Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala save the day as Bayern Munich secure a hard-fought 3-2 win over 1.FC Koln on Sunday.

Julian Nagelsmann secured his very first Bundesliga win as a Bayern Munich manager as his team registered a narrow 3-2 victory 1.FC Koln at the Allianz Arena on Sunday.

Bayern Munich were the dominant side right from the start. It was a cagey game but the hosts did well to maintain possession, which resulted in a few chances for them. However, they were unable to create any clear cut opportunities with most of their attacking players struggling to get involved in the game.

Koln mainly tried to defend Bayern but did well to attack the opposition at times. They forced the Bavarians to work hard without possession as the two sides drew goalless at half-time.

The hosts upped the ante in the second half, showcasing more drive and determination before eventually finding the breakthrough in the 50th minute through Robert Lewandowski. It was enough to break the shackles as they quickly doubled their lead in the 58th minute, though there was still drama in store with Koln pulling one back in the 60th minute.

It didn’t take long for the Billygoats to level the game either as Mark Uth found the back of the net in the 62nd minute. Fortunately for Bayern, they had enough time to find the winner and that they did, though Gnabry in the 71st minute. Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will rate the Bayern Munich players in their hard-fought win over 1.FC Koln this weekend.

Manuel Neuer: 6/10

Manuel Neuer was beaten a bit too easily for the two Koln goals, but the Bayern Munich goalkeeper would have had to perform extraordinarily to save any of them. Wasn’t troubled much otherwise, although the veteran shot-stopper will be frustrated to have once again missed out on a clean sheet.

Niklas Sule: 6/10

Niklas Sule didn’t improve the Bayern Munich defence at all. He was all over the place when the opposition really put the pressure and didn’t do enough to prevent his side from conceding. A roulette on the other side of the pitch was certainly the main highlight of the game for the big defender.

Dayot Upamecano: 6.5/10

Dayot Upamecano was much more solid than Sule, especially during the first half of the game. He got the better of Anthony Modeste on multiple occasions, but a few rusty moments saw the Bavarians concede two goals in quick succession, allowing Koln to get back into the game.

Tanguy Nianzou: 5.5/10

Tanguy Nianzou had a rather quiet game at the heart of Bayern Munich backline, although he was asked to see off the threat of Koln’s wider players at times. His presence in the lineup wasn’t advantageous for the team, though, resulting in his substitute after half-time.

Alphonso Davies: 7/10

Alphonso Davies was not as influential as he was in the game against Borussia Dortmund. The Canadian, though, was still a spark for the home side on the left-hand side. The freedom Nagelsmann gives him in the wider role really brings the best out of him, although the left-back must work on his defensive game, having played Mark Uth onside for the second goal.

Joshua Kimmich: 7.5/10

Joshua Kimmich initially had problems controlling the midfield as it was a cagey affair. He settled in rather well after the restart, spraying the ball all around the park, close to the hour mark. His influence in the middle was a key reason behind Bayern’s dominance, with the German international even picking up an assist for Serge Gnabry’s late goal.

Leon Goretzka: 6/10

It was another underwhelming performance from Leon Goretzka, who is struggling to impose himself under Julian Nagelsmann in these early stages of the season. The trademark driving runs into the box were missing while the midfielder also lacked the drive and determination that are usually very synonymous with the former Schalke prodigy.

Leroy Sane: 4/10

Yet another disappointing performance from Leroy Sane, who never really managed to make any impact going forward. He had his fair chances of making something happen, but a lack of precision in his end product, coupled with a pinch of desperation saw him struggle to get past the opposition backline. He was subbed off at half-time.

Thomas Muller: 6/10

Thomas Muller had a dry game for the most part. His clever movements did not help the other attackers much as the Koln defence remained deep and resilient. But as it is often the case, the German international came out from nowhere to produce a dangerous cross into the box, playing a vital role for one of Bayern’s second-half goals.

Serge Gnabry: 9/10

Serge Gnabry was by far the best player for Bayern Munich in this game. The attacker looked dangerous even in the first half and imposed his dominance further after the restart. His two goals were indeed critical to giving his team all three points in this hard-fought encounter with 1.FC Koln.

Aside from his goals, Gnabry also offered a lot of dynamism in the final third. He was keen and determined to beat the opposing defenders, thus causing real havoc for Steffen Baumgart’s men throughout the entirety of the match.

Robert Lewandowski: 7/10

Robert Lewandowski scored his customary opening goal for Bayern in the 50th minute. The goal was enough to sugarcoat an otherwise quiet evening for the Polish international who struggled to make himself involved in the final third. He wasn’t offered any clear cut opportunities either but deserves credit for finding the back of the net when the chance came.

Substitutes

Jamal Musiala: 8/10

Jamal Musiala’s substitution in the second half is what truly made the difference for Bayern Munich. The youngster, replacing Sane at half-time, offered a real spark in the final third, beating players at will and creating chances all by himself. He registered the valuable assist for Lewandowski’s opening goal, beating at least three players in its path.

Josip Stanisic: 6/10

Josip Stanisic replaced Nianzou at half-time. It was a basic manoeuvre that allowed Bayern Munich to revert to a back-four, though the youngster didn’t exactly perform all too well.

Corentin Tolisso: 6/10

Corentin Tolisso added more freshness in the Bayern midfield after coming on for Goretzka midway through the second half. Didn’t make any noticeable impact during the final phase of the game.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting: N/A

A late replacement for Gnabry. Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.

Chris Richards: N/A

A late replacement for Davies. Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.

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