Bayern Munich ended their barren spell with a morale-boosting 3-1 win over VfL Wolfsburg at the Volkswagen Arena, with Robert Lewandowski scoring twice.
German champions Bayern Munich took full advantage of the international break as they bounced back to winning form with a convincing 3-1 win over VfL Wolfsburg. It was a comprehensive display from the Bavarians, who created a lot of chances throughout the game while being solid at the back.
Following an impressive early start to the game, Robert Lewandowski scored the opener around the half-hour mark after being opened up by an excellent dummy from Thiago Alcantara. And the Polish international doubled his tally just after the restart, capitalising on a poor headed backpass from William.
However, in what served as a lowlight in Bayern’s convincing performance against Wolfsburg, Arjen Robben was dismissed around the hour mark after picking up his second yellow card.
— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) October 20, 2018
While the Bayern hierarchy voiced their discontent over the Dutchman’s dismissal, it was an unnecessary foul from Robben’s perspective – an event which Wolves took full advantage of, scoring minutes later through Wout Weghorst.
The new signing from AZ Alkmaar latched on to substitute Admir Mehmedi’s cross to pull one back for his side before James Rodriguez sealed all three points for the Bavarians with a 72nd minute goal. And, here at the Hard Tackle, we run the rule over Niko Kovac’s men following their impressive victory over Die Wolfe.
Manuel Neuer: 6/10
Although he was hardly tested, Neuer will be happy with his performance, especially after an awful run of form coming into this game. He wasn’t forced to make any real save while he couldn’t have done anything to save Weghorst’s efforts in the second half.
Joshua Kimmich: 7.5/10
A redeeming performance from the German international, who offered some much needed assistance upfront. His excellent partnership with Arjen Robben caused a lot of trouble to the opposing defence throughout the course of the first half.
In addition, Kimmich gave a hard time to Wolfsburg left-back Jerome Roussilon and restricted his offensive runs, which could have proved dangerous for Bayern.
Mats Hummels: 7.5/10
Speaking of Hummels, he was excellent in defence. His composure coupled with his elegance aided Bayern in the build-up play while his solid partnership with Niklas Sule at the back helped Die Roten remain solid for large periods of the game.
Furthermore, it was his pass which initially opened up Robert Lewandowski for the opener, although the ball may have been flicked by Thiago Alcantara before reaching the Polish superstar.
Niklas Sule: 7/10
Although not exactly impressive, it was a decent defensive display from Niklas Sule, who wasn’t stretched by the Wolfsburg attack whatsoever. He was thus, always under control and formed a solid partnership with Mats Hummels at the heart of the Bayern defence.
David Alaba: 6/10
Failed to make an impact on the left flank as Wolfsburg marched forward from the wider areas. In fairness, however, he was returning from a hamstring injury and thus, his half-time substitution was certainly warranted.
Javi Martinez: 7/10
Controlled the midfield with pin-point passing. Nothing too flashy, as you would normally expect from the Spaniard. He did, however, end up winning more aerial duels than anyone else on the pitch.
Thiago Alcantara: 8/10
A fantastic display in the centre of the pitch as he orchestrated the play with his pin-point passing as well as clever movements. Thiago’s intelligent dummy in the first half opened up Robert Lewandowski for the opener while he also made a host of attacking surges into the box.
Unlike the last few matches, Thiago didn’t lack the creativity and was deeply involved in most of Bayern’s attacking moments throughout the course of the game.
Arjen Robben: 6/10
Made numerous attacking runs into the box which wreaked havoc at the back for Wolfsburg. His excellent left-footed drive forced a stunning save from Koen Casteels in the first half while his remarkable chemistry with Joshua Kimmich on the flanks ensured the defenders were back pedalling regularly, helping Bayern maintain their dominance over their opposition.
2011 – Arjen Robben has received his first red card since April 2011 (v 1. FC Nürnberg). Tschüss. pic.twitter.com/YtuSnkBL2h
— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) October 20, 2018
However, his second-half dismissal exposed Bayern, to an extent and marred an otherwise excellent performance from the Dutchman.
James Rodriguez: 8.5/10
After starting the game slowly, James Rodriguez got better as time wore on and the Colombian ended up making a big impact in the second half. While his excellent free-kick early on in the game did unsettle Casteels, it was his 72nd minute finish which raised some eyebrows as it not only recovered Bayern’s two-goal cushion but also sealed all three points for the Bavarians.
Serge Gnabry: 8/10
Impressed in a rare start as his sheer pace coupled with his dynamism in the final third caused a lot of trouble for the opposing defence. Gnabry looked menacing whenever he got onto the ball before he made way for Leon Goretzka in the 66th minute as Niko Kovac opted for defensive solidity.
Robert Lewandowski: 10/10
By far the most impressive player on the pitch, Robert Lewandowski stole the show with yet another remarkable display against VfL Wolfsburg. The Pole looked promising with the ball, holding up play whilst linking up with his teammates in the final third.
Most importantly, however, he was flawless with his finishing, taking full advantage of the two huge opportunities he was presented with in the game. Lewandowski then capped off his excellent performance by providing the assist to James Rodriguez for Bayern’s third goal of the afternoon.
Replaced David Alaba at the restart and produced an average display on the flanks. He was solid enough not to allow Renato Steffen bombard the flanks but at the same time, he lacked Alaba’s offensive prowess to help out the Bayern attack.
Leon Goretzka: 7/10
Was introduced in the 66th minute – just after Wout Weghorst’s goal as Niko Kovac opted to have more defensive bodies. He did rather well, especially after a horrid display against Borussia Monchengladbach last time out.
Renato Sanches: N/A
Came on for James Rodriguez with just six minutes left on the clock. Didn’t produce anything of note.