Jersey Swap: Matthias Ginter
Bayern Munich consistently probed and passed around the Freiburg defense and so often nearly tore it all to shreds. Yet, improbably and impossibly, Freiburg’s defense held up, despite the immense pressure, and a lot of that had to do with Matthias Ginter. The former Borussia Mönchengladbach defender marshaled the backline well, won his challenges, and proved unbeatable on the day. It was an inspired performance that led to a phenomenal result (for Freiburg). Besides, Ginter was heavily rumored to join Bayern in the previous summer transfer window, so this fits.
Der Kaiser: Dayot Upamecano
Dayot Upamecano was phenomenal today, cleaning up any loose balls over the defense and dominating opposing strikers. The goal he scored, out-muscling multiple defenders to leap into the air and plant a powerful header into the net, was merely the cherry on top. His passing was somewhat subdued today and he did collect a silly yellow card, which had most Bayern fans worrying that he had gotten another red card. Other than that, he had a spotless game and deserved better from the attackers.
Der Fußballgott: Joshua Kimmich
It’s impossible to choose someone else, however much one might want to make these awards more interesting. Joshua Kimmich proved his class yet again today, floating passes around casually all match and proving to be the heart of this Bayern team. With a little more precision early on, he could have gotten multiple assists, but he had to settle for just the one, firing in from a corner and sending it into the perfect area for Upamecano to finish the job.
Der Bomber: Serge Gnabry
It was slim pickings for this award. Thomas Müller was below his best and wasted some gilt-edged opportunities, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting was below par all day, Kingsley Coman’s decision-making was terrible and Leroy Sane took on a lot of responsibility but couldn’t fashion anything useful. Substitute Serge Gnabry gets the award because he was fairly impressive in his cameo off the bench, demonstrating the kind of direct dribbling that made him so dangerous a few years back and flashing a difficult shot narrowly wide. He was easily Bayern’s most dangerous player in the last half hour of the game.
Meister of the Match: Nobody
This award is one that is dedicated to a player that stands out, takes charge and is a cut above the rest. But nobody was that good today. It was a fine team performance that could have yielded half a dozen goals on another day, but nobody took charge to confirm the result and so Bayern is sent packing in the DFB-Pokal yet again.