A combination of Sven Ulreich masterclass, good team spirit and second-half substitutions gave Bayern their slight 2:1 win against a spirited Anderlecht side.
Sven the new wall single-handedly kept Bayern in the game in the first half, when the Reds should have been at least 2:0 behind. Sloppy defending put pressure on Ulreich, but he was ready for the challenge, making one-on-one saves like they were toast. This performance gives you the feeling Ulreich might be ready to step up as the main man in the knockout stages. Manu (and Kahn) would be proud.
Bayern’s performance improved after Javi came on for the injured (and ineffective) Arjen Robben. I won’t lie, Javi is becoming our most important midfielder. He takes charge of the midfield, coupled with excellent passing. Good game for his 50th match under Jupp Heynckes.
The Colombian orchestrated a vicious attacking move along with Coco Tolisso and Robert Lewandowski (the Silver Fox) which led to the opening goal. He brought more shape and tactical structure to the midfield after he was subbed on after Thiago Alcantara’s injury. Oh, and his creativity in passing and with set pieces are a joy to behold. Cheers to him getting even better in the coming games.
Coco Tolisso scored a played a gorgeous assist to Robert Lewandowski for him to easily score from close range after a great piece of attacking play with James Rodríguez. He also got on the end of a pin-point Kimmich cross to double the advantage for the Reds, after Anderlecht had clawed back into the game. Great impact, after an otherwise average display for the most part. Who cares though? Coco delivered when it mattered, and that’s all we care about.
Kimmich had an average game at best, with most of that centered around his defensive efforts. His crossing was better however, making chances for Lewandowski to almost double his goal tally. Again, he provided one of those crosses that make your mouth water for Corentin Tolisso to head home for Bayern’s second. That new Kimmich contract can’t come soon enough, just give the Kid the money.
Boateng’s performances have not been the best lately, obviously. Tonight’s was filled with mistakes from the early minutes which Anderlecht failed to punish. He was booked after complaining about the referee not calling a foul on Lewandowski, which was needless, after failing to impress. Also, his long ball magic seems to have disappeared (for now).
He did not have much to do in the game but he did score a good goal. He even had a chance to double his tally, save for a slightly wide shot at goal, and another close chance with a header. When the game is fundamentally not going so well, you can hardly fault a striker especially when he scores.
The Spaniard was trying to hold the midfield together with Sebastian Rudy tonight, but with the team playing so abysmally, he just couldn’t manage that. He picked up a knock shortly before halftime, and let’s hope it does not keep him out for long.
Mixed bag for Rudy tonight. He put in two tackles, and won three aerial duels in the first half alone. He just could not contribute much to the attack.
He looked solid at the back at times, and equal parts shaky. It was reminiscent of the loss to PSG, except with the opposition spurning most of the chances afforded them by the lacklustre defending. Improvement is needed if Niklas will be called upon in the knock-out stages.
As with the game against Celtic, the captain went missing again. He was constantly caught in offside positions, and could not help out the attack in any way whatsoever. To be fair, there was no attack in the first half, and he was subbed off soon, after picking up an injury. Sound familiar?
Passing accuracy at its worst. Vidal made it his passion to just give away passes to the opposition, and deliver a performance that was the farthest cry from his man of the match display at the weekend. We said on Saturday that we wished he would keep putting in fine performances like he did versus Augsburg, but it seems he was not keen on improving on that. Shambles.
It was great to see Friedl in the starting lineup, when we all supposed Juan Bernat would get the nod. However, through his inexperience, lots of Anderlecht’s joy came on his flank. He missed an aerial duel that led (in part) to Anderlecht’s equalizer, and also lacked Bernat’s attacking sense. His performance wasn’t as bad, but he needs to grow more to be able to help the team.
Came in the game with a few minutes to play.
Starke, Bernat, Dorsch.