Champions League 2019-20: Bayern Munich 2-0 Olympiacos - 5 Talking Points and Tactical Analysis
#4 Joshua Kimmich runs the show in midfield
For his first game as caretaker manager, Hans-Dieter Flick opted for the midfield duo of Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka, thereby consigning Thiago Alcantara to a spot on the bench. Subsequently, the creative onus fell on Kimmich, considering Goretzka’s propensity to operate as a box-to-box midfielder rather than a deep-lying play-maker. And, it’s fair to say that the former Leipzig star gave a good account of himself.
When Kimmich was signed from Leipzig, he had primarily been deployed as a central midfielder. However, at Bayern, the German functioned as a full back with many earmarking him as Philipp Lahm’s long-term successor.
Recently though, the 24-year-old has switched back to his midfield role and has excelled; a fact emphasised by another splendid display in the centre of the park.
Kimmich orchestrated Bayern’s offensive play and looked extremely accomplished on the ball. He sprayed passes all across the pitch and switched play adroitly too. More vitally though, he found his attackers in space courtesy several perfectly-weighted clipped through balls.
On the defensive front, the German was on hand to deal with whatever Olympiacos threw at him as he mopped up the danger and efficiently recycled the ball.
A season or two ago, a general consensus existed wherein Kimmich was looked upon as a top-notch right-back. And, though he might still be one of the premier full-backs in the world, he is slowly but surely carving a niche for himself as a central midfielder too.