Dayot Upamecano and Robert Lewandowski were a part of a clinical bunch as Bayern Munich claimed a 4-0 win over Hoffenheim on Saturday.
As was widely expected, Bayern Munich were in firm control on the proceedings right from the get-go and thought they had even scored within the first ten minutes when Serge Gnabry found the back of the net. However, the goal was chalked off by VAR for a foul by Jamal Musiala in the build-up. Musiala and Gnabry, though, were involved again as Bayern rightly grabbed the lead shortly after.
Bayern, who were largely untroubled in the game, were then two to the good at the half-hour mark, with Robert Lewandowski producing a thumping effort from long range. Hoffenheim threatened on the break, but it was largely one-way traffic, even though the hosts could not add to their advantage heading into half-time.
Post the interval, energy conservation was the name of the game for Bayern, with the midweek cup fixture against Borussia Monchengladbach in mind. And Hoffenheim decided to take the game to their hosts as a result, only to be left undone by a couple of late goals from Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Kingsley Coman. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Julian Nagelsmann’s men.
Manuel Neuer: 6/10
Easy as you like for Neuer, who had just a couple of saves to make all game. Largely untroubled by a profligate Hoffenheim side, the Bayern Munich captain went on to win in the Bundesliga for the 300th time, celebrating it with yet another clean sheet.
300 – Manuel Neuer won his 300th Bundesliga game (in his 447th game). Only Oliver Kahn has more wins in Bundesliga history (310). Winner. #FCBTSG pic.twitter.com/hcEQhKSGWq
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) October 23, 2021
Benjamin Pavard: 7/10
A solid enough showing by Pavard, who did well to keep a check on Jacob Bruun Larsen as well as David Raum, complete with four clearances and three interceptions. Going forward, he did not create a whole lot but managed to be precise with his passing.
Dayot Upamecano: 9/10
An all-action display by Upamecano, who was no-nonsense in his performance at the back, winning each of the six duels he contested. Barely ever lost the ball when playing out from the back while also playing a couple of key passes. Also managed to grab the assist for the goals scored by Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Kingsley Coman, although he knew nothing about the former.
Lucas Hernandez: 7/10
A solid display by Lucas Hernandez, who has been much-maligned since completing his move from Atletico Madrid. However, the French international showed a lot of awareness and tremendous reading of the game to cut out any danger that Hoffenheim presented. Surprisingly taken off at half-time for Niklas Sule.
Omar Richards: 7/10
A surprise starter in the defensive unit, Richards provided an energetic presence from the left flank. The young prodigy was a constant outlet down the left flank and paired up superbly with Jamal Musiala while winning 10 duels. However, he often left space in behind him, which Hoffenheim could have pounced on, if they were clinical enough.
Joshua Kimmich: 7/10
As is usually the case with him, Kimmich grabbed the game by the scruff of its neck while pulling the strings smartly. There were a few occasions when he was overrun by Hoffenheim on their counters but the German international was largely untroubled. Also played three key passes, which once again showed the creative side of his game.
Marcel Sabitzer: 6/10
With Leon Goretzka still unavailable, Sabitzer once again paired up with Kimmich in the middle of the park. However, the former RB Leipzig captain did not quite impress, as he kept things simple more often than what was required and it looks like his teething problems will take some time to go away.
Serge Gnabry: 7/10
Back in the starting lineup after playing a starring role in the midweek UEFA Champions League win, Gnabry made a game to remember. Had the ball in the back of the net in the 9th minute only to be denied by VAR. Did get his deserved goal shortly after with a composed finish from an acute angle. Continued to pose a threat from the right flank but was sloppy on the ball at times.
Thomas Muller: 7/10
This was a strong performance by Muller, who manipulated the space brilliantly, including in the move leading up to Robert Lewandowski’s goal, when he showed a lot of tenacity to keep the ball before laying it to the star striker. Played a game-high four key passes, although his creative outlook also meant that he lost the ball cheaply at times.
Jamal Musiala: 7/10
Preferred over Leroy Sane in the Bayern Munich attack, Musiala was a bundle of energy. Linked up smartly with Richards as well as the rest of his attacking partners. Misplaced just two passes while playing a couple of key passes and even laying on the assist for Gnabry.
Robert Lewandowski: 7/10
As ever, Lewandowski was a major threat in the opposition box. Somehow missed an early chance from point-blank range, but made no error in finding the back of the net with a peach of strike from range that smashed into the top right corner. Was tireless in his display thereafter but also missed a few big chances. Leading the scoring charts again in the Bundesliga.
Oh my, Robert Lewandowski ? pic.twitter.com/rZhEtV0oUZ
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) October 23, 2021
Niklas Sule: 6/10
On for Lucas Hernandez at half-time, Sule was largely untroubled at the back and saw the game out without much of a fuss.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting: 7/10
On for Muller, Choupo-Moting came close to scoring shortly before scoring from close range with a fine finish. Has become such an asset for Bayern Munich with his goals off the bench and this game was no different.
Kingsley Coman: 7/10
Introduced in place of Musiala, Coman scored shortly after Choupo-Moting with a finish that was reminiscent of the one by Gnabry earlier in the game. Naglesmann is swimming with top quality options at the moment.
Corentin Tolisso: N/A
On for Sabitzer, Tolisso nearly scored with a peach of a finish from the edge of the Hoffenheim box, only to be denied by the assistant referee for being offside.
Leroy Sane: N/A
The Player to Watch in our preview, Sane only got a short run-out on Sunday, and did not see any chances coming his way, with the game already won.
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