Kimmich celebrates scoring his first goal Bundesliga since October 2017 in the Matchday 15 win at Hannover. - © Getty Images
Kimmich celebrates scoring his first goal Bundesliga since October 2017 in the Matchday 15 win at Hannover. - © Getty Images

Joshua Kimmich: Scoring and assisting for Bayern Munich and MD15's Man of the Matchday


Joshua Kimmich was back among the goals on Matchday 15 as he showed how versatility is one of his greatest strengths in Bayern Munich's convincing 4-0 win at Hannover.

What the Chinese call Feng Shui, Bayern coach Niko Kovac can explain with his 23-year-old all-rounder. Kimmich is Kovac's energy to harmonise his individuals and their surrounding environment, and a switch of position here or there merely maximises his effectiveness, as he showed on Saturday.

With one goal and an assist, Kimmich slotted back in at right full-back, and that is where Yin met Yang. "I wasn't out of the position for all that long really," he said. "I've just played three games as a holding midfielder, but today I was back at right full-back, so let's see where I am on Wednesday. But like I've said often enough, I don't mind where I play."

With Thiago Alcantara (l.) back in the team, Joshua Kimmich (r.) reverted to right full-back, from where he scored one and assisted another. - Thomas Starke/gettyimages

His first goal since October 2017 was overdue, but not surprising. "I just had a good feeling before the game," explained Kimmich, who made a bet with Bayern's sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic that he would end his drought. "I told a few of the lads that I'd score today also. I hadn't scored yet this season so it was about time, and fortunately I was able to keep my promise."

For Kovac's Feng Shui to work, Kimmich's energy had to radiate through the team, and his sixth assist of the season to tee up Robert Lewandowski's 10th goal of the campaign confirmed that was the case. "You could see that we were a team out there," Kimmich said. "We were all happily working for each other, especially with the goals. We created numerous chances and, apart from one header, didn't give them a chance at the back."

That was also part of Kimmich's remit and the fact the Bayern defence was not breached for the second game running was another positive sign in view of the nine-point deficit the record champions need to make up on league leaders Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern celebrated their win over Hannover, which kept them nine points adrift of Dortmund - a gap they would like to reduce before the winter break. - Thomas Starke/gettyimages

Bayern's aim over the final week before the winter break is to ensure that does not increase, with Kimmich confident a seventh straight title can still be theirs. "With a deficit of nine points, the door is still a little bit open," he said. "Anything more than nine points would be practically impossible, though.

"I'd still believe we could do it, but if the gap were to grow, it would become unrealistic. If we can cut it, then that would be great."

Bayern host Kimmich's former club RB Leipzig on Wednesday before concluding 2018 with a trip to Kovac's ex-club Eintracht Frankfurt, having seemingly put a rough patch well in their wake and found the right blend of youth – with their youngest starting XI of the season with an average age of 26.7 – and experience after a few months of modifications.

"We had some great players out there, as we always do," Kimmich said. "Kingsley [Coman] is good for us, Serge [Gnabry] is extremely good for us, particularly because he's been on form for weeks now. He's become really effective and either scores or sets one up in nearly every game, just like Kingsley. We might have had a young team out, but there was still plenty of experience in it.

"We did a good job today, but in football you're always judged on your last game. Today we can be in a good mood, let's now see what our mood's like on Wednesday."

With the right Feng Shui, it promises to be a merry Christmas after all for Bayern.