Bayern Munich head coach Pep Guardiola singled out youngster Joshua Kimmich for praise after he kept Javier Hernandez and Stefan Kiessling quiet in the 0-0 draw at Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.
The 20-year-old midfielder, making only his fifth Bundesliga start of the season, had to fill in at centre-back alongside Holger Badstuber for the second straight game due to Jerome Boateng’s injury absence.
The pair battled the Leverkusen duo, who have scored 17 Bundesliga goals between them this season, with Guardiola hailing Kimmich’s performance after the match.
The Manchester City-bound coach was also happy to see Bayern improve in the second half after admitting they had fallen short of their usual standards early on.
“Kimmich turned in an exceptional display in central defence,” Guardiola told the club’s official website.
“Kiessling and Chicharito didn’t have any chances. He did very well, a huge compliment!”
On his team’s performance, Guardiola added: “In the first half we had a few problems passing the ball three, four or five times in a row.
“We did a good job after the break. We were more consistent in the second half.”
The result keeps leaders Bayern eight points clear of Borussia Dortmund after Thomas Tuchel’s men also had to settle for a goalless draw in their game at Hertha Berlin.
But Badstuber left the match rueing the fact his team had not taken all three points and extended their lead at the top of the table.
“It wasn’t easy,” said the defender. “It was an intense and aggressive match. There were many fouls, many interruptions.
“But overall we had the better chances. If we had made better use of them we would have left the pitch as winners. We could have taken three big points here.”
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