Bayern Munich continued to clinch titles at Puskás Arena after a fantastic football match against Sevilla FC. In an exciting game that lasted 120 minutes, Javi Martinez won Bayern’s first title of the 2020/21 season after a clinical header. It was a fairytale ending for the Spaniard, who most likely played his final minutes as a Die Roten player.
Here are the BFW thriller awards in Budapest!
Swimwear exchange: Julen Lopetegui
I know it is unorthodox to choose a manager for these awards. But I was very impressed with this Sevilla team and surprised by the way Lopetegui handled his team. Sevilla were one of the first teams in a very long time to successfully limit Hansi Flick’s Bayern in terms of clear chances. Yes, Bayern were the better team and deservedly won the game, but Julen Lopetegui’s tactical shrewdness almost surpassed Hansi Flick. Sevilla started courageously, squeezing Bayern whenever it made sense while keeping their defensive form. In the second half Sevilla tried to kill the pace of the game, defended themselves deeply with a large number and were one chance to win the game after a beautifully worked counterattack.
Bayern haven’t lost a game this year, but today it came very close. I think Lopetegui deserves huge credit for playing against the best team in the world and almost beating them.
The evolution of Robert Lewandowski is incredibly fascinating. At Borussia Dortmund, Lewandowski has become the ideal striker for Jurgen Klopp: someone who can find space behind defenders and hold the ball on the opposing side of the pitch.
His role was different for Pep Guardiola. The Spanish coach didn’t need him for quick transition attacking games. On the contrary, Lewandowski became the complete striker in the opponent’s penalty area for a team that dominated possession.
So his new role under Niko Kovac and Hansi Flick has been quite fascinating. Lewy often falls back into the middle of the park, often launching attacks rather than finishing them off. The Lewandowski we’ve seen this year is arguably the best version that has ever been. Although today was not a day where everything went his way, it was another game that made me appreciate the impressive development he has made as a player.
God of football (best midfielder): Thomas Muller
Thomas Muller was dangerous throughout the game and was at times the only Bayern player to take risks in a team that lacked the final advantage for much of the game. He is a creative force in the Bayern midfield and a player who could easily have kept running for another 120 minutes.
The Kaiser (best defender): Lucas Hernandez
I think Flick is starting to launch Lucas Hernandez, not because Alphonso Davies was poor, but that the Marseille player needs a few games in the starting XI to regain his confidence. That being said, Bayern’s most expensive transfer is more solid defensively than the Canada star. Hernandez is good on the ball, quick and also has a very good defensive conscience.
Master of the match (best overall ranking): Manuel Neuer
Sevilla were defensively and pragmatically brilliant today. They would have won the match if Manuel Neuer hadn’t saved Youssef En-Nesyri’s face-to-face in the 86th minute. The Gelsenkirchen native made a remarkable turnaround in his performance after the long-lasting injury and subsequent drop in form. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that a 34-year-old Neuer is the best Neuer we’ve ever seen.