Robert Lewandowski & Serge Gnabry bag a brace as Bayern Munich secure a thumping 5-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen.
Bayern Munich regained their position at the top of the table with a dominant 5-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday. It was a statement victory from the Rekordmeister, who pip ahead of Borussia Dortmund in the league table after the end of this weekend’s round of fixtures in the Bundesliga.
Bayern were the dominant team right from the beginning, especially after Robert Lewandowski netted an early goal through an ingenious flick. Their opponent Bayer Leverkusen were having a great season heading into this game, but Gerardo Seoane’s questionable tactics saw them try to press Bayern high up the pitch, leaving too many gaps in the process.
Their defensive players also looked shaky, often struggling to play the ball out from the back and were far too predictable with their passing. Bayern capitalised on this frailty to kill the game inside the first half, with Lewandowski doubling his tally in the 20th minute, followed by quickfire goals from Thomas Muller and Serge Gnabry, whose brace saw the Bavarians head into half-time with a 5-0 lead.
Leverkusen were a far better side after the restart, though, with Seoane identifying his mistakes and opting for a more pragmatic approach. It paid off as well, with Patrik Schick scoring a consolation goal, but the 42-year-old, unfortunately, has no positives to take from his humbling defeat.
Here, at the Hard Tackle, we will rank the Bayern Munich players in their 5-1 riot over Bayer Leverkusen this weekend.
Manuel Neuer: 6.5/10
Manuel Neuer didn’t have much to do at all as Bayer Leverkusen struggled to create too many scoring opportunities. He couldn’t have done much to save the Schick effort either, though the goalkeeper did make an excellent second-half save to deny Leverkusen their second goal of the evening.
29 – FC Bayern have scored 29 goals in their first eight Bundesliga matches this season, equalling their own Bundesliga record at this stage of the season from the 1976/77 season. Attack. #B04FCB pic.twitter.com/vqUrjhiWCX
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) October 17, 2021
Niklas Sule: 7.5/10
Niklas Sule’s tall frame is often deceiving for the opposition, and today was no exception. Operating in the right-back position, the German international showcased his silky footwork whenever he got forward while remaining resilient at the back. Registered a valuable assist as well, which is a testament to his attacking qualities.
Dayot Upamecano: 7.5/10
Dayot Upamecano had one or two problems dealing with Schick, especially in physical duels. But his pace was a massive asset for Bayern, as it allowed him to take care of any potential threat from the Leverkusen long balls. A masterful defensive display from the new signing, who continues to impress under Julian Nagelsmann.
Lucas Hernandez: 7/10
Lucas Hernandez showcased his composure and aggression with another solid display at the heart of Bayern’s four-man backline. The Frenchman is seemingly establishing himself as the undisputed first-choice centre-back for the Bavarians, alongside his fellow compatriot Upamecano.
Alphonso Davies: 7.5/10
Alphonso Davies was a menace for the Leverkusen defence with his marauding runs out wide. It made life difficult for Jeremie Frimpong, who had a nightmare of a game. The Canadian international notably registered the assist for Lewandowski’s second goal as well, but fortunately for Leverkusen, his night was cut short as Nagelsmann replaced him around the 40th minute mark, in what can be perceived as a precautionary measure.
Joshua Kimmich: 8.5/10
It was a midfield masterclass from Joshua Kimmich, who controlled the middle of the park using his excellent ball distribution and composure. The absence of ball-winners like Charles Aranguiz or Robert Andrich in the Leverkusen team made it even easier for the former Stuttgart man to stamp his authority in the proceedings, with the midfielder also being involved in multiple goals.
1st Bayern goal was of course a @lewy_official masterful finish, but the setup was vital:
-2 potential deliveries (in or outswinger) and misdirection of B04 defense (Goretzka + others across)
-Kimmich-Müller talk/play call
-Müller pick on Bakker to free Upa on a curl#b04bay pic.twitter.com/RebyYcVYuh
— Abel Meszaros 🌈 (@BundesPL) October 17, 2021
Leon Goretzka: 7.5/10
Kimmich controlling things in the middle of the park made it easier for Leon Goretzka to showcase his box to box credentials. He moved up and down the channels and was very often the link between attack and midfield. His aggression was useful in helping Bayern win the ball back.
Serge Gnabry: 10/10
Serge Gnabry was undoubtedly the best performer for Bayern Munich in this dominant performance. He was a menace on the right flank, causing all kinds of problems for Mitchell Bakker while linking up with his teammates in the final third. The most impressive aspect of his performance was his finishing in front of goal, with the winger netting two first-half goals.
🔎 | FOCUS
Serge Gnabry was the main man in Bayern’s 5:1 demolition of Bayer Leverkusen:
👌 70 touches
⚽️ 2 goals
🥅 3 shots/2 on target
🔑 3 key passes
👟 42/51 accurate passes
💨 2/2 successful dribbles
⚔️ 7/11 duels won
❌ 4 tackles
📈 8.9 SofaScore rating
— SofaScore (@SofaScoreINT) October 17, 2021
Thomas Muller: 8/10
Thomas Muller did what he does best, which is to find spaces in the final third. This time around, the German played a vital role in occupying the opposition defenders and allow more freedom for the likes of Kimmich and Goretzka. His link-up game was impressive as well, and the veteran forward capped off a brilliant display with a goal in the first half.
Leroy Sane: 8.5/10
Leroy Sane made a solid impressive once again with his pace and trickery on the flanks. It caused all kinds of problems for Frimpong, The former Manchester City winger wasn’t directly involved in any of the goals, but his influence was immense in helping Bayern Munich dominate their opposition through the first half.
Robert Lewandowski: 9/10
Robert Lewandowski showed why he is the best striker in the world with a smart flick that saw him found the early opener. It was followed by some mesmerising skills and link-up play with his teammates, before the Pole eventually netted his second, thus taking the lead in the race for the Torjagerkanone. He was taken off early by Nagelsmann, though, with the Bayern coach having one eye on the next game.
“Salah is the best player in the world”
Lewandowski: hold my beer.
— Ronan Murphy (@swearimnotpaul) October 17, 2021
Josip Stanisic: 7/10
Josip Stanisic replaced Davies in the 40th-minute mark, offering much more stability in the build-up play. Certainly has what it takes to become a first-team player for Bayern.
Marcel Sabitzer: 7/10
Marcel Sabitzer enjoyed an impressive game after coming on for Goretzka at half-time. He was firm in his challenges and created a few scoring opportunities for his team.
Jamal Musiala: 7/10
Jamal Musiala probed and asked questions to the Leverkusen during the final half-hour of the game.
Kingsley Coman: 6/10
Kingsley Coman offered the pace and trickery after replacing Muller around the hour mark.
Omar Richards: N/A
A late replacement for Sule. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.