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Bundesliga: Paulinho propels Leverkusen into Champions League places
Bundesliga

Bundesliga: Paulinho propels Leverkusen into Champions League places

The Brazilian tops the rankings for this round of Bundesliga fixtures

 
9:00am on Monday 9th March 2020
By
Martin Macdonald
Paulinho
AM (RL) - Leverkusen - 19 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
9.3
Mar 7, 2020

Paulinho was in sensational form for Leverkusen as they moved up to fourth place in the Bundesliga after defeating Frankfurt, scoring two and setting up another.

The assist came first as he exchanged a one-two with Kai Havertz before making his way into the box via the left channel, allowing him to pick out Karim Bellarabi at the back post.

Both his goals came within 10 minutes at the start of the second half. The first was a beauty as he cleverly evaded a couple of challenges before nutmegging Evan N'Dicka just outside the area, with his subsequent finish being lashed across goal into the bottom corner.

For his second, he expertly broke the offside trap around 15 yards out which allowed him to send a cute finish under the oncoming keeper.

He had five touches inside the opposition box, two of which were goals, and misplaced just three passes the whole game.

Serge Gnabry
AM (RL) - Bayern - 24 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
8.7
Mar 8, 2020

Bayern weren't at their slick best in the 2-0 win over Augsburg, but Serge Gnabry still emerged as the best player on the pitch as he continued his brilliant form.

He didn't get on the scoresheet himself, but with the scoreline still nervy for Bayern at 1-0 late on, he set up the second after a cracking move which saw him exchange three passes with Leon Goretzka, who would eventually finish from close range.

He completed 43/55 passes, 34 of which were sent into the final third, while he also enjoyed 12 touches inside the Augsburg box. Both of these were more than anyone in this round of Bundesliga fixtures.

Jérôme Boateng
D (C) - Bayern - 31 yrs
90'
8.5
Mar 8, 2020

Jerome Boateng, too, was key to the Bayern win as it was a lovely pass from the Germany international over the top of the opposition defence which set up the opener for Thomas Muller.

Defensively he was solid also, as he made 10 ball recoveries, one interception, and one clearance as the visitors never showed much going forward.

His passing was the most impressive aspect of his performance, though, as he completed 86/90 balls to team-mates, while enjoying 90 touches of the ball bringing possession out from the back.

Kai Havertz
AM (CR) - Leverkusen - 20 yrs
62'
8.4
Mar 7, 2020

Since the turn of the year, Kai Havertz has been in brilliant form for Leverkusen, and he continued it at the weekend as he was involved in the 4-0 drubbing of Frankfurt.

In the crunch match with a place in the top for on the line for the hosts, he quickly settled the nerves four minutes in by scoring from a couple of yards out after being deployed as a centre-forward.

He would then turn provider for Paulinho's second goal which made it 4-0 with a threaded pass in between the Frankfurt defence.

Despite being constantly surrounded by defenders up top, he managed to complete 33/35 passes.

Thiago Alcântara
DM, M (C) - Bayern - 28 yrs
85'
8.3
Mar 8, 2020

As always, Thiago was Bayern's pass master against Augsburg.

He completed 91/104 passes and had 121 touches of the ball - both of which were more than anyone else this week.

The Spain international was combative in the middle of midfield, too, winning 12/16 duels, and 4/5 aerial duels. He also made a huge 12 ball recoveries which was within the top five biggest tallies of the weekend.

HONOURABLE MENTION

Schalke drew 1-1 with Hoffenheim but would probably have lost if not for the dominating defensive performance of Jean-Clair Todibo (8.3), who won 11/13 duels, 100% of his tackles (5/5), and made seven ball recoveries and nine clearances.

ROUND TO FORGET

Union Berlin goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz (4.8) conceded three against Freiburg, one of which was directly his fault, while he also gave away possession 17 times.

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