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Left-wing revolution

Ribéry and Contento’s partnership blossoms

On 41 minutes in the Bundesliga restart match, Diego Contento arrowed a pinpoint pass into space. Franck Ribéry collected the ball and hared to the byline, before cutting back for Contento, who unleashed a first-time effort from the left channel. Only a sharp reaction save by Wolfsburg keeper Diego Benaglio prevented a first successful co-production from Bayern’s new left-wing partnership.

Contento, a 20-year-old drawn from the club’s junior team youth section, fills the defensive role. Ribéry, the world-class France star, is responsible for the attacking impulse. Louis van Gaal has settled on this pairing for his team’s left flank, and the decision has paid off in the first two games of the season. Against Germania Windeck in the cup, Contento laid on the opening goal, with Ribéry scoring the second in Bayern’s 4-0 win. Ribéry supplied the cross for the last-gasp winner against the Wolves.

Ribéry impressed

“I have a good feeling about Diego,” Ribéry commented afterwards. Following spells playing in front of Philipp Lahm, Marcell Jansen, Holger Badstuber, Danijel Pranjic and Edson Braafheid, Contento is the sixth man to try his luck as Ribery’s left-sided partner. “He’s a good player, quick and great on the ball. He has the necessary quality,” the Frenchman enthused, although he had a word of warning too: “It's not easy for him.”