Pep Guardiola says he "loves" Joshua Kimmich after he helped keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang quiet in a 0-0 draw between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich on Saturday.
The 21-year-old midfielder was once again chosen by Guardiola to play at the heart of his side's defence, in the ongoing injury-enforced absences of Jerome Boateng, Holger Badstuber and Javi Martinez.
Although he was again tested to the full by a strong Dortmund attack, Guardiola was delighted with how Kimmich coped as an emergency defender and feels he has not looked out of place in his new position.
"I've got to pay Joshua Kimmich a huge compliment," Guardiola said. "He played against some great strikers in the Champions League and now he's done it again against Aubameyang."
Guardiola heaped similar praise on Kimmich after Bayern's 2-2 draw at Juventus in the Champions League, even though he had been at fault for both of Juve's goals and admitted that he had let the team down.
Again on Saturday, he was caught out by Aubameyang's pace in what turned out to be one of Dortmund's best chances of the game, but Guardiola still backed his makeshift defender.
"He's got passion -- he's got absolutely everything," he said. "I love this lad."
After a game in which the two defences ultimately came out on top, Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel also commended his team's defensive performance.
"I'm really pleased with the way my team played," he said. "It's hard to escape a spell of pressure against Bayern in this kind of form, so it was crucial that we were solid at the back.
"The level Bayern play at is extremely high and you've got to defend incredibly well, and I'm now convinced we're going to carry on in the right direction.
"We must not see this 0-0 draw as a disappointment."
Bayern did not see it as a disappointment either, as they maintained a five-point advantage at the top of the Bundesliga with nine games of the season remaining.
"It's a fair draw," said their captain Philipp Lahm on his club's website. "It could have been 2-2 at half-time.
"It was a good, intensive football game that could have ended 2-2, and you could see that we are two top teams.
"There are still nine games to go and it's a long way, but our destiny is in our own hands."