Thomas Muller and Leon “Scoretzka” combine as Bayern Munich seal a narrow 1-0 win over RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga.
Bayern Munich make a giant stride towards retaining their Bundesliga title by securing a hugely important 1-0 win over RB Leipzig. The win at the Red Bull Arena helps them extend the gap at the top to seven points and with just seven games remaining, very few would expect the record champions to blunder during this final stretch of the campaign.
That said, it was a bizarre game for the Bavarians, who were playing without their talismanic forward Robert Lewandowski. In addition, it was RB Leipzig who were dominating the possession and even creating chances, especially in the first 20 minutes of the game.
The patient Bayern Munich side, though, did well to persevere, eventually getting their grip on the game during the second half of the first 45 minutes. They started to create chances going forward and were duly rewarded as Leon Goretzka opened the scoring in the 38th minute.
Leipzig, though, made a sensational comeback in the second half, rattling the opposing backline with chances after chances. Unfortunately, their poor finishing saw them fail to find the back of the net, leaving a majority of their players frustrated as Hansi Flick’s men somehow held on for a victory.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a look at how these two teams performed in this vital Bundesliga result that almost seals the ninth consecutive title for Bayern Munich.
Peter Gulacsi: 6.5/10
Peter Gulacsi had no chance to save the first-half strike from Goretzka, but he made a couple of good stops to keep his team in the contest, one of which came from Leroy Sane’s thumping effort on goal.
Willi Orban: 6.5/10
Willi Orban didn’t have too much to do defensively, especially in the second half. In fact, he was utilised as a frontman during the final few minutes of the game, due to his proficiency in the air.
Dayot Upamecano: 7.5/10
Dayot Upamecano had an excellent game at the heart of Leipzig’s three-man backline. Athletic and quick, the Frenchman neutralised a host of attacking opportunities for Bayern, while also producing a couple of brilliant laser passes in between the lines.
I think Leipzig are now Bayern’s number one challenger. The gap is shrinking even with Upamecano headed to Munich. They do need a proper number 9 though.
— Dr. Manuel Veth (@ManuelVeth) April 3, 2021
Lukas Klostermann: 6/10
Lukas Klostermann was not as impressive as Upamecano and was mostly ineffective. Looked tired during the final phase of the game.
Tyler Adams: 6/10
Tyler Adams operated in the holding midfield role, but could never really impose himself on the game. Leipzig certainly missed Kevin Kampl, although Adams didn’t necessarily have a bad game.
Nordi Mukiele: 7/10
Nordi Mukiele had a relatively better game for Leipzig on the right-hand side, as he offered a lot of useful movements going forward. It made things difficult for the Bayern defence although his influence waned as the game progressed.
Dani Olmo: 6/10
Dani Olmo was a key factor behind Leipzig’s comeback in the second half as he created numerous chances. At the same time, though, the Spaniard missed a golden opportunity to level the scoreline but most of his attempts were wide of the mark.
Marcel Sabitzer: 7.5/10
Marcel Sabitzer was by far the most active Leipzig player in this game. He orchestrated the play in the middle of the park, producing a host of excellent forward passes while also forcing a great save from Manuel Neuer.
Amadou Haidara: 6.5/10
Filling in for the injured Angelino, Amadou Haidara offered some useful movements down the left-hand side. Helped his teammates march forward by offering himself as a passing option in the quick build-up.
Christopher Nkunku: 7.5/10
Leipzig have created two or three very good chances in the opening minutes of the second half, not sure how neither Olmo nor Nkunku failed to convert. Periods of a match where you've got Bayern on the back foot don't come along very often, they can't let this pass them by #RBLFCB
— Shivam Pathak (@_ShivamPathak) April 3, 2021
Christopher Nkunku emerged as a creator-in-chief for RB Leipzig, becoming a menace for the opposition backline with his runs down the flank. Would have hoped for better end product from his teammates though.
Emil Forsberg: 5/10
Leading the Leipzig attack, Emil Forsberg struggled to impose his presence inside the box and Nagelsmann may have preferred a more dynamic operator in the final third. He was replaced at half-time.
Justin Kluivert: 7/10
Justin Kluivert came on at the start of the second half, making an instant impact with his pace and trickery on the flanks. It wasn’t enough to find the back of the net, however.
Yussuf Poulsen: 5/10
Yussuf Poulsen couldn’t make much of a difference after coming on for the final phase of the game. Picked up a late injury that forced him off in the final minute of normal time.
Alexander Sorloth: 5/10
Alexander Sorloth operated as a target man during the final phase of the game but never really had any goalscoring opportunity. His lack of mobility didn’t help him either.
Hee-Chan Hwang: N/A
A late replacement for Adams. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Ibrahima Konate: N/A
A late replacement for Poulsen. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Manuel Neuer: 6.5/10
Apart from a nice save to deny Sabitzer, Manuel Neuer did not have too much to do, although he did have to remain cautious in light of relentless attacks from the opposition.
Benjamin Pavard: 6/10
Benjamin Pavard looked solid during the initial stages of the game but was completely overwhelmed in the second half by Nkunku and Haidara. Somehow managed to hold the line till the very end.
Niklas Sule: 6/10
Niklas Sule had his nervy moments in defence and it was certainly not a faultless performance from the German international, who was filling in for the suspended Jerome Boateng.
David Alaba: 6/10
David Alaba has started the last 4 games (club and country) in 4 different positions 🤯 pic.twitter.com/GGNpZIKESw
— Aniket (@SweeperKeeperMN) April 3, 2021
David Alaba was seen moving forward in the build-up, at times, but he was under immense defensive pressure during a certain period of the game. Lucky rather than solid, one could say.
Lucas Hernandez: 6/10
Lucas Hernandez had a difficult time dealing with the likes of Olmo and Mukiele on the far side, often becoming the weakest link in the Bayern Munich backline. The Frenchman, though, had a relatively quiet end to the proceedings.
Joshua Kimmich: 7/10
Joshua Kimmich had a marvellous game in the middle of the park, especially during the second stage of the first half. He recycled possession, moved the ball forward and led his team from the hub.
Leon Goretzka: 7/10
Mar 13: Thomas Müller assists Leon Goretzka vs. Werder Bremen
Apr 3: Thomas Müller assists Leon Goretzka vs. RB Leipzig
The duo combine for a second successive away game. pic.twitter.com/gUd830PSgm
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 3, 2021
It was a typical Leon Goretzka performance as the midfielder offered aggression in the middle of the park. Didn’t exactly control the game but did score the all-important winner for Bayern.
Leroy Sane: 6.5/10
Leroy Sane offered some exciting attacking forays on the counter, with his trickery often causing problems for the Leipzig backline. Was largely anonymous in the second half, though.
Thomas Muller: 7/10
Thomas Muller wasn’t involved in the game for the entirety of the ninety minutes. However, he was there when Bayern needed him as an excellent cut-back saw him register the assist for Goretzka’s winner.
Thomas Müller has now provided exactly twice the number of assists as he has scored goals for Bayern across the past two Bundesliga seasons:
⚽️ 18 goals
🅰️ 36 assists
The evolution into one of Europe's top creators is complete. pic.twitter.com/M8v20z2cZU
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 3, 2021
Kingsley Coman: 6.5/10
Kingsley Coman did not particularly have a great game, often lacking the end product or accuracy in his crosses from wider areas. He was, however, a threat on the counter before eventually making way for Serge Gnabry during the final phase.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting: 6.5/10
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting was a surprise inclusion in the side, in the absence of Robert Lewandowski. The much-maligned striker didn’t disappoint, though, with one of his brilliant backheeled passes leading to an excellent opportunity for Coman. Anonymous in the second half.
Serge Gnabry: 6/10
Couldn’t really impact the game after coming on for Coman in the 72nd minute. Will hope to start the next game ahead Choupo-Moting, though.
Jamal Musiala: 6.5/10
Offered a lot of spark after coming on during the final phase of the game. Certainly, a strong player to have on the bench.
Javi Martinez: N/A
A late replacement for Sane. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.