Robert Lewandowski was the star of the show as ten-man Bayern Munich thrashed VfB Stuttgart 4-0 at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.
The game was off to the worst possible start for Bayern Munich as Alphonso Davies was sent off just 12 minutes in for a rash challenge on Wataru Endo. Nevertheless, the record champions rallied strongly as Robert Lewandowski buried home a Serge Gnabry cross to make it 1-0 in the 17th minute.
Five minutes later, Die Roten were two goals in front as Gnabry applied the finishing touches to a Leroy Sane cutback, who had linked up nicely with Thomas Muller leading to the goal. A minute later, it was 3-0 as Lewandowski headed in a well-hit cross from Muller from the right.
With five minutes left for half-time, Lewandowski completed a sensational hat-trick, lashing home a fierce strike from 18 yards out. Sasa Kalajdzic and Mateo Klimowicz tested Manuel Neuer in the second half while Sane, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Leon Goretzka all came close for Bayern but there were no goals added as the game ended 4-0.
With the win, Hansi Flick’s side reopened their four-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga table. And here’s how we rated the performances of the Bayern Munich stars on the afternoon.
Manuel Neuer: 7/10
An early save, albeit a straightforward one from Kalajdzic. Denied the towering striker once again after the break and made another decent stop to keep Klimowicz. Needed to be more accurate with his passing, however.
Benjamin Pavard: 7/10
Getting another start at right-back, the Frenchman put in another reliable display both defensively and in attack. Completed four interceptions and a tackle while also producing two key passes at the other end of the pitch.
Jerome Boateng: 6.5/10
There were a few dodgy moments against the lively Kalajdzic, one such moment leading to a booking for the veteran defender. But, in general, managed to stay tight and compact, without giving much away. Made five clearances.
Niklas Sule: 6.5/10
Back into the starting XI, at centre-back, the German international like his defensive partner had a few iffy moments and was at times a bit sloppy on the ball. However, made no major mistakes that led to any chance on goal for the visiting team. Finished with a couple of interceptions and a clearance.
Alphonso Davies: 1/10
Alphonso Davies has received a straight red card for the first time in his club career.
After just 12 minutes. 😳 https://t.co/BduZjAhe7Y
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 20, 2021
Allowed Silas Wamangituka to get past him leading to an early chance for Stuttgart. Then made a poor, poor challenge on Endo resulting in a red card. Let his team down in a big way and can be thankful for the brilliance of his attacking teammates that ensured Bayern came out on top.
Leon Goretzka: 6.5/10
Had his task cut out as the lone central midfielder after his partner moved to left-back following Davies’ sending off. Did well to screen the defence, making three tackles and three clearances apiece. Played a key pass and also had a shot miss narrowly late on.
David Alaba: 7/10
Starting in midfield in Joshua Kimmich’s absence, the Austrian moved to the left-back slot after the early red card. Did well to cope with the threat posed by the lively Wamangituka, posting impressive defensive numbers of three tackles, one interception and a game-high seven clearances. Also managed to complete one key pass.
— David Alaba (@David_Alaba) March 20, 2021
Leroy Sane: 7.5/10
A threat each time he got on the ball, lovely exchange with Muller before setting Gnabry up for the second goal and also played a part in the fourth goal for Bayern Munich. Came close to scoring one himself after the break. Finished with one key pass and two dribbles.
Thomas Muller: 8/10
In his elements from the start, the veteran star executed some brilliant link-up play with those around him throughout, playing a role in the second goal before setting Lewandowski up for the third. Finished with five key passes on the evening – most by any player in the game.
BTW, how could I forget…
Lewy's header was yet another assist for Tommy.
— Bavarian Football Works (@BavarianFBWorks) March 20, 2021
Serge Gnabry: 8/10
Lively on the ball and off of it with his movement, got Bayern moving by setting Lewandowski up for the first goal. Popped up in a good position to make it 2-0 soon after. Continued to pose problems even though there were no more goal involvements for him.
Robert Lewandowski: 10/10
Another game, another hat-trick for Robert Lewandowski – the Player to Watch in our Preview. With his first goal of the game, he became the second-highest goalscorer of all-time in Bundesliga before going on to add a couple more to take his tally for the season to 35 – just five off the legendary record set by Gerd Muller and it seems only a matter of time before the Pole topples it.
Robert Lewandowski has scored 35 Bundesliga goals in 25 games this season from an xG of just 25.73.
Ridiculous. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/Cd4LLRrp8I
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 20, 2021
Kingsley Coman: 6/10
On for Gnabry at the hour mark. Good on the ball, played one key pass.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting: 6/10
Replaced Lewandowski for the final twenty minutes. Went close with an effort.
Jamal Musiala: N/A
Replaced Sane with less than ten minutes left.
Javi Martinez: N/A
On for Muller in the 83rd minute.