inclusion in the first-choice XI while Kingsley Coman, Thomas Müller, and Leroy Sané are at various stages in their injury recovery.
Bayern have had to rely on every player holding themselves to a high standard. All of these wingers and attackers have immense talent — that they keep pushing themselves, and each other, seems to be a key ingredient to Bayern's current success.