When you see it from the angle shown on the live coverage, you don’t really understand where Joshua Kimmich comes from.

The build-up is neat, and you can see that: Leroy Sane receiving a standard Kimmich pass out wide, immediately upping the pace as he cuts inside, skinning Gabriel Martinelli on the outside. You can see Sane squaring up Takehiro Tomiyasu and lifting a ball across the face of the goal that David Raya claws at. You can see Raphael Guerreiro, given way too much room by Ben White, take a touch to take it out of his feet and swings in an interesting looking ball… and the next thing you see is a flash of red and white, and Kimmich absolutely thundering a header into the far top corner.

You already know how important the goal is: it took Bayern Munich into the 2023-24 UEFA Champions League semifinals, the goal that dumped Arsenal out of Europe. You’ve also already seen just how emphatic a finish it was, the purity of the connection, the wow-factor of a header thumping into goal with that force. But it’s when you turn the angle a bit, look at it from a bird’s eye point of view that you truly appreciate the genius of Kimmich.

Before that pass to Sane, you can see him drive inside, shape to pass to Harry Kane down the inside left… those two movements combine to pull the Arsenal shape within itself, giving Sane the space he needs.

Once he’s made the pass to Sane, you can see him jog along, arcing away from goal, seemingly a harmless piece on the chess board. When Sane lifts the ball, Kimmich arcs back, innocuously entering the box along its top corner.

By now all of Arsenal’s players on that side have been attracted to Sane’s movement and are consequently closer to the six-yard box than they are to the edge of the box. And even as Martinelli jogs back up to recover defensive shape (with Tomiyasu remaining on Sane), Kimmich remains in the blind spot. When Guerreiro has the ball, all eyes are on him, including the three Arsenal players on that left-side of theirs – Martinelli, Tomiyasu, and Declan Rice.

Up until the point Guerreiro looks up to pass, Kimmich has made no sudden movements, drawn absolutely no attention to himself. He might as well not be there. The moment Guerreiro’s left foot connects with the ball, though, Kimmich is off — and by the time the trio have registered this movement, it’s too late. All three of them may be faster than him, stronger than him, taller than him, but how do you stop someone you didn’t know was there? He steals a yard over the shoulder of Martinelli, dives onto the ball… and BAM!

What makes it even more special is that it was a hugely important goal on a personal level as well. After the game, Kimmich would tell Sky Germany that the goal had felt really good. “I had to hear a lot last year, got very little support,” he said. “In the end, it once again proves that hard work pays off.”

With Bayern suffering their worst season domestically in over a decade (that still involves being second in the Bundesliga, by the way), Kimmich had been one of those who’d borne the brunt of criticism over the past few months. Initially playing in central midfield fans had called for his head, asking their club to drop him, to move him on. Midfield was the position that he’d always wanted to play, but it wasn’t working for him at either club or country.

So both teams moved him back to right back, Bayern in late February, Germany in the last international break in March… and it clicked again. A few games in, he was already dictating games from that right back position, locking down the opposition (like he sealed Arsenal’s left flank over both ties), and generally being the absolute best right back in the world.

Now he’s got a tangible reward, a first Champions League non-penalty goal since Oct 2020 (against Lokomotiv Moscow) and the winner in a tight, tight semifinal where his team had been considered big underdogs. So, for the personal redemptive arc, for the pure in-game intelligence, for the belligerence of the finish, Joshua Kimmich takes our Moment of the Mid-Week.