Strength in depth
Wed, 20/09/17, 12:14
Rotation pays off for Reds
Five games, four wins. Bayern can be pleased with their start to the Bundesliga season so far. Coach Carlo Ancelotti called on the full depth of his squad for the latest three points, making six changes from the side that beat Mainz at the weekend. The rotation had no negative effects whatsoever on the outcome of the match, though.
“The rotation was important, we brought in fresh players,” explained Ancelotti. A quick look at the statistics shows that the Italian’s instinct was right. With 68% possession and a pass completion rate of 91%, Bayern earned a deserved 3-0 away win at Schalke.
Debut goal for James
“Our quality wasn’t any lower. When we’re playing every three days, the players need a bit of a rest occasionally. That gives others the chance to play and show what they’re capable of,” said Robert Lewandowski in agreement with his coach. It was a convincing performance from the Reds who had virtually complete control of the match.
From this strong team performance, it was James Rodriguez who stood out. The Colombian played a part in all three goals and proved to be a real asset in attack all evening. It was his cross that was handled by Naldo to give Lewandowski the chance to make it 1-0 from the penalty spot on 25 minutes. Four minutes later James scored himself – his first goal in an FCB shirt. The attacker kept his cool in front of goal as he wrong-footed Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann and beat him at his near post.
More to come
In the second half, the 26 year-old set up Arturo Vidal with a perfect ball to make it 3-0 in the 75th minute. “He gives us a different option in attack,” praised Lewandowski. Sebastian Rudy was also encouraged by James’ performance: “It’s enjoyable to play with him. He always wants the ball, he loves the game and always offers himself up. Having players like him makes us a better team.” Ancelotti was also pleased: “He played well. He worked hard for the team and combined well with the others.”
“You feel relieved when you score your first goal. I always want to help the team by scoring and setting up goals,” said the man of the match himself. “I feel good but I still think I have a way to go. That will come gradually with each game,” added James. Bayern fans can therefore look forward to more great performances from their team – maybe even on Friday against Wolfsburg.