'It was the first step'
“It was fun to watch,” was sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic’s summary of the match between FC Bayern and SC Freiburg on Saturday. With a final score of 5-0, the record champions registered the biggest win of the current Bundesliga season and their performance reflected the scoreline. “We’re pleased with how it went,” commented Thomas Müller after the final whistle.
The first highlight of the afternoon came before kick-off when new coach Jupp Heynckes and his coaching staff were presented to a jubilant crowd at the Allianz Arena. By this point the first chants of “Jupp” had already been heard. “That was really something special,” said the 72 year-old in recognition of the fans. He was equally pleased with what came afterwards, too.
Tight at the back, effective going forward
“Our positional play was good, we changed tempo well and we passed the ball around well,” analysed the 2013 treble-winning coach. With almost 70% possession and 10 shots on targets to Freiburg’s two, Bayern were the dominant side. An own goal from Julian Schuster on eight minutes and Kingsley Coman’s header shortly before half-time gave them a comfortable lead.
“The good thing is that the team wanted to score again after going 2-0 up,” praised Heynckes. And score they did, with goals from Thiago (63’), Robert Lewandowski (75’) and Joshua Kimmich (90’+3) wrapping up the victory in the second half. The last goal in particular delighted the home crowd and the new coach as Kimmich finished off a wonderful move with a back-heel. “We enjoyed our football today. It was particularly pleasing to see how everyone was there for each other,” said the returning boss. The only downer was the injury to Javi Martínez which cut short his impressive defensive display.
Take into Wednesday
Despite that, the mood among the players and the staff was understandably buoyant after the match. However no one was getting carried away, as Bayern know they have to analyse the win properly. “It wasn’t completely perfect. We still have a few things to iron out but that’s normal in football. We need to make sure we keep our feet on the ground and keep focused on what’s important, namely the next match,” warned captain Müller.
The Reds didn’t have much time to celebrate anyway as they were due in for training on Sunday morning. “It’s a positive start after the last few weeks but we still have a lot of work ahead of us,” added Heynckes. Their next challenge is on Wednesday when they face Celtic in the Champions League.
“The win has given us confidence and we’ll take that into the next game and show the same commitment and concentration. It was only the first step,” declared Salihamidzic, before leaving the Arena in a good mood.