Bayern Munich pummeled VfL Bochum today, and now sit atop the Bundesliga on a weekend where their three biggest Bundesliga rivals on paper — Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, and Bayer 04 Leverkusen — all lost. Our individual player awards from today’s match, plus the customary tip of the hat to an opponent who gave it their all — let’s get into it.
Jersey Swap: Takuma Asano
Asano was a danger player for a VfL Bochum team that did fashion their chances and play with aggression. Early on, when the game was still somewhat undecided, Asano appeared to be the focus for his teammates in the final third. He challenged Lucas Hernández for pace and required a last-ditch, perfectly timed tackle to cut out the chance. At 31’, he sent a wonderful cross to find Philip Hofmann in front of Manuel Neuer’s goal. But of course, his team didn’t get on the scoresheet at all and a few minutes later, were punched down into the turf.
Der Kaiser: Dayot Upamecano
Tidy, steady, and stout at the back, important in distribution going forward. Yes, Matthijs de Ligt had the goal, but Upamecano had the more consistent performance, especially in his defensive involvements on a day where Bochum did play enterprising football. Per sofascore, Upamecano won five duels to lead the Bayern defenders and made three tackles, while De Ligt left his partner scrambling on one of Bochum’s terrific chances to deny Manuel Neuer a clean sheet. Upa is continuing a strong second season in Munich.
Fußballgott: Joshua Kimmich
Typical mastery from Kimmich, Bayern’s beating heart in the heart of midfield. Kimmich was most influential going forward — distributing from slightly more advanced positions with incredible weight on his chipped balls and pinged passes over the top. Kimmich was also arriving late to the edge of the box to latch on to shooting chances of his own. Everything was humming for Bayern today and as usual, Kimmich was at the center of it.
Der Bomber: Sadio Mané
How do you choose on a day like this? Kingsley Coman was outstanding on the right wing and the top producer (one goal, two assists) but Sadio Mané cannot be overlooked. For a long time it looked like another game where Mané wouldn’t see commensurate rewards for his work rate, energy and smart movement — also his role to drop deep in midfield and be the extra man to receive the ball in Bayern’s build-up.
Mané was hard done by a VAR decision that struck off a wonderfully bundled-in goal for handball. But then he simply grabbed his goal minutes later, and capped his day off with a coolly slotted penalty and a broad smile.
Meister of the Match: Leroy Sané
A mesmerizing performance from a man on a mission. Sané brings something different to the left wing / left attacking midfield, with speed to burn into the forward line — rewarded ultimately with Cristian Gamboa’s own goal. As a creator, Sané always kept a cool head, calmly keeping the attacking moves flowing by picking out the right player at the right time. And of course, in front of goal he was lethal — a missile of a finish in just the fourth minute, a rocket that narrowly missed not long after. The possessions did not always flow through him, but the biggest moments of danger seemed to.
There was ferocity and intent in every action, on the ball or in the press. Sané is a monstrous talent and showed he could do it all today. He was Bochum’s focus on defense, Bayern’s most pressed player — but simply took over the game. A dominant display.
If you want to hear more about Bayern Munich’s big win, check out our postgame podcast:
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