Bayern Munich make Der Klassiker history, yet again. Under former Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel, they sailed their way through in a statement 4-2 victory at the Allianz Arena. A fantastic goal by Dayot Upamecano (and not an own goal by Gregor Kobel as the internet suggests!), a brace from Mister Bayern, Thomas Muller himself and a final goal by Kingsley Coman was only rebutted with a penalty from Emre Can and a final goal from Donyell Malen.
With tonight’s fantastic performance, one can sleep soundly, for the Thomas Tuchel era has begun.
Jersey Swap: Jude Bellingham
Though Dortmund played one of the worst games of this season, Jude Bellingham still shone among the hapless Black and Yellow who had no way of holding Bayern back. He was virtually the only player who put in any work — both defensively and offensively. Nevertheless, the Bayern midfield stole the show and showed what midfield domination really means to the 19-year-old. Donyell Malen too was a potential offensive threat, but he never really emerged as a cause of concern for the defense and Sommer apart from his lone goal.
Der Kaiser: Benjamin Pavard
Former manager Julian Nagelsmann touted Pavard to be the best defender in the past few weeks and he certainly wasn’t wrong — the Frenchman has been an absolute force of nature for a while now. What is most noteworthy about Pavard is his recent steady transition into more mature, yet practical defending.
The old Pavard was a pain — he would simply sit back and on receiving the ball, would pass it straight to a fellow defender in the blink of an eye. His game was defensive and one-dimensional — a bad combination, especially for a Bayern player. However, Pavard’s specialty has turned out to be his tackling and insane volleys. Additionally, his abilities at last-ditch defending has shown his intelligence and perception of the game, along with the ability to act quickly under pressure. His monotonous passing is now a thing of the past, and his passes now are slick and accurate — particularly his long passes. It is pleasing to watch this upward trajectory and I cannot wait to see more of him!
Der Fußballgott: Joshua Kimmich
Joshua Kimmich is simply the very best this world has seen. Giving the exact world-class performance that is expected of him, Kimmich was absolutely lethal. Making brilliant passes as always and orchestrating the attack is child’s play for the 28-year-old. It was however, his defensive game that won me over. The beauty of Joshua Kimmich lies in the fact that nothing and nobody gets past him that easily. His tackles were a treat to watch; they were clean, efficient, and beautiful. Perhaps he could give his dear friend Serge Gnabry lessons on tackling...
Der Bomber: Kingsley Coman
While Leroy Sane’s resurgence is the current hot topic, Kingsley Coman’s sheer brilliance never fails to astound me. Coman’s defensive work-rate is such an underappreciated facet of his game — there are very few attackers that are as hardworking and dedicated as he is. His sad attempt at replicating Sadio Mane’s offsides made me chuckle, but that and the slipping incident(s) aside, the Frenchman was fantastic. His crosses, as always, are a work of art. The goal he scored was absolutely beautiful and the build-up to it otherworldly. Coman’s dribbling, though nowhere close to Musiala’s, emerges a close second and it is always fun to watch him give defenders a headache!
Meister of the Match: Thomas Muller
As the consigliere of #MullerMafia, I am obligated to engrave this Muller masterclass and retell this beautiful tale for the years to come. But so are you, dear Bayern fan!
Thomas Muller makes Bayern, Bayern. The fact that coaches come in and go out and still never seem to grasp the drastic plunge in Bayern’s game on subbing off Muller... it baffles me. Muller’s substitution: cue Gnabry playing the most horrible, reckless tackle known to man inside the box and there it goes, a penalty for Dortmund. An extremely ordinary, average Bayern side further go on to concede another goal.
“Uncreative”, “boring”, “aimless”, “uninspired”, “average” and “certainly not Bayern” are the only ways to describe a Muller-less Bayern.
Name the goal and Muller made it happen. If not the assist, the build-up. He is omnipresent — making the seemingly simplest of passes behind the greatest of goals. What hurts a Muller fan is only the fact that he is too unselfish to take the shot himself. But when he does, it is pure magic. And oh boy, did those two goals redefined magic!
If you’re a Bayern fan and you’re not equally in awe of Muller... I don’t know what to say.
Interested in a more in-depth look at the game? Curious about why Thomas Tuchel chose a 4-2-3-1? How did it differ from Nagelsmann’s Bayern? We talk about all that and more in our postgame podcast. Listen to it below or at this link.
As always, we appreciate all the support!