Here are the match awards from Bayern Munich’s disappointing 1-2 loss to Bayer Leverkusen:
Jersey Swap: Amine Adli
Remember when Amine Adli was close to signing for Bayern in 2021 before Bayer Leverkusen stole in and signed him from under Bayern’s nose? Bayern has moved on from them and secured some other phenomenal attackers while Adli has been in and out of Leverkusen’s starting XI, but Adli came back to haunt Bayern today by winning both penalties that sealed Bayern’s fate today. Adli also won his bizarre personal battle with referee Tobias Stieler, with Stieler convinced the former Toulouse man had dived for both penalties before VAR corrected him. But against all odds, Adli triumphed today.
Der Kaiser: Alphonso Davies
Davies won this one with no competition. While Bayern’s usually outstanding center backs struggled and Cancelo got hooked at half time, Davies consistently provided an outlet for Bayern and was a thorn in Leverkusen’s side all day. The Canadian also worked back well to stifle Leverkusen’s indefatigable winger Moussa Diaby. All in all, a solid day’s work for Davies, who has been phenomenal lately.
Der Fußballgott: Jamal Musiala
The half time substitute dribbled well that one time and Bayern showed a little more creativity after he came on. In truth, nobody stood out. Kimmich came close to winning the award because of his goal but he did not play well enough after that to warrant any praise. So Musiala wins the dubious prize of being the best of a bad bunch.
Der Bomber: Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s famed agent may have watched this and wondered if he should have asked for more money, because Bayern really missed him here. Despite featuring the likes of Sadio Mane, Kingsley Coman, Thomas Müller, Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musiala and Mathys Tel throughout the match, Bayern needed Choupo-Moting. The Bavarian giants created incredibly little until the end of the match, with Kimmich’s goal the only shot from the Bavarians in the first half. Choupo-Moting will be pleased to know his spot in the starting XI is not under any threat whatsoever.
Meister of the Match: Xabi Alonso
Ever since Xabi Alonso started managing, rumors that he will eventually manage his former clubs started popping up. Specifically, Real Madrid, Liverpool... and Bayern. After he took the job at Bayer Leverkusen, fuel was added to the fire that he could choose to manage Bayern one day. Of course, talk like that is exceptionally premature and it would be a massive disservice to focus on that more than his tactical acumen, which was on full display today. He tactically outclassed Nagelsmann on the night, with Bayern’s coach trying again and again to gain the upper hand but never succeeding against the Spaniard’s perfect plan. Bayer Leverkusen pressed superbly, congested the center and ripped Bayern to shreds both through settled possession and on the counter. And when Bayern finally put some pressure on the backline towards the end of the match, Leverkusen were not perfect but solid enough to get the job done. It was a beautiful team display that deserved the victory.
Want more discussion about the game? Check out the post-game podcast! Samrin breaks down team selection, substitutions, big omissions for Bayern and Germany, and a look ahead at the Champions League tie against Manchester City. Listen below or on Spotify!
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