4 Bayern Stars Feature in Bundesliga Team of the Week
Round 10 of the Bundesliga was a disappointment for many of Germany's top teams. Draws for Frankfurt and Dortmund and a loss for Schalke resulted in a great opportunity for Bayern Munich to extend their lead at the top of the table. And extend they did.
The German record champions rebounded from the previous week's loss to Leverkusen with a dazzling display in Hamburg, dominating their hosts over the 90 minutes and earning an emphatic 3-0 win. There were many exceptional performances among the Bavarians' ranks, and accordingly, Bayern are heavily represented in Round 10's Bundesliga Team of the Week.
Read on to see who fits into the team's 3-3-2-2 formation.
Goalkeeper: Tim Wiese
Hoffenheim snapped a four-game winless streak on Saturday as they earned a last-gasp win over high-flying Schalke. And the best player on the pitch that day was goalkeeper Tim Wiese.
The ex-Werder Bremen man had to weather a storm as the visitors attacked relentlessly, bombarding his goal time and time again. He was unlucky to concede twice, particularly in the case of Schalke's second, but Wiese's brilliant saves will be remembered.
Most notably, the German international did very well to stop Jermaine Jones in the first half, and he later denied Jefferson Farfan and Ibrahim Afellay on two occasions each.
Right-Back: Daniel Carvajal
He may be inconsistent, but when he is at his best, Carvajal is a great asset for Leverkusen. The Spaniard was at his best on Sunday, as die Werkself edged Duesseldorf in a five-goal thriller.
Carvajal was strong in defense and became increasingly influential in the second half. He assisted Gonzalo Castro's critical strike that made the score 3-1, and nearly added a fourth of his own later on.
Centre-Back: Mario Eggimann
The struggles of many of the higher-ranked teams in Bundesliga Matchday 10 gave Hannover the chance to close the gap to a top-four spot. They did just that in a 2-0 win over Augsburg, which came with many thanks to Eggimann.
The Switzerland international was the Bundesliga's best centre-back over the weekend: He was rock-solid in the air and on the ground, winning the ball time and time again. Accordingly, FCA striker Torsten Oehrl left the pitch extremely frustrated.
Left-Back: David Alaba
Reinstated in the Bayern lineup as a left-back for the first time since returning from a foot injury, Alaba reminded the Munich faithful of just how great an asset he is.
The Austrian international was one of many Bayern stars to shine in their 3-0 win against Hamburg; he kept Heung-Min Son quiet on his flank and bombed forward to support Franck Ribery in the attack.
Central Midfielder: Bastian Schweinsteiger
Bastian Schweinsteiger has had a renaissance this season, and that continued in Saturday's rout of Hamburg. The 28-year-old nodded home Bayern's opener, but his effect was most felt in midfield, where he was utterly dominant.
Schweinsteiger distributed the ball with ease and won nearly every 50-50 ball. The fact that he did so against a strong Hamburg midfield containing the likes of Milan Badelj and Rafael van der Vaart makes his feat all the more impressive.
Central Midfielder: Toni Kroos
With Bayern comfortably dominating the midfield game, Kroos was able to play more skillfully than he has done in his usual box-to-box role. He was the most advanced Bayern player in the 40th minute, as he latched onto Thomas Mueller's headed pass before playing a precise cross to assist Schweinsteiger's opener.
Kroos combined with his teammates to set up a number of other good chances, and he finally got his name on the scoresheet as he fired an unstoppable left-footed finish past Rene Adler.
Central Midfielder: Aaron Hunt
Bremen continued their ascent up the Bundesliga table on Sunday, reaching seventh place following a 2-1 win against Mainz.
Hunt was the match winner on the day, freely bombarding the opposing goal with several well-taken efforts. The 26-year-old found the net with an early opener, and after Mainz equalized, sealed the victory shortly before full time.
Attacking Midfielder: Lars Stindl
Stindl is the second of three Hannover stars who feature in Team of the Week. While Eggimann was a stalwart in defense, Hannover needed goals to claim three points, and Stindl provided just what Mirko Slomka's side needed.
The 24-year-old linked brilliantly with striker Mame Biram Diouf throughout the match and found the Senegalese international for Hannover's opener. Later on, Diouf returned the favor as he set up Stindl for a goal that clinched three points for the Lower Saxony side.
Attacking Midfielder: Thomas Mueller
As always, Mueller was at his best when it mattered most. The 23-year-old's inspired header ultimately led to Schweinsteiger's opener against Hamburg, and the German international effectively ended the match shortly after halftime as he produced the most delicate of finishes from a tight angle.
Mueller's inspired form over the first 50 minutes meant that Bayern could more or less cruise to victory, avoiding the inevitable fatigue that could harm Schalke and Dortmund's Champions League ambitions in the coming week.
Striker: Kevin Volland
While Wiese was the man of the match in Hoffenheim's win over Schalke, the goalkeeper needed support from his outfielders to ensure victory. And as has been the case multiple times this season, that support came from Kevin Volland.
The 20-year-old put in a yeoman's effort, covering nearly every blade of grass. And accordingly, he showed up all over the pitch. Volland netted the opener and helped restore his side's lead as he won a penalty that Roberto Firmino converted to make it 2-1.
Striker: Mame Biram Diouf
As excellent as Stindl's performance was against Augsburg, Diouf matched the winger's performance and more. The Senegal striker was man of the match as he scored Hannover's opener within a half hour and helped end any chance Augsburg had of drawing level as he assisted Lars Stindl's late second goal.
To distill his performance to two moments would do a disservice to Diouf, who should be credited for being far more than simply a poacher. The ex-Manchester United man's movement was exemplary: He dropped deep and moved to the wing to hold up the ball and brilliantly found his supporting cast from the midfield as they streaked forward.