Revenge is a dish best served in a return tie at the Allianz Arena. After losing painfully away to the Borussia club earlier in the season, Sandro Wagner and others spearheaded an extremely dominant 5:1 win for Bayern.
You’ve been #Wagnered.
“The best German striker” rescued an almost toothless Bayern in the first half with a trademark number nine performance. He was hardly given any chances in the first thirty minutes, and yet still ended the half with two clutch goals. This is exactly what Bayern fans would have expected from Wagner, as his goal returns have been nothing short of impressive and worth the transfer cash. His smart positioning led to him connecting with a Thomas Müller low cross in the 37th minute, only to snatch a double minutes later via another Müller cross. He now has eight goals in just about ten games for the Reds.
Good business, Brazzo.
The captain should have scored in the 16th minute after connecting with Thiago Alcântara’s sublime through pass. His effort drifted agonizingly wide of the left post. In the 37th minute, he played in Sandro Wagner in a typical Müller-fashioned assist from a right flank cross. He nabbed his second assist in less than ten minutes after Wagner connected with his random cross. He is now on 11 assists, the second best in the league and one of the best tallies in Europe. He was subbed off for James Rodríguez at half-time.
Quality shift, Capitan.
He displayed hawk-eyed vision in placing an excellent through ball for Thomas Müller in the 16th minute. His passing helped the team respond after going behind, splitting play from different flanks with precise long balls. He was the best player in the first half, taking charge of the midfield and putting in tackles, along with having the most touches on the field. His dummy in the build-up to Müller’s cross paved the way for Wagner’s deftly placed equalizer. He actually pulled off a hat-trick of dummies, creating several chances and a couple of goals in the process. He finished off a 51st minute attack by smashing home from close range after Wagner almost secured his hat-trick.
Sweet belated birthday present.
It was another fine performance from the prodigy on the right flank (and seldom in midfield) on the day. He followed up his excellence in Augsburg by leading Bayern’s resurgent attack from the moment the team went behind. He was involved in creating several chances in the absence of Arjen Robben or any traditional winger on the right. His crosses caused panic in the box and any potential attacks from his flank were also controlled very well. He assisted Robert Lewandowski in the 82nd minute with another sweet cross for another assist, his 12th of the season, I believe.
He was easily dribbled past by Drmic in the 9th minute, allowing the attacker to cut inside and curl a well-placed goal past Sven Ulreich. He marshalled Thorgan Hazard quite well on the left flank and shut out many potential attacks. He joined the attack and created the best chance of the first half that led to Sandro Wagner’s equalizer. He made good use of his massive stature and astonishing speed by snuffing out a potential counter-attack from Raffael in the 50th minute. Jupp Heynckes said a few days ago that Niklas could become one of Europe’s finest in the near future, and it certainly looks it.
The Austrian was fired up after making his comeback from a slight back injury. His runs down the left had the opposition full-backs on high alert, forcing corners and strong defending out of them. He was made captain in the second half in the absence of many of the older veterans, a proud period for him after a great game. In the 67th minute he produced his finest goal in recent memory after firing through an absolute ROCKET with his weaker right foot. Cracking way to cap off a fine day.
Guess who played the super sub role? The black-eyed poacher was rested for most of the game but came on for Sandro Wagner to record his 27th goal of the season, placing in goal a great Kimmich cross. He now has 104 goals in the league for Bayern, matching Claudio Pizzaro’s foreign player record. He should have had a brace at the end, when he had a similar chance to score but he placed it wide.
Alongside Niklas Süle, he failed to tackle Drmic in the 9th minute when the attacker broke free in the box. He was much stronger afterward, getting involved in the attack from set-pieces and winning physical duels. His passing was also top class, especially in the second half, as Gladbach’s attacks lulled. He picked up only his second yellow card of the season in the 68th minute after a foul the referee could have easily overlooked. His smooth passing helped contribute to the highest team pass accuracy ever recorded in the Bundesliga since data collection began in 2004-05, 93.9% for Bayern. (Source: Opta)
Rudy was back in the starting lineup again on the day and played steadily. He made no mistakes, was sharp on the ball and efficient in set-piece duties. He had a quiet game but played with confidence.
Much like Rudy, Da Coco had a good game on the low. His passing helped the team, and he had a couple of decent and well-placed attempts from goal. He got tackled roughly in the 77th minute by Christoph Kramer when he nutmegged the defender, a nice show of confidence. After winning the Goal of the Month award for March, he certainly has a much more insatiable thirst for the occasional long-ranger.
Juan Bernat enjoyed a full game in the uncharacteristic left-wing position. He was slightly uncomfortable for long periods, but the enthusiasm of the team’s performance made him feel and look better than he otherwise would have been.
The Colombian mastermind came on in the second half to give Thomas Müller a well-deserved rest. He almost got his name on the scoresheet shortly afterward, in the 53rd minute after an Alaba cut-back from the left. Only the woodwork denied the number 11. His chemistry with Thiago totally blew Gladbach away in the second half, another weapon in the arsenal for the upcoming ties in other competitions.
There was very little he could do to prevent Drmic’s curler, as his defense let him down and allowed three shot at goal. Afterwards, it was mostly a combination of sweeper-keeper duty and the usual sleep mode for the German.
Starke – Rafinha, Javi, Ribéry, Robben,