Bayern Munich continued their dominant start to the season on Sunday, beating VfL Wolfsburg 2-0, courtesy of goals from Jamal Musiala and Thomas Muller.
Jamal Musiala continued his excellent start to the campaign, scoring Bayern’s opener as they eased to a 2-0 victory over Wolfsburg in their first Bundesliga home game of the season. Following their demolition of Frankfurt the previous weekend, Bayern Munich welcomed VfL Wolfsburg to a sun-drenched Allianz Arena to round up the Bundesliga’s Matchday 2 action.
The visitors actually started brightly of the two sides, but it wasn’t long before the Bayern juggernaut turned the throttle, picking up all three points thanks to goals from Musiala and Muller.
Bayern looked to have opened the scoring less than 20 minutes into the game when Mane converted from Gnabry’s low ball into the box. However, the goal was chalked off for offside in the build-up. However, the Bavarians didn’t have to wait long until they did gain the goal advantage when Musiala showed great skill and strength to hold off two markers, get up, and unleash a piledriver to break the deadlock in the 33rd minute.
Bayern Munich doubled their lead just before the interval when Alphonso Davies found space and pulled it back to Kimmich after some frantic exchanges in the Wolfsburg box with challenges and blocks flying in from all angles. The German international’s shot was deflected home by none other than Thomas Muller, who wrongfooted keeper Koen Casteels, a classic Muller goal.
Heimsieg. ??⚪ pic.twitter.com/EXKPXrv7EA
— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) August 14, 2022
Despite dominating the game, Bayern could not extend their advantage. Mane had the ball over the line but was ruled out for offside once again. The Bavarians eventually settled for a comfortable 2-0 home win to go to the top of the Bundesliga ladder with a 100% win record. The Hard Tackle will now run the rule over Julian Nagelsmann’s troops after yet another dominant performance.
Manuel Neuer: 7/10
Despite the pressure from the Wolfsburg attackers in the opening exchanges, Neuer had very little to do between the sticks as the visitors did not create anything meaningful out of that rally. He thus kept a comfortable clean sheet and only had to make two routine stops. Though, the adventurous veteran did once sprint half length of the pitch to hoof a loose ball, hoping to catch his counterpart Casteels cold. If that had gone in, it would have been the goal of the season.
Alphonso Davies: 7/10
Davies got off to a decent start but had a nervous moment early on following a clumsy clearance. He utilised his pace on the far side to make life difficult for the Wolfsburg defenders. But, more crucially, it was useful in helping him keep Patrick Wimmer and Ridle Baku at arm’s length. He completed four dribbles, won most of his ground duels (6/9) and also hit the woodwork once.
Lucas Hernandez: 7/10
Hernandez is another one who has benefited from the increased competition for places following the summer recruitment. He made an aggressive start to the game and was booked within the first 15 minutes. While Dayot Upamecano was certainly the better central defender for Bayern on the night, Hernandez’s ability on the ball was there for everyone to see with 92% accuracy and eight successful long balls.
Dayot Upamecano: 7/10
Upamecano used his imposing presence to dominate Lukas Nmecha in aerial and physical duels. He also demonstrated his athleticism and aggression by neutralising various counter-attacking opportunities at the source. The defender also used the ball well, completing four of his five attempted long balls.
Benjamin Pavard: 8/10
Another impressive performance from Pavard, who has started the new season excellently. He was a major threat going forward, even getting close to scoring a goal. With Muller drifting inside, the Frenchman made overlaps to provide an additional option, while he even, at times, operated in the midfield as an inverted full-back as they looked to overload key areas.
Pavard is currently one of the best right-backs in Europe as he has polished his defensive skills in the off-season. A complete display. It is no surprise that he is keeping summer signing Noussair Mazraoui on the bench.
Joshua Kimmich: 8/10
Kimmich backed up his brilliant display on Matchday 1 with another impressive showing here as Bayern dominated the proceedings. He was the midfield orchestrator and controlled the flow of the game. Precise with the ball at his feet, he passed with 89 per cent accuracy, including five key passes, three crosses, and three long balls, while he also kept things simple when required. He also provided an assist for his team’s second goal. An all-action performance.
Marcel Sabitzer: 7/10
Sabitzer is arguably the most improved player in Bayern’s squad after a horrendous debut season at the Allianz Arena. A full pre-season under the tutelage of Nagelsmann has done him a world of good. He looked proactive from the start as he more than held his own in midfield and distributed the ball well.
The Austrian international also put in a shift, neutralising and mopping up multiple balls in the passing lanes and breaking turnovers with four tackles. It won’t be surprising to see him retain his partnership alongside Kimmich for the upcoming set of games, as he has clearly won back Nagelsmann’s trust.
Jamal Musiala: 9/10
Jamal Musiala's start to the season ?
1 goal, 1 assist vs. Leipzig (Super Cup)
2 goals vs. Frankfurt
1 goal vs. Wolfsburg
His magic is coming to the Champions League ? pic.twitter.com/h8PHKdqvSA
— DAZN Canada (@DAZN_CA) August 14, 2022
Musiala is proving to be Bayern Munich’s most valuable player this season and produced another Man of the Match performance against Wolfsburg. The teenage prodigy was sensational in the first half and a nightmare to defend against. He was press-resistant and continuously disguised his intentions in possession.
Musiala also displayed exceptional spatial awareness, shifting direction quickly on the ball to shake off defenders before pirouetting and blasting the ball past the despairing Koen Casteels to make it 1-0. With that goal, the 19-year-old has now become Bayern’s all-time leading scorer under the age of 20.
His link-up play was excellent and smooth as he never looked rushed or made sloppy passes and made the front-four click on his own. He will only go from strength to strength as the season progresses. Musiala really is a generational talent with bundles of ability and untapped potential in his locker.
Thomas Muller: 8/10
Muller had a great influence on the game as he was involved in key attacking moments for the home side. The veteran forward found Musiala on the edge of the box in the lead-up to the opener, before his deft flick from Kimmich’s strike gave Casteels no chance in between the sticks. While Muller did not create as many opportunities as he usually does, his overall performance was superb.
Thomas Müller: "Today's game wasn't a show like the first two games. We struggled in the first 10 minutes because Wolfsburg played a lot of long balls to get out of our pressing. We needed time, but then we got going and maybe we could have scored one or two more goals." pic.twitter.com/UJkQ6wzy4f
— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) August 14, 2022
Serge Gnabry: 6/10
Gnabry had a rough outing. While he offered a threat out wide with his burst of pace and looked direct and dangerous, completing two of his three attempted dribbles, his shooting was awry, to say the least, as he attempted three shots, with two off target and one blocked.
Sadio Mane: 7/10
Mane has enjoyed a bright start to life as Bayern Munich. But the Senegalese international had his first taste of frustration in a Bayern Munich shirt at the Allianz Arena. He had not one but two goals ruled out for offside. His positioning, pace, and trickery in the final third facilitated play to the benefit of his teammates.
Leroy Sane: 7/10
Sane made a noticeable impact on the proceedings after replacing Gnabry at the break. He asked more questions of the Wolfsburg defenders using his quick feet and trademark runs, while his link-up play with Davies was critical to Bayern’s dominance in the second half. He was unlucky not to come away with a goal from this game.
Ryan Gravenberch: N/A
Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Mathys Tel: N/A
Did not play enough to warrant a rating.