#3 Is Joshua Kimmich the best central midfielder in the world?
What an absolutely glorious player Joshua Kimmich is.
Despite his obvious talent, this claim would have been, perhaps, a tad too ambitious a year ago. On current form though, there can be a compelling argument made for the German international to be crowned as the best central midfielder in Europe.
The 25-year-old was at the heart of Bayern Munich's 2019/20 campaign and featured in a staggering 51 matches for the treble winners, playing just over 4,300 minutes across all competitions. He hasn't put a foot wrong — be it in midfield or as a right-back — and has been an infallible figure for Hansi Flick's men.
Tonight was no different as the German was the orchestrator for another stunning win to add to Bayern Munich's growing collection. Kimmich completed more passes (78) and touches (99) than anyone bar Lucas Hernandez, and made more crosses (six) and long balls (seven out of seven) than any player on the pitch. But the crowning moment of his game came just before the half-hour mark.
Kimmich picked up the ball in front of the Atletico box and bypassed their famed defensive unit to find Coman with a simply sublime ball, who in turn converted to give his side the lead. This combination has proved lethal in the past as it was the former Leipzig man who delivered the all-important assist in the UCL final as well. In all senses of the word, his energy and determination is the true embodiment of this unstoppable Bavarian juggernaut.
Bayern Munich have made some extremely impressive signings in their history, but Kimmich's purchase for £7.6m has to rank as one of their best since the turn of the century, if not beyond.
#2 Another big UCL game, another disappointing result: Time for a change at Atletico?
Atletico Madrid's rise to the upper echelons of European football over the last decade or so has been nothing short of remarkable.
Diego Simeone has guided Los Rojiblancos to two UEFA Champions League finals and past a catalogue of stunning opponents, such as Barcelona, Jose Mourinho's Chelsea, and several others. However, they did so carrying the tag of the stubborn, inspiring underdogs, which they no longer are.
The former LaLiga Santander champions have invested a staggering amount of money into their squad, including a club-record fee of €126m for star man Joao Felix. In truth, Atletico Madrid boast a great deal of quality, credentials, and resources to compete with some of the best sides in Europe. Yet, manager Diego Simeone opts for his dogged style 'underdog' brand of football, attempting to soak up the pressure and hit teams on the counter. There's no Plan B, no innovation, and most importantly, no evolution.
Simply put, Atletico could very well choose to play an expansive, attacking style of football to grab fixtures by the scruff of the neck and establish their dominance with the players available to their disposal. Regardless of whether or not Simeone is capable of doing so, it's becoming ever so clear that a change of philosophy is needed. If it wasn't evident after losing to knockout debutants RB Leipzig last year, it has become all the more apparent after an embarrassing 4-0 thrashing tonight.
They were once fabled for their defensive rigidity and as a unit that can shut out even the most feared attacks in the world, but they were ripped to shreds by the champions.
#1 King-sley Coman at it once again
The 2019/20 UCL final, played just under two months ago, was expected to be a goal-fest with two fo the most in-form teams in the world competing for glory. However, in a fascinating tactical battle, it was Kingsley Coman who rose highest to give his side the all-important winner off the bench.
At the Allianz Arena, the French winger was absolutely merciless against Atletico Madrid. The 24-year-old put the two-time UCL finalists to the sword and terrorised Diego Simeone's rugged outfit. Coman's first goal had more to do with one of the most exquisite passes on the night from Joshua Kimmich, who carved the defence open to find him. However, the touch from the Frenchman to set up the strike was superb.
The second goal, however, was nothing short of sensational. Coman undid Atletico's defence with a mazy solo run to beat Felipe and co., switched the ball from his right to his left and back again, before coolly slotting past a helpless Jan Oblak. He even ended the night with a creative assist for Bayern's second when he cut the ball back to find Goretzka at the edge of the 18-yard-box.
Coman has faced a host of unfortunate injuries throughout his career at Bayern and elsewhere, but today was a rather incredible reminder to the world about his undeniable talent on the pitch. A devastatingly good display from the French star.