Bayern Munich stormed past Tottenham Hotspur with ease on Tuesday night in their Champions League encounter, with Serge Gnabry the man to take all the plaudits for his impressive performance against the Premier League outfit.
A former Arsenal man, the Germany international managed to put four past Hugo Lloris as he helped to turn north London into (German) red for the night with his emphatic contribution in the 7-2 victory on English soil (Sky Sports).
Whilst there is no doubt that the 24-year-old deserved the plaudits he would have likely earned from all corners of the global media, he was not the only player to have performed exceptionally on the night at a packed out Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Of course, Joshua Kimmich scored a well-taken goal from outside the penalty box to get the Bavarians back into the game, whilst Robert Lewandowski also had an immense amount of success when in the 18-yard box as he played a blinder for the visitors with his two goals.
Corentin Tolisso was, perhaps, another individual that could have earned a slice of the praise from onlookers with his two assists (although he did make an error that led to Heung-min Son’s opener), but there was one individual who may have gone unnoticed by some for his performance.
Thiago Alcantara may have only been on the pitch for the second half (having replaced David Alaba), but his introduction into the game changed things for Niko Kovac’s side and for the better.
The Spain international’s entrance meant Kimmich would drop back into the right-back spot, allowing the 28-year-old to take control of the midfield area and help Bayern to tighten up and make life even more difficult for Spurs’ counterparts to operate effectively.
Indeed, Thiago managed to get himself in the act of contributing with the goals as he provided the assist for Gnabry’s hat-trick, though it was his defensive quality that should have been highlighted as an area for praise.
The ex-Barcelona midfielder managed to make three interceptions and provide his team with one clearance as they looked to keep Tottenham at bay. His ability on the ball looked second to none as well, despite only being on the field for 45 minutes.
According to WhoScored, he made one key pass, completed five of his eight attempted long balls and had a total pass success rate of 88.4% on the night.
English media outlets The Mirror and 90min.com appeared to gloss over Thiago’s involvement in the game, as they gave him a player rating of just six and seven respectively, although they failed to mention anything about his display.
However, perhaps, Bavarian Football Works said it best when they stated the Bayern midfield was ‘one-man’ and the Spaniard showed exactly why, before stating that he might just be one of the most important members of Die Roten’s side.
They wrote: “Kimmich and Tolisso were woefully unprepared for the trio of Harry Winks, Tanguy Ndombélé, and Moussa Sissoko put out by Pochettino. The duo was ruthlessly bullied in all aspects by the Londoners, and that was the main reason for Tottenham’s strong performance in the first half. Once Thiago came on, things immediately changed for the better. Bayern settled down, began to play around the Spurs’ press, and eventually the goals started flowing.
“If there was ever any doubt as to how valuable Thiago is to this team, let this game serve as a reminder. Only Robert Lewandowski can claim to be more important than the Spaniard, and even then it’s pretty close.”
Indeed, that’s a pretty big shout by the fansite for the £63m-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt). However, he appeared to show just how vital he was for the Bundesliga outfit on Tuesday, and perhaps they have a point.
Bayern fans, what did you make of Thiago’s performance? Let us know what you think by sharing them in the comments below!
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