Leon Goretzka scores a goal on his return from injury as Bayern Munich breeze past SC Freiburg this weekend.

Bayern Munich emerge as the firm favourites to seal the Bundesliga title for the tenth time in a row after securing a comprehensive 4-1 win over SC Freiburg on Saturday. The victory, coupled with Borussia Dortmund’s 4-1 defeat to RB Leipzig, helps Bayern extend their lead at the top to nine points, with just six games remaining until the end of the season.

Although the scoreline may suggest otherwise, it was a difficult game for Bayern Munich in many ways. Playing at the packed Europa-Park Stadion, they were struggling to create chances against a well-oiled defensive unit of Freiburg, with the two teams heading into half-time without troubling the scorers.

The situation improved for Bayern in the second half, with the returning Leon Goretzka scoring the opener around the hour mark. Although Freiburg substitute Nils Petersen was quick to level the scoreline, Bayern managed to restore their lead in the 73rd minute through Serge Gnabry, before Kingsley Coman eventually killed the tie by scoring the fourth goal nine minutes later.

There was a bit of drama at the end when Bayern had 12 players on the pitch for a few seconds. It was confusion caused by the electronic board on the touchline. And while usually, it would subject Bayern to losing the tie, the Bavarians are unlikely to be sanctioned as it was a technical fault from the official’s end.

Here, at the Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Bayern Munich players in their comfortable victory over Freiburg this weekend.

Manuel Neuer: 6/10

Manuel Neuer was completely beaten by Petersen’s snapshot around the hour mark. Apart from that, the Bayern Munich goalkeeper didn’t have much to do as Freiburg only mustered three shots on target. He will be disappointed not to have kept the clean sheet, though.

Benjamin Pavard: 7/10

It was a calm and collected defensive effort from Benjamin Pavard. He looked in control of the opposition attackers, often trying to remain composed at the back. His efforts paid off as Bayern looked solid for the most part of the game. However, it did come at the expense of a lack of creativity going forward.

Tanguy Nianzou: 7/10

Tanguy Nianzou had yet another solid game at the heart of the Bayern Munich backline. The youngster seems to be growing in confidence, as he looked sharp in possession and was always willing to put his body on the line. His impressive performances could be a real bonus for a Bayern team bracing themselves for life without Niklas Sule.

Dayot Upamecano: 7.5/10

Dayot Upamecano had an excellent game in defence. He did not make any errors and used his physical and aerial prowess to keep the Freiburg attackers at bay. His pace was a particular asset for Bayern as it denied the opposition the opportunity to make inroads through counterattacks.

Lucas Hernandez: 7/10

Lucas Hernandez performed well on the left hand side of the Bayern Munich defence in the absence of Alphonso Davies. He was solid at the back and won most of his challenges. It will be interesting to see how the Frenchman performs when he is asked to return to his central defensive slot.

Joshua Kimmich: 8/10

Operating in the number six slot, Joshua Kimmich produced a brilliant display of skill and control. He was not able to provide much creativity during the initial stages of the game, but his composure worked wonders for Bayern in the second half, helping the Bavarians stay on top of his game. Having Leon Goretzka as a partner certainly improves Kimmich’s performances in the middle of the park.

Leon Goretzka: 7.5/10

Leon Goretzka marked his return to the pitch in an exotic manner, scoring the all-important opener around the hour mark. He put in a solid shift in the second line of press and looks ready to help Bayern during the final phase of the campaign. He was subbed off soon after scoring the goal.

Leroy Sane: 6/10

It wasn’t the best of performances from Leroy Sane. The former Manchester City attacker lacked any sort of creativity in the final third, which led to a dry first half. He improved in the second half, but it was far from an ideal performance from the winger.

Thomas Muller: 6/10

Thomas Muller was another player who wasn’t at his best on the night. While he did get into good positions on multiple occasions, he simply wasn’t able to provide or produce the final ball, thus leading to a lack of sharpness for Bayern in the final third.

Kingsley Coman: 7.5/10

Kingsley Coman was the pick of the Bayern Munich creative players. His pace and trickery caused problems for the opposition defence, with the Frenchman toying with the Freiburg defenders with his menacing runs across wide channels. He notably scored the third goal that put the game to bed.

Robert Lewandowski: 5/10

It wasn’t the best of performances from Robert Lewandowski either. The Polish hitman was completely starved of service in the first half. It was more or less the same story in the second half, with Freiburg defending him expertly. Another game without a goal for the talented forward, who might not match his own record of 41 goals this season.

Substitutes

Jamal Musiala: 6.5/10

Jamal Musiala was introduced around the hour mark to add more energy to the Bayern Munich game. He squeezed through tight spaces with ease and helped Bayern Munich further dominate Freiburg.

Corentin Tolisso: 6/10

Corentin Tolisso replaced the returning Goretzka around the hour mark. Unfortunately, the Frenchman had to be subbed off due to an injury late in the game.

Serge Gnabry: 7.5/10

Serge Gnabry changed the dynamics of the game by scoring just the all-important second goal just seconds after coming on. His immediate impact played a key role in helping Bayern get over the line.

Marcel Sabitzer: N/A

A late replacement for Coman. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

Niklas Sule: N/A

A late replacement for Tolisso. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

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