Jersey Swap: Stefan de Vrij
Okay, this was a tough one. Inter Milan started hot but couldn’t sustain, and didn’t end up looking particularly good at all. While Nicolò Barella fired an early warning shot across Bayern Munich’s bow and Kristjan Asllani found the net on an offside goal, let’s go to the backline — where Stefan de Vrij led a back three’s valiant efforts to keep from getting totally overrun. Four blocks, three clearances…De Vrij is a quality player, didn’t have all his favored center-back partners around him, and it could have been a lot worse.
Sure, he got dusted that one time by Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, but there’s no shame in that. If Inter make it deep into the knockouts, expect De Vrij to be at the heart of it.
Der Kaiser: Benjamin Pavard
A little tough again, for different reasons: Bayern were stellar all around. Dayot Upamecano had a highlight reel twist-and-turn of his own in attack and was his usual rock-solid self in defense, and his second-half replacement Alphonso Davies was a beast on the left flank.
But Benjamin Pavard put the cherry on top of another splendid back-line performance — out-muscling Lautaro Martínez with ease to score what looked like the simplest of corners. Pavard got an outing at his preferred center-back spot and put in a really nice shift in both distribution and defense. As if to pointedly say to his coach, hey, don’t forget about me!
Fußballgott: Joshua Kimmich
It’s almost routine now for Kimmich, but the quality of his pass and his calm, steadying control in midfield is key to everything Bayern do. Everything runs through him: while both he and Marcel Sabitzer got 90 minutes of work, Kimmich had 103 touches to Sabitzer’s 59, and 81 passes to Sabitzer’s 44. Some of those chipped over-the-top balls were pretty close to resulting in goals, too.
Der Bomber: Kingsley Coman
Both Bayern wingers had decent but not commanding games. Bayern worked everything up the right side, so Mané didn’t get as much action — but he found the spaces and exploited them excellently, with great deliveries sending him in several times and some less-than-stellar passes robbing him of other chances.
Coman, meanwhile, was a menacing presence on the right side, going forward, pressing, and tracking back — 7/11 ground duels won! — while also having a mesmerizing dribble through the center that resulted in an excellent shot on goal. André Onana was up to the task of saving it, but this is the kind of threat Bayern will like to see from Coman.
Meister of the Match: Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting
Could it be anybody else? Le Choup takes home another MOTM, courtesy of a strong overall performance punctuated by yet another goal. He will not be denied at this point, and what a laser that was. He’s a totally involved forward in Julian Nagelsmann’s Bayern attack and the lethal finisher the team had been begging for. A slight better touch here or there, and he’d have an assist to his name too. The Choupo Era isn’t ending anytime soon.
Interested in more analysis of the game? Why not check out our postgame podcast? We discuss how Inter stacks up against the big boys of the Champions League and how Julian Nagelsmann’s Bayern has shown some swagger recently. Listen to it below or at on Spotify.
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