The Champions League group stage has kicked off, and unfortunately the Bundesliga’s representatives in the tournament performed quite poorly despite a 2-0 win over Roma for Bayern Munich. Besides Bayern Munich’s win, Schalke lost away to Lyon, and Werder Bremen only picked up a point at home to Tottenham.
Bayern Munich’s Hans-Jorg Butt gets my pick between the sticks this week, because of how composed he was whenever he had anything to deal with. There was one chance in particular, where after a defensive error Borriello was absolutely in the clear, and Butt used him body to block him and keep Bayern in the match. Top performance, despite having very little to do.
Werder Bremen’s Mikael Silvestre is my pick at left-back, after performing so well against Tottenham’s Aaron Lennon who really could have torn Werder Bremen to bits with his pace. Silvestre kept things relatively quiet on the right wing, only for Tottenham to terrorize Bremen down the left through Gareth Bale. A good performance from Silvestre though, used his experience well.
Bayern Munich’s Holger Badstuber is my first pick in the center of defense. His free-kick created Bayern Munich’s second goal, and his positional awareness made him unbeatable whenever he was tested. He certainly does look like he will mature into a top defender.
Bayern Munich’s Daniel van Buyten is my other pick in the center of defense, but not so much for his defending. Van Buyten pushed forward quite often and supplemented the Bayern Munich midfield, and also put in some very forward-thinking passes. Good game from the veteran defender, who is making a point of keeping Martin Demichelis out of the side.
Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm gets my pick at right-back. I hate to have to nominate three players from the same team in defense, but Werder Bremen and Schalke conceded goals and made defensive errors that were quite laughable, so Lahm has to edge them for me. Christoph Moritz’s awful headed back-pass created Lyon’s goal, and Clemens Fritz was tormented time and again by Bale. Lahm kept things very composed at the back, and even pushed forward and had a few long shots that tested Julio Sergio in Roma’s goal.
On the left, Werder Bremen’s Marko Marin is my pick. Marin’s electric pace and creativity could not be kept under wraps despite the physical presence in Tottenham’s midfield of Tom Huddlestone and Wilson Palacios. Marin scored the goal that levelled the match for Werder Bremen as well, and had a chance to win the match as well.
In the middle, I have Werder Bremen’s Wesley. The summer signing, who joined from Santos, showed his versatility against Tottenham. Wesley can play at right-back, right midfield, central midfield, or in attacking midfield positions, and he really occupied them all at one point or another last night for Bremen. Wesley’s cross created Werder Bremen’s first goal, and his workrate and tackling showed a never-say-die attitude that Torsten Frings would have been proud of.
Next to Wesley, I have Bayern Munich’s van Bommel. The Bayern Munich and Holland captain sprayed some great balls into Bayern Munich’s attacking players, and held the midfield well against Pizarro and De Rossi. Van Bommel’s legs don’t look like going any time soon, which is a great sign for Bayern because he’ll be a very hard player to replace.
On the right, I have Schalke’s Jefferson Farfan. I thought he brought something extra to Schalke’s attack, something they sorely lacked at the weekend without him in the side. He forced an excellent save out of Hugo Lloris early on, and if not for Lloris, that goal may have won the game for Schalke.
Up top, I’ve got Bayern Munich’s Thomas Mueller and Bayern Munich’s Miroslav Klose. Mueller never stopped running, and his hard work finally paid off when he scored an absolutel wondergoal against the virtually unbeatable Julio Sergio. Excellent goal, and wonderful player. At only 21 years old, he really does look like the next great finisher in German football.
Miroslav Klose was subbed on with a point to prove, and almost instantly made it. After he scored, he pointed to van Gaal on the sideline just to show his coach that he should be a starter in the side. Klose’s heading ability and link-up play is still second to none, even if his finishing can be questionable at times.
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