After demolishing FC Barcelona in the Champions League and bidding them adieu as the Catalonians moved to Europa League, Bayern Munich set their eyes on proving themselves in the league against a bogey team in Mainz 05 and boy did they impress! It was a walk in the park for the Bavarians, as they weaved their magic at home and here are the players who we think deserve a shout-out.
Jersey Swap: Marcus Ingvartsen
Ingvartsen’s goal was termed a consolation goal but in reality, could only be described as a stab in the heart for every Bayern Munich fan. Silvan Widmer and Anton Stach were perhaps more deserving candidates for the Jersey Swap, they were simply the best players even in a rather hapless Mainz side (though better than Barcelona during midweek!) but Widmer’s goal from set-piece did not hurt as much as Ingvartsen using Sven Ulreich’s poor passing range to get to the back of the net.
The side post Matthijs de Ligt
In all fairness, the entire defense, led by that side post, was excellent — the side post was a Franz Beckenbauer regen. Due credit to the players as Dayot Upamecano was solid, Alphonso Davies played like his life depended on it, Noussair Mazraoui was simply brilliant but, De Ligt takes the honours. Personal bias aside, the Dutchman is simply the best centre-back at Bayern. His defensive awareness, skills and imposing presence make the Bayern backline the wall that it has been and the two goals that were conceded were simply unfortunate.
Today, his presence was ever-important. He made multiple crucial interceptions and kept things organized at the back and with every passing game, it becomes more and more evident why Bayern have had their eye on the defender for as long as they have. He has emerged the leader at back that the Bavarians have needed all this while. He is no prime Jerome Boateng but it might one day be the case that De Ligt surpasses Boateng’s legacy.
Fußballgott: Leon Goretzka
No questions about this choice as the lion at midfield keeps proving why exactly he is such an asset to Bayern.
Gone are the days we whine of how far up the pitch he positions himself, for it is this exact positioning of his that enhances the team. Playmaking is what makes Goretzka the monstrous offensive threat he is, and his positioning only helps him get the most out of his expansive skill-set. His sheer power lies in the fact that he can simply do anything and this is evident in every single game. His goals are simply marvelous and the goal he scored today was no different. His drool-worthy passing was on display today too.
Gone are the days it looked like Leon Goretzka would struggle to get himself a spot in the starting XI for he is simply unstoppable.
Der Bomber: Jamal Musiala
I know, Serge Gnabry was an excellent contender and so was Sadio Mané, but come on, it’s Jamal Musiala.
First off, how good can this kid be?
He already has ten goals and every single one of those goals is testament to simply how lethal he in front of goal. Musiala scores from positions most experienced players wouldn’t dare to. Simply put, his instinct in front of goal is unmatched.
What makes Musiala this special is his ever-expansive skill-set. His outrageous dribbles bring defenders to their knees and his pace can perhaps only be outshone by Alphonso Davies himself. His intelligence, awareness and positioning convince me that he is ready to replace Thomas Müller when the dreaded day of the Raumdeuter’s retirement shows up. In such gloomy times, it helps to know that the young Bambi will try his best to fill the shoes of the greatest attacking midfielder who has ever lived.
Meister of the Match: Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting
Calm down people, I know you’re thinking Mané deserves this. But hear me out.
This just in — Choupo-Moting has scored in five successive games, and today was #5. In hindsight, the fact that coach Julian Nagelsmann did not give the Cameroonian substantial game time until a while ago is astonishing.
What Choupo brings to the table is very simple — an unmatched presence, brilliant linkup play and experience that the team can definitely use in attack. He is a team player, the likes of which Bayern have not seen since Mario Mandžukić. He does not make the big attacking moves the likes of Gnabry or Mané make, but the subtle motions he makes have taken the attack to new heights. One can go on and on about Choupo’s traits and little things he does to empower the attack but this man is so special, a small section could not possibly do justice to all that he does for this team.
Interested in more analysis of the game? We talk about the tactical changes Julian Nagelsmann has made to make Bayern Munich so much more threatening in our postgame podcast. Listen to it below or on Spotify.
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