Bayern Munich began the defence of their Champions League title emphatically, cruising to a comfortable 4-0 win over last season’s quarter-finalists Atletico Madrid at the Allianz Arena. Kingsley Coman netted a well-taken brace, while there were also goals for Leon Goretzka and a Corentin Tolisso second-half screamer – but which players excelled here while others faltered?
Bayern Munich 4-0 Atletico Madrid: Hosts blast simeone’s men
Coman (28′, 72′), Goretzka (41′), Tolisso (66′)
Diego Simeone was left fuming as his side created a handful of promising openings, but failed to take their chances. Suddenly, they were a goal down just before the half-hour mark.
Their deficit doubled before half-time as Coman and Goretzka combined to devastating effect in the area for the latter’s razor-sharp finish on 41 minutes.
Early in the second-half, Joao Felix saw his volleyed effort ruled out after VAR review deemed Luis Suarez to have impeded Manuel Neuer’s line of sight.
Things only went bad to worse for the visitors, chasing the game while playing a defensive high line which regularly was split open by Bayern’s incisive passing and forward runners.
Tolisso let fly on the edge of the box and his strike rifled into the top corner to effectively end Atletico’s chances of a spirited comeback, before Coman doubled his tally ruthlessly on the counter-attack – a fitting finale before being substituted.
Bayern had the luxury of giving valuable minutes to return loanee Douglas Costa and deadline day signing Bouna Sarr (£9m), while the likes of Leroy Sane (knee) and Serge Gnabry (COVID-19) were unavailable.
If this display is anything to go by, Bayern will relish the chance to defend their crown this season – not least with multiple key players still to return and finding their individual groove as the new campaign continues.
Without further ado, here’s a look at individual player ratings from the Bavarians’ big curtain-raising victory:
Manuel Neuer: 7/10
Officially made just one save, but had a clean sheet and his justified protest to the officials after Felix’s volley evaded him into the bottom corner straight after the restart could have been a turning point so early into the second-half.
Had he just shouted angrily at his defenders, rather than claim he was impeded, perhaps they wouldn’t have used VAR review – something that Oblak found out midway through the second 45.
His presence alone appeared to unnerve Yannick Carrasco when the Belgian had a handful of promising openings and as usual, was unafraid to get involved as an auxiliary centre-back when Alaba in particular was being pressed in his own half.
Lucas Hernandez: 7.5/10
Playing against your former club is never easy, but versatile Bayern defender Hernandez acquitted himself well and was actually their best defender here too.
Firm in the tackle, he created a number of half-chances and was more impactful than his defensive teammates – I noticed him far more than the rest across both boxes, and he rarely put a foot wrong.
David Alaba: 7/10
Showed an important turn of pace and spatial awareness to play his way out of trouble at times. Had four clearances, two interceptions and tackles, one key pass and 91.5% total distribution over the 90 minutes.
Crucially remained composed under duress after an early booking for a soft but equally needless foul on Suarez, who could’ve easily got him sent off if he didn’t maintain his discipline and manage the game carefully in central defence.
Niklas Sule: 7/10
Hit the post in the first-half but really should have scored from such close-range, especially unmarked! Was overly aggressive at times when trying to dispossess Suarez and co, but did well for the most part and had cover alongside him whenever he did venture ten yards up the pitch, vacating his position.
No Bayern player had more clearances (5) and with Jerome Boateng again an unused substitute, he’ll be hoping his form can keep the 32-year-old there.
Benjamin Pavard: 7/10
Continually shut down Lodi’s overlapping runs in the second-half before coming off, could’ve had an assist but for Muller’s miscued effort after half-time too.
Replaced for new man Sarr with less than 20 minutes to play, did his reputation no harm with another decent display but had to grow into this game.
Leon Goretzka: 7.5/10
Drove through midfield where possible, didn’t seem like he was doing much defensively but Atletico didn’t willingly attack down his side a lot.
As an opposing player, you’d much rather attack the Pavard-Sule-Kimmich trident than Alaba-Hernandez-Goretzka and it showed here.
He made three clearances, two tackles, one interception, no player retained possession like him (95.7% success) and took his first-half finish beautifully too.
Joshua Kimmich: 8/10
Kept things ticking over as he usually does, but has a consistent knack for making even the most simplistic moves look effortlessly brilliant. Case in point being his sublime assist to tee up Coman’s opener, winning the loose ball in midfield and spraying it into the Frenchman’s path.
Had 100 touches, two key passes (87.2% pass accuracy), a trio of clearances and interceptions to accompany two tackles and was visibly determined to retrieve possession whenever it was lost in midfield. Can’t imagine this team without him.
Corentin Tolisso: 7.5/10
Took his goal well and deserved it in fairness, regularly finding himself in dangerous positions and was fouled a lot for his troubles (four times).
As to be expected, his decision-making left a bit to be desired but he’s not a natural playmaker by trade and instead operated as a box-to-box one here – though Atletico’s midfield wilted so he didn’t really have much defending to do.
Capped a fine display with a fantastic strike, the onus is on him to produce more goals on a semi-regular basis now.
Man of the Match: Kingsley Coman – 9/10
A brace and assist in 73 minutes, he was unfortunate not to get the chance to get a hat-trick but given his grim luck with injuries, Flick saved him with Eintracht Frankfurt in mind on Saturday afternoon.
Kimmich’s pass was brilliant but he still had a lot to do, touching it down perfectly and leaving Trippier in his wake before caressing into the bottom corner. Oblak had no chance with either of his strikes.
Muller fed through an inviting ball as Atleti’s high line was exposed, he waltzed past Felipe twice and remained composed before stroking into the far corner.
Clearly playing with plenty of confidence, his first-half assist for Goretzka was equally impressive. Close-control dribbling saw him skip past a number of challenges in such a tight space, both in-and-around the area.
Although they should have defended the situation better, it was nonetheless a great piece of individual skill and expertly tucked away by Goretzka. Consistency though, is the key for Kingsley.
Robert Lewandowski: 6.5/10
Was understandably frustrated not to have scored, but his hold-up play and ability to involve others in play was key in helping them create their second goal.
He dovetailed well with Coman and Muller where possible, while Atletico defenders made a conscious effort to isolate him – which indirectly helped his attacking teammates have more space and time in possession to good effect.
Thomas Muller: 7/10
He created three big chances so I would’ve normally given the Bayern man a higher rating, but even his in-game reactions told the story – one of frustration as he lost the ball a lot and decision-making wasn’t as incisive as it could have been.
Was booked first-half for a challenge on Trippier, fired wide with an audacious scissor-kick strike and could’ve had more than one goal contribution in truth.
Bouna Sarr: 6.5/10
Some eyebrows were raised when Sarr’s Bayern arrival was made official on deadline day, but it’s clear he will be a much-needed rotational option in a gruelling campaign with matches galore across multiple competitions.
Chris Richards’ development in Bayern’s second team hasn’t gone unnoticed, but a more experienced professional is second-choice for the foreseeable future: Sarr came on and made three clearances in a handy 20-minute cameo.
Douglas Costa, Javi Martinez, Alphonso Davies, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting: N/A
All of Bayern’s substitutes were not on long enough to justify a fair rating.
Costa came on at the same time as Sarr (73′) but only had 12 touches during that time, which speaks volumes – didn’t know he was on the pitch that long.
Jan Oblak: 5/10
The last time Oblak conceded three or more in a game was against Espanyol at the tail end of the 2018-19 campaign and it speaks volumes for one of the world’s best goalkeepers in a game where he couldn’t really have done much to save any of Bayern’s four goals.
He had a right to complain about being unsighted for Tolisso’s brilliant finish, though the thunderous effort saw his frustration ignored by VAR officials who seemingly didn’t check. Even if they did, would he have saved it with full vision?
Commentators questioned whether he’d be pondering his long-term future and given his defensive teammates’ frailties against top opposition, it’s a genuine question expected to receive a definitive answer next year – after all, his release clause is common knowledge and worth thinking about.
Renan Lodi: 6/10
No Atletico player made more tackles (4) than Lodi, who was booked just before half-time but didn’t stop running throughout and caused Pavard some unwanted problems in the second-half with his overlapping runs to the byline.
Despite a better defensive display than most, he also relinquished possession on 18 separate occasions though, and Atletico’s inability to retain the ball was costly.
He made a number of headed clearances and it almost seemed like his head was a magnet to the ball at times, snuffing out crosses with ease in the first-half.
There wasn’t much he could have done differently to prevent any of Bayern’s first three goals, but his role in the fourth sees his rating suffer as a result.
Although he showed great recovery pace to catch Coman on the counter, the Frenchman was simply toying with him and left him embarrassed before completing his brace.
Stefan Savic: 6/10
Savic made six clearances, one block and interception, but like centre-back partner Felipe, was caught out by Bayern’s ruthlessness in transition as they hit four very different goals.
For their first, you could see him visibly trying his best to close down Coman’s shooting angles – Trippier’s task – but he was too late.
Everyone was seemingly retreating for Goretzka’s finish and although he delayed Coman as long as he could, dealing with a tricky attacker like that in the box is always dangerous.
Not one Atletico player emerged with any credit for Bayern’s fourth, while Tolisso’s wonder strike was unexpected to say the least.
Jose Gimenez (muscle) has been sidelined since their UCL QF defeat by RB Leipzig in August and is nearing a comeback. It’ll be interesting to see which of these two centre-backs he does displace, presuming he returns to full fitness soon.
Kieran Trippier: 5.5/10
His passing was safe, didn’t let his head drop despite an ever-increasing scoreline, but his defensive awareness out-of-position was questionable to say the least.
He cost them at least one goal – finding himself in no man’s land for Coman’s first – and was nowhere to be seen for their fourth either, though you could say the same thing with most of his teammates in fairness.
Hector Herrera: 6/10
With three successful dribbles, three defensive interventions and 86.3% pass accuracy, Herrera didn’t appear to have a poor game on paper.
In reality though, he was underwhelming and Simeone’s team selection will be scrutinised in hindsight – why not start Lucas Torreira after his encouraging debut at the weekend?
Could he not have played Koke-Llorente in central midfield and utilised Correa, Lemar or Vitolo on the flanks for additional impetus?
Herrera was pickpocketed by Tolisso in the build-up to Bayern’s second goal and looked rather uncomfortable against the Bavarians, who were keen to pounce just as quickly as their visitors seemed intent on doing early on.
Captain Koke didn’t have a memorable outing here, like most of his teammates. In truth, he was rather anonymous for sustained periods and I expected better, even without Saul Niguez (knock) and alongside a frustrating Herrera in midfield.
It was his low ball, fizzed across the face of goal, that was inches away from an early Suarez opener. Ultimately though, his game was typified near the hour mark: making a succession of interceptions but looking bemused as Bayern retained possession and Atletico’s team shape resembled somewhat of a training exercise.
This was far from a memorable way for Simeone to mark his 100th European appearance as Atletico head coach.
Marcos Llorente: 6.5/10
I’m still not convinced that Llorente is a right-sided winger, so him being deployed there, rather than central midfield, was increasingly baffling as this match wore on.
Herrera didn’t cover himself in glory, Koke was largely pedestrian and it was their auxiliary wide men who made most of the desired impact in Munich.
Although his passing was poor (71.4% success), he was busy and relished the challenge of taking the game to Bayern in the early exchanges, which is why there was such intrigue surrounding this match to begin with.
He won an early corner after dueling with Hernandez, pinched Sule’s attempted pass through midfield and was a pest – pressing high, sniffing out danger well.
Two clearances, interceptions and tackles won. The only issue? It didn’t last. Just like Suarez and others, his head dropped before being hooked after 79 minutes.
Yannick Carrasco: 7/10
Even now, hours after the full-time whistle, I still don’t know how Carrasco missed his second-half chance the way he did.
He lashed at the ball, when he had time and space to pick his spot after Felix’s marauding run – it typified a night that promised plenty but delivered little from Atletico’s perspective.
He gave Bayern’s backline a few problems and kept them honest, both with persistence as well as mazy dribbling. His final ball and decision-making let him down, but that’s to be expected when there’s no runners in support or anyone truly showing for the ball in areas that aren’t going to get intercepted with ease.
While Felix was a bystander off-the-ball, Carrasco constantly tried to affect the game and his efforts were admirable, even if he didn’t always get things right.
Joao Felix: 6.5/10
Frustrating. He scored what could have been an intriguing goal to halve the deficit shortly after the restart, but it was correctly chalked off as Suarez impeded Neuer’s line of sight.
He didn’t impress here but refused to stop trying either, which was both encouraging and equally tough to watch at times.
He had one good marauding run in the second-half which had me questioning where this level of urgency was much earlier, setting up Carrasco who misfired wildly.
His role in Coman’s first goal was infuriating to watch from a defensive standpoint: shying away from a 50/50 challenge with Kimmich, who gratefully gobbled up possession and within seconds, the hosts were celebrating.
He meanwhile, ambled by and that signalled the beginning of the end. Simeone was fuming – they were on top and probably should have been ahead before Bayern broke the deadlock.
Moments like that reinforce the belief that Felix needs to smarten up and improve drastically against tough opposition.
It’s not his fault they paid £113.4m for him last summer, but they did. It’s still early days but that financial outlay hasn’t yet been justified in more than a few encouraging flashes.
Luis Suarez: 6.5/10
Suarez started intently but ultimately petered out before being replaced with little over 15 minutes plus stoppages to play and the result essentially confirmed.
No player was flagged offside more than him (4), appeared to be limping at times and regularly cut a frustrated figure when teammates didn’t provide him with the service he expected as Atletico certainly had their moments.
Then, he crucially snatched at chances himself and didn’t do enough to make Alaba – who he got booked – uncomfortable. Was inches away from breaking the deadlock after just three minutes, but that was as close as he got.
Did well to win early fouls and frustrate the hosts’ defensive rhythm but his head dropped after Coman’s opener and the writing was soon on the wall.
Vitolo, Angel Correa, Lucas Torreira and Thomas Lemar: N/A
All four Atletico substitutes didn’t have ample time to warrant a fair rating, though Torreira was booked for a forceful challenge on Tolisso late on.