Bayern Munich continued their return to early-season form in the Champions League, smashing FC Viktoria Plzeň 5-0 ahead of a critical Hinrunde Der Klassiker this Saturday against Borussia Dortmund. The tactics, mood, and rotation were all on point as head coach Julian Nagelsmann earned another ‘1’ — the highest rating in the German system — from German media outlet Bild.
The full Bild player ratings, below:
How about some love for the full-backs? To my eyes, Noussair Mazraoui was especially impressive. The free signing from Ajax at the start of the summer transfer window didn’t make the quickest adaptation to life in Bavaria, but ever since his emergency call-up in the first half against FC Barcelona, he’s been truly excellent and flashing a different sort of rangy, midfielder-like roaming play at the fullback spot. Alphonso Davies, on the opposite flank, was also solid.
In Mazraoui and the equally stalwart Benjamin Pavard, Bayern now enjoy two terrific right-backs competing for the same spot. Thankfully, the run of games will give them both lots of action, and the injury to center-back Lucas Hernández has given Pavard a chance in these last two games to cameo in the middle of defense — where he’s often said he prefers to play.
Manuel Neuer got dinged with a ‘3’, evidently for failing to get any shots on goal today, but what can he do? Nobody aimed a corner at him.
Elsewhere, there’s some debate over whether Sadio Mané or Leroy Sané deserved the MOTM shot. The Bild ratings don’t differentiate and they both, in my eyes, had excellent games. Sané bagged the brace from the right wing, and Mané had a commanding performance on the left flank. Two players, two perhaps unorthodox positions — lots to enjoy.
For what it’s worth, several outlets graded the ex-Liverpool FC winger Mané with near-top marks, and it certainly feels like one of his best performances in a Bayern jersey. Sofascore, fotmob, and WhoScored (below) all gave Mane over 9.0 out of 10 and the highest score among all Bayern players:
What did you think of the individual performances? What’s the story behind Mané’s consistent advantage in acclaim over the man who bagged a brace? Chime in below and let us know your thoughts!
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