Manuel Neuer got a day off this weekend, and backup keeper Lukas Raeder made a tiny claim to get some outfield time by dishing this dime to Mario Mandzukic in Bayern Munich’s 2-0 win over Eintracht Braunschweig.
The goal sealed Bayern’s win in the 86th minute, and how much love do you want to give the long pass? It’s minimal loft, unexpected to the defense, provides the deadly Mandzukic just enough time to burn forward before nutmegging (!) the keeper.
It’s a beaut, and worth watching several times over.
Also, their ability to substitute star for star rarely ceases to amaze me. In this match, Mandzukic was a late sub for Arjen Robben and Thomas Muller came on for Franck Ribery. Defenders must love switching up their mental and physical style in the 73rd minutes. “Oh look, they’re taking off Robben and Ribery. Sweet… nevermind.”
Two minutes later, the 0-0 deadlock was broken by Claudio Pizarro. His goal was okay, too, and gave him a goal against every Bundesliga club:
Now it’s on to Real Madrid and the UEFA Champions League semifinals.