Joshua Kimmich ran the show as Bayern Munich sealed the FIFA Club World Cup with a narrow win over Tigres UANL on Thursday.
Bayern Munich became only the second European club to win the sextuple following their 1-0 triumph over Tigres UANL in the FIFA Club World Cup final. It was their sixth trophy in 12 months and the fourth intercontinental title in the club’s history.
The Bavarians were unsurprisingly the more dominant of the two sides as they had the lion’s share of possession and probed the Tigres defence in an attempt to find the elusive opener. They got close in the 18th minute when Joshua Kimmich’s thumping effort from outside the box found the back of the net, but the goal was ruled out by VAR after it revealed Robert Lewandowski to be offside, affecting the goalkeeper’s line of sight.
Bayern Munich continued to pile the pressure as the game progressed but failed to find the breakthrough with the game still goalless at half-time. The European champions finally found their deserved opener in the 59th minute through Benjamin Pavard, who scored from close range. The goal was initially ruled out due to offside, but VAR later showed Lewandowski was, in fact, onside.
It served as a massive blow for Tigres, who were unable to provide any real threat going forward, amassing a total of just one shot on target. As a result, Bayern clung on to their lead easily in the end, securing yet another trophy under Hansi Flick. Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a closer look at how their players performed following their FIFA Club World Cup final on Thursday.
Manuel Neuer: 6.5/10
Manuel Neuer had nothing much to do as Tigres struggled to impose themselves in the defensive third for Bayern. He only had to remain cautious during Guido Pizarro’s free-kick. Hence, it was a stroll in the park for the Bayern Munich captain, who continues his excellent run of clean sheets.
Benjamin Pavard: 7/10
Benjamin Pavard perhaps was not as effective going forward as Alphonso Davies on the opposite flank. But the right-back did well whenever he did move forward and was in the right place at the right time to score the opener for his team just before the hour mark. This performance should boost his confidence as Bayern shift their attention back to the Bundesliga.
◉ Benjamin Pavard's first goal for France:
⚽️ 2018 FIFA World Cup
◉ Benjamin Pavard's first cup goal for Bayern:
⚽️ 2020 FIFA Club World Cup
The man for the big occasion. pic.twitter.com/ajTICMffKE
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 11, 2021
Niklas Sule: 7/10
Starting in the absence of Jerome Boateng, Niklas Sule enjoyed a decent game at the heart of the Bayern defence. He impressed the onlookers with his positioning while his imposing presence at the back made it difficult for the likes of Andre Pierre Gignac and Carlos Gonzalez to cause any trouble going forward.
Lucas Hernandez: 7/10
Lucas Hernandez operated alongside Sule in central defence, which was a surprise move by Flick. Nonetheless, the Frenchman did well to contain the pressure exerted by the Tigres, although it was minuscule. A solid display at the heart of the four-man Bayern Munich backline.
Alphonso Davies: 8/10
Alphonso Davies was by far the most active defender for Bayern Munich in this game, providing relentless attacking support for his teammates. He went up and down the pitch at will, often trying to take on opposing defenders. The left-back also registered the highest number of touches in the game, which signifies his influence on the proceedings.
Joshua Kimmich: 9/10
It was yet another inspiring performance from Kimmich, who was unlucky to have his goal ruled out as offside. But it did not deter him to influencing the game and becoming an orchestrator in the middle of the park. The German not only created chances but also offered assurance in possession, even in the absence of Leon Goretzka and Javi Martinez. One of the best players in Europe right now.
🔎 | FOCUS
Joshua Kimmich vs Tigres:
⏱️ 90' played
👌 103 touches
🎯 1 big chance created
🔑 4 key passes (most)
👟 78/89 acc. passes (most)
💨 1/1 succ. dribbles
⚔️ 3/4 duels won
🚷 0 times dribbled past
📈 7.9 SofaScore rating
— SofaScore (@SofaScoreINT) February 11, 2021
David Alaba: 7.5/10
It was perhaps rude from Flick’s part to not start with Marc Roca in central midfield despite his excellent performance against Al Ahly in the semi-finals. He instead opted for David Alaba, who did not disappoint in yet another new role. He looked solid in possession, assisting Kimmich and helping Bayern dominate the middle of the park.
Leroy Sane: 6/10
The COVID-19 diagnosis of Thomas Muller just before the game paved the way for Leroy Sane to receive another start in this final. Unfortunately, the winger failed to take full advantage of his opportunity, often looking ineffective going forward. He certainly needs to work on his penetration in the final third.
Serge Gnabry: 6.5/10
Operating down the middle in the absence of Muller, Serge Gnabry did a decent job in keeping the Tigres defenders occupied. He created one big chance for Sane in the first half, but much like his German teammate, he could not provide much in terms of penetration which is why Bayern had to be content with just one goal.
Kingsley Coman: 7/10
Kingsley Coman was the most dangerous creative player for Bayern Munich as his offensive runs down the flanks caused problems for the Tigres defence. He was indeed a menace on the ball, although he had much better support from Davies on the left flank.
Robert Lewandowski: 6.5/10
Robert Lewandowski endured a difficult game as Tigres defenders teamed up on him whenever he had the ball. He was also offside which prevented Kimmich from scoring an early goal, but made amends by setting up Pavard for the actual opener. He was later adjudged as the player of the tournament due to his brace against Al-Ahly.
— 🏆🏆🏆FC Bayern English🏆🏆🏆 (@FCBayernEN) February 11, 2021
Corentin Tolisso: 6/10
Corentin Tolisso replaced Gnabry midway through the second half to add a more natural presence in the number ten position. He did not disappoint either, notably attempting a shot on goal from distance.
Jamal Musiala: 6/10
Jamal Musiala could not make much of a difference after coming on for Sane during the final phase of the game. The Tigres defenders were pretty solid in defending the threat despite being one goal down.
Douglas Costa: 6/10
A 73rd minute replacement for the tiring Coman, Douglas Costa offered more freshness in the final third during the late stages of the game.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting: 6/10
A late replacement for Lewandowski. He didn’t do much to influence the game but helped the Pole earn some valuable rest ahead of a flight back to Germany.