Successful debut for Goretzka - trio on song
Leon Goretzka could hardly have made a better start. In the south Germany clash against VfB Stuttgart, the FC Bayern new signing was in the starting line-up for his debut. After full-time at the sold-out Mercedes Benz Arena, there was not only a richly deserved 3-0 victory for the record champions but also an absolutely successful start for Goretzka: One goal, one assist as well as the most shots on goal of all the players on the pitch (five).
"Of course, I'm happy but I'm even more happy about our performance today," said the delighted 23-year-old midfielder after the final whistle. "I can only complement the team. I really feel at home and have had a great reception. That's what you need to produce performances on the pitch and I think that's what I've shown today."
Bayern coach Niko Kovac opted for an attacking line-up against a Stuttgart side focused on defence. Thiago replaced Javi Martinez in holding midfield in front of the back four with Goretzka playing alongside Thomas Müller further up the pitch. Franck Ribéry, playing his 250th Bundesliga game, and Arjen Robben were on the wings with Robert Lewandowski as a lone striker. A formation that paid dividends.
"It makes you feel happy"
The trio of Goretzka -- Müller -- Lewandowski worked brilliantly together and all played a role in the three goals. With the opening goal, Goretzka received the ball from Müller before slotting it into the bottom corner of the Stuttgart net, and with the second he skillfully picked out Lewandowski. And the last goal by Müller saw an assist run Lewandowski with a backheel, "I really liked that," said Goretzka who started the attack.
"It's brilliantwhen we can play together like that in the final third and to have so many involved in a goal. It makes you feel happy," said Müller but he also pointed out the game was not as easy as the result might suggest. "It was clear to us we wouldn't get that many clear-cut chances. We needed to be patient particularly in the first 30 minutes. We stuck to our task and were livelier after the first goal and we were on top from the first the last minute."
Kovac was also "very happy" with the performance of his team after the fourth win in four games. "It was a great performance by my team. We maintained concentration over the full 90 minutes as I wanted. If we are absolutely focused then it will be difficult for any opponent," said the 46-year-old and commented on maintaining the position at the top of the table: "I'd like us to break away as soon as possible. Even if a lot of other people take a different view."