Another year, another massacre. In a match that always epitomizes Bayern’s ruthless dominance in the league, Franck “the Ferrari” Ribéry stepped into fifth gear to lead the barrage on the Hamburg defense.
He scored the 51,000th goal of the league, Bayern’s 60th goal of the season and his personal third with a composed rounding of the goalkeeper. His energy was unexpected as he blazed through on goal after a sharp counterattack. He had an injury scare in the 20th minute after rolling back the years in a Ferrari-style counter.
I know the game was against a typically lackluster Hamburg side, but Franck was impressive on the day, succeeding in his take-ons and passes into the box. He was rewarded with a second goal that was a wondrous throwback to his former self after wiggling through the defense brilliantly and curling home for a brace.
Lewandowski scored his 22nd goal in the league and his 141st for the Reds (all competitions) after fine work from Kimmich on the right from a header. A brace in the first half saw him overtake Giovane Elber as Bayern’s all-time foreign top scorer. He then dramatically got his hat-trick after his first-ever penalty miss for Bayern, then scoring ANOTHER penalty to rack up 100 league goals for the Champions.
That European golden shoe race is heating up now, with Lewy just a goal behind the top with 23.
Robben lost a number of duels and gave away the ball quite a significant number of times especially in the first half. He still managed to influence the game by contributing to a speedy Bayern attack that terrorized Hamburg into a 25th-minute substitution. He then blasted a super shot into the net in the 53rd minute after Coco Tolisso left the ball for him to satisfy his goal thirst from range. That’s three goals and four assists in his last seven games now.
The player with the highest pass accuracy this Bundesliga season was at his best. Yes, it was an easy game, but the Spaniard split midfield duties with Vidal to effective effect.
As you would expect in such a one-sided game, Mats did not really have much to deal with defensively across the board. When opposition attacks are this dormant, I prefer rating defenders per their offensive contributions. To that end, Hummels had a few headed attempts from corners and narrowly missed, a trend I find very uncomfortable. It has been a while since he last headed home. He also had a near goal with a tap-in in the 76th minute.
The Player of the month for February did not get into a lot of goal-scoring positions on the day but worked hard to create chances for the front-liners. He had a neat flick almost turned into the net after fine work from Ribéry in the second half.
He marked his 250th appearance with a precise, mouth-watering long ball to David Alaba, who assisted the third goal for Robert Lewandowksi. He barely had anything to do at the back but played well defensively.
He had a great game assisting the attack, but he can do much better from his set-pieces. He missed two nicely poised free kicks that he probably would have scored last season. Nonetheless, he picked up an eye-catching assist to serve up Lewandowski’s second. He summed up how much of a warm-up match this was by doing flicks on the touchline in the 35th minute.
He was buzzing after having penned a new deal hours ago, and it showed on the pitch. He played in one of those Kimmich crosses for Lewandowski to head home to rack up another assist. He has nine of those now. He also drew a late penalty for Lewandowski to rack up his hat-trick.
He came in for Tolisso and almost hit the target with a sweet long-range strike around the 73rd minute.
He was subbed on for Arjen Robben in the second half and had a decent game, coming close to scoring on one occasion when he connected with a cross from the left flank.
The Warrior got a silly yellow card in merely three minutes after a miscalculated slide tackle. He held his own in the game until that yellow prompted the coach to take him off for Corentin Tolisso at the start of the second half.
I’m trying to recollect Sven Ulreich having had something to do in this game. I can almost swear I saw him dozing off at some point in the second half.
The Coco came on for Arturo Vidal at the start of the second half. It was good to see him score that confidence-boosting screamer of a goal last week, and it was only right to see him have more minutes in this game as well. After laying off Robben’s goal, he had to be assessed by the medics after a clash of feet in the 59th minute, something I hoped was only minor.
Worse, he had to exit the match permanently for Sebastian Rudy. Let’s hope Bayern do not pull another Coman by announcing again on Monday that Tolisso also is out for the long-term.
Sandro Wagner, Niklas Süle, Tom Starke, Juan Bernat.