Late goals from Arturo Vidal and Arjen Robben save Bayern Munich from another disappointing draw.
A strange formation choice from Carlo Ancelotti.
Bayern began the game in the “Christmas tree” 4321 formation with Thiago on the left and Muller on the right. While Carlo may have the right idea by trying to get both players on the field, forcing Thiago to languish on the wings proved to be futile. Thiago is at his best when playing centrally, whether at the number 10 spot or deeper in the midfield. However, Muller played most of the match as a strike partner for Lewandowski and gave one of his best performances in recent memory. Look for Ancelotti to continue experimenting in the upcoming weeks.
While Bayern’s offense was less than stellar today, their defense played excellently. Mats Hummels and Javi Martinez rarely looked out of sorts and did well to clean up every attack made by Ingolstadt. On the flanks, Philipp Lahm and David Alaba spent more time going forward but were still excellent when tracking back.
Dropped points by closest rivals.
All of RB Leipzig, Eintracht Frankfurt, and Borussia Dortmund lost today, and Bayern won. The game may not have been the prettiest, but Bayern found a way to get the win as everyone else faltered. The three points gathered at Audi Sportpark could prove to be crucial as the season comes to an end.
Still some concerns ahead of Tuesday’s match against Arsenal.
Many were hoping that Bayern would use this game as an opportunity to put their recent woes behind them ahead of their upcoming Champions League match. That was not the case. Bayern still have much to prove and will of course seek to step up their performance by Tuesday when they will face an Arsenal team eager to finally make it into the further rounds of UEFA’s biggest competition.
Manuel Neuer — 7: Neuer spent most of the game untested but handled the pressure well when it came. Displayed his slick footwork on a few occasions.
David Alaba — 7: Another good game from Alaba who seems to be picking up his form. Sent in a few crosses but couldn’t seem to find his target in the middle; performed his defensive duties well.
Mats Hummels — 7.5: Never looked out of sorts in the back, performed excellently.
Javi Martinez — 7.5: Like his central defensive partner, Martinez never looked uncomfortable. The two did particularly well in the air, where they combined for a total of 10 aerial duels won.
Philipp Lahm — 7: Like Alaba, Lahm did great going forward and tracking back. He even made a few good runs through the middle which could’ve resulted in a goal on another day.
Arturo Vidal — 8.5: An excellent match for Bayern’s Warrior, who not only scored the game winner, but also recorded the most touches of any player on the pitch. Games like this show exactly why Vidal must be one of the first names on the team sheet for Ancelotti.
Xabi Alonso — 6.5: Was not particularly poor, but seemed surplus to requirements in a crowded Bayern midfield. He had some excellent long balls, but for the most part his passing was less than spectacular.
Joshua Kimmich — 7: Either Kimmich or Alonso should have started this match on the bench, and if I were the coach it would be Kimmich who gets the nod to play. Was not fantastic, but played well in the midfield, providing his typical energy.
Thiago — 8: Even played out of position Thiago proves to be one of Bayern’s most influential players. With a second-best 105 touches, he managed to have nearly 95% passing accuracy. Thiago even managed to take a few good shots, which could have made the difference if a little more accurate. Thiago is back, and Bayern are all the better for it.
Thomas Muller — 8: No, he didn’t score, but this game will surely be a confidence booster for the Raumdeuter. Recording 4 key passes (one of which was an excellently placed assist for the game winner), Muller should have scored, but an unlucky spin on the ball took his shot away from the goal before it was cleared off the line. It will be tough for Ancelotti to bench Muller after a performance like this.
Robert Lewandowski — 6.5: Other than a well-taken shot which barely deflected off the post, Lewandowski suffered a relatively quiet night. His other highlight would have to be his sticking up for young Kimmich who got the worst of a late challenge from the opposition.
Douglas Costa — 7: Immediately added width to the team and recorded the assist for Robben’s goal.
Arjen Robben — 7.5: His intensity was definitely felt and managed to add the goal to seal the match late on.
Rafinha — N/R: Only came on as a cautionary to protect Lahm and had very little to do.
All stats taken from WhoScored.com