A new-look Robert Lewandowski and a resurgent Arturo Vidal paved the way for Bayern’s thumping win over Augsburg. A few interesting thoughts from the match.
Arturo Vidal: the warrior returns
Known for his warrior like fighting spirit, Arturo Vidal showed what an amazing asset he is in midfield. Showing exactly what a true box-to-box looks like, defending inside the Bayern box and popping up time and again dangerously in the Augsburg’s box.
Always hungry for the ball and willing to put himself at risk just to get a sniff of it, he is someone who just cannot tolerate not having possession. Using him especially against the weaker teams is a great move as his runs into the opponent’s box makes him behave as a second striker.
In this game, he scored an incredible instinctive goal, twisting, turning and shooting all in one swift move. For Bayern’s second, he swooped in to steal the ball off the feet of Caiuby to grab an assist via a cool Robert Lewandowski finish.
New-look Lewandowski, same old finishing
The hair has changed, the look has changed but the finishing… not so much. Two goals from his first two attempts is now more or less a standard Lewandowski display, such are the standards set by him in recent years.
His first goal was a brilliant finish across the goalkeeper. He had a look, took his time and passed the ball into the net in a very calm and composed manner. It seems the goalkeeper’s presence doesn’t bother the Pole, confidence just oozes from him.
The second goal was straight out of a training ground, a simple finish from a pinpoint Joshua Kimmich cross. He could have had a hat-trick later in the game, but his shot from outside of the box was unfortunately aimed straight at the goalkeeper.
James’ great free kicks and corners
James brings a certain quality in the team with great accuracy and delivery of free kicks and corners. Set pieces were probably one of the biggest drawbacks during the Guardiola era. The arrival of James might just be the answer.
Brilliant delivery into the box made something happen every time he stepped over the dead ball. Not just free kicks, his one-twos with Robben and Kimmich were a treat to watch.
Unfortunately, he was unlucky to not have got a deserved assist when he lifted the ball over the defense for Arturo Vidal, who subsequently hit the crossbar. James’ qualities are much needed and him settling down well in Munich is great news for the club and fans alike.
Left-sided attacks with Bernat
Looking at the team sheet, no one could have predicted that the left side would be the strongest in Bayern’s attacks with Rafinha (LB) and Juan Bernat (LW) manning it.
Juan Bernat really stood out in a position that really is not naturally his. All of this despite coming out a long-term injury. Generally, Bayern prefer to have a winger who is great in one-on-one situations. This is not his forte, yet he did reasonably well and made great runs. He came into great positions and provided a constant threat down the left.
Weird haircuts aside, this was a routinely dominant display of Bayern bossing the game and killing it off in style.