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Match awards from Bayern Munich’s underwhelming 2-2 draw against RB Leipzig

The result could certainly have been better, but the Bavarians can’t really complain after what was the worst first half of 2023.

RB Leipzig v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga
Leroy Sané’s ball control is second to none.
Photo by Ulrik Pedersen/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Bayern Munich had a tale of two halves against RB Leipzig, in what was a top-of-the-table clash between two of Germany’s top sides. RB Leipzig started strongly, scoring two unanswered goals in a first half that saw shambolic performances from various players, poor tactical setups, and little to no drive.

The second half, however, saw a somewhat rejuvenated Bayern put two past Leipzig to result in a sharing of the spoils. This was far from RB Leipzig’s strongest performance, and definitely one of Bayern’s poorer games. Here are the match awards for a game that made it difficult to hand out awards:

Jersey Swap: Loïs Openda

The speedy Leipzig forward was a thorn-up Bayern’s backside for most of the game. Given that Bayern’s defense was a little better than a beer league outfit, some of the chances conceded looked quite lucky, but you miss all the shots you don’t take, and Openda took his shots. He took his chances and caused a lot of trouble for Bayern’s defense, which resembled a deer caught in the headlights in the first half.

Honorable mention: Thomas Tuchel

Not sure if Marco Rose could’ve done any worse than Thomas Tuchel in terms of the tactical setups and the personnel choices today. It is quite baffling that Daniel Peretz wouldn’t get another chance after having such a strong game in the DFB-Pokal, and even more baffling that the coach actively opts to start players out of their best positions despite having even better players on the bench.

Tuchel is treading a fine line.

Der Kaiser: Noussair Mazraoui

Konrad Laimer has no business being a fullback. Mazraoui is better than Laimer in every aspect of the position and its demands. Leroy Sané looked completely isolated the entire game, and it was quite appalling to watch Laimer get bamboozled by David Raum and Openda time and time again. If not for Upamecano covering for the former Leipzig player, Laimer might’ve had a nightmarish performance. Not that it wasn’t bad enough already.

Dayot Upamecano definitely deserves a shout too, but the player did look shaky on various occasions. Kim Min Jae’s poor block attempt led to the first goal, and it is very hard not to miss Matthijs de Ligt right now.

Der Fußballgott: N/A

Bayern had a midfield today? What?

Der Bomber: Jamal Musiala

Bayern’s most creative attacker can conjure up something at any point of a game to shift the advantage in their favor, which is what makes him such a valuable asset. He constantly got himself into great positions and excelled with his dribbling, but didn’t have much support from his teammates, since Harry Kane had to drop back to create a midfield, and Laimer cannot work on the overlap.

His control, speed, and vision to set up Bayern’s second with a beautiful assist was a typical Musiala pass, and something we’ve gotten used to by now, but also something that never fails to surprise and delight. Top drawer assist.

Meister of the Match: Leroy Sané

What happens if you give your all every single minute but don’t get to fashion something out of it because of a lack of support? This was the story of Bayern’s wing demon Sané for almost the entire game.

The player was triple-teamed at every opportunity and had no support on the wing. He constantly had to fashion chances and then try and finish them because there was no one in the right position to receive the pass. His goal was brilliant, and his pace, tenacity, and shot placement were all on full display. He worked his socks off to create something out of nothing on a day when Bayern looked out of ideas and severely lacking in the creativity department.

What is the point of having top-notch players if you can’t set the team up to win? Thomas Tuchel has excellent blueprints from his predecessors and one of the world’s best squads. Whether he sharpens his sword to then fall on it or to carve open the opposition is completely in his hands.

Looking for more thoughts and analysis after Bayern Munich’s come-from-behind 2-2 draw against RB Leipzig? Then give a listen to our Postgame Show featuring Cyler and Marcus as they break down everything on the match — the good and the bad. Check it out on Spotify or below:

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