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Sports

Coman's artistry leaves Guardiola seeking long-term answers

With Arjen Robben waiting in the wings, the young Frenchman delivered a super performance, resembling his predecessor on the left-wing. What happens next will be a mini-headache for coach Pep Guardiola.

Wolfsburg 1-3 Bayern Munich

(Schürrle 90' - Costa 14', Müller 20', 33')

Bayern Munich's 3-1 win over Wolfsburg in the second round of the German Cup was so comprehensive that both coaches would have been happy for an early conclusion.

Bayern's hunger for the treble has been apparent this season. Douglas Costa fired the German champions into the lead with a tremendous strike on 14 minutes before Thomas Müller picked up his seemingly customary brace when he pulls on a Bayern shirt.

Arjen Robben returned from injury on Saturday, bolstering Pep Guardiola's speedy attacking options. But the Bayern coach has a dilemma following the prodigious displays of Kingsley Coman. The 19-year-old was involved in two goals on the night as he rounded off one of his best performances since moving to Bayern.

Coman was on the books of Paris Saint-Germain when Bayern Munich monitored his progress through France's youth teams. However, Coman opted for a move to Italian champions Juventus where he would make around 20 appearances in 12 months, including his first Champions League final.

His arrival in Munich was sudden, yet in line with the squad revamp masterminded by Matthias Sammer, the sporting director, and Technical Director Michael Reschke. Veteran members of the squad are slowly heading for the exit, while talents like Coman, Costa and Joschua Kimmich have laid the foundations for the club's long-term future.

Deutschland DFB-Pokal VfL Wolfsburg vs. FC Bayern München

Thomas Müller bagged his 21st German Cup goal in 32 games as Bayern reached the Last 16

Coman inspires Bayern

A technically refined attacker, Coman is blessed with the same speed of thought and confidence as his experienced compatriot Ribery - describing himself at his first press conference, Coman said he was "the player who makes the difference in every minute of the game."

Despite differences in physique and poise, there are similarities with Ribery who has made over 200 appearances for the Bavarians, but hasn't been fully fit since March. Coman likes to hog the touchline, opening room for the attacking full-back or the half-space channels for a midfielder.

If he maneuvers into a yard of space, Coman can quickly process the situation and make a killer pass. He's assisted five in seven games in all competitions and is likely prominent in the second or third pass before a goal. Ribery's hidden genius was similarly important, while his combination play with David Alaba was exceptional.

Coman's immediate understanding of Alaba's movement was very impressive. The 19-year-old limped off with injury on 67 minutes, having played a role in the second and third goals.

Robben received one of the biggest cheers of the evening, yet was acutely aware of the challenge he faces to keep Costa or Coman out of the team. Guardiola will appreciate the array of forward options at his disposal, but selections will prove to be a headache as he looks to find his strongest eleven.

If Coman continues on this trajectory, Sammer and Bayern will be more than happy to shell out the 21 million euro for a permanent transfer at the end of his loan contract in June 2017.

German Cup second round results:

Wolfsburg 0-3 Bayern Munich

Mainz 1-2 1860 Munich

Erzgebirge Aue 1-0 Eintracht Frankfurt

FSV Frankfurt 1-2 Hertha BSC (AET)

Bochum 1-0 Kaiserslautern

Unterhaching 3-0 RB Leipzig

Nürnberg 5-1 Fortuna Düsseldorf

Darmstadt 2-1 Hannover