5 special Bundesliga opening games for Bayern
The 59th Bundesliga season opens with Borussia Mönchengladbach against FC Bayern on Friday. An official opening game was introduced in the German top flight in the summer of 2002 and is in its 20th edition this year. The record champions Bayern have taken part 13 times so far, almost always with the perfect start, with 11 wins and two draws. *fcbayern.com*looks back at some special opening games involving FCB.
2003: Successful premiere for Bayern
FC Bayern made their first appearance in the official Bundesliga opening game at the start of the 2003/04 season - the only time at the Olympic Stadium in Munich. The reigning champions had an ideal start against Eintracht Frankfurt, leading 3-0 at half-time after goals from Zé Roberto (16'), Hasan Salihamidžić (20') and Claudio Pizarro (42'). After the break, the visitors only managed a consolation goal from Ervin Skela (68').
2005: Reunion with Élber in first Bundesliga game at Allianz Arena
The opening game of the 2005/06 season was also the first Bundesliga game at the newly opened Allianz Arena. It was also a reunion with a good old friend as Bayern legend Giovane Élber made his debut for new club Mönchengladbach, against his former side, in his first competitive game after his return to Germany from Lyon. But his old teammates showed little consideration for the Brazilian as goals from Owen Hargreaves (28') and two from Roy Makaay (86', 89') made sure of a 3-0 win for FCB. It remained exciting until the closing stages as Bayern had to play with 10 men for a long time after Valerien Ismael's red card in the 42nd minute.
2013: Two penalties for penalty in Gladbach rematch
Bayern's opening opponents in 2013 were again Borussia Mönchengladbach. New FCB coach Pep Guardiola's Bundesliga debut was a lively affair. After two early Bayern goals by Arjen Robben (12') and Mario Mandžukić (16'), the home side were 2-0 in front before an own goal by Dante (41') opened up the game again. This was followed by a penalty - with a bizarre turn of events: after a handball by Álvaro Domínguez in the penalty area, Thomas Müller (68') initially missed the penalty, saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the Gladbach goal. But Bayern immediately got the ball back and Domínguez was again penalised for using his hand. David Alaba (69') made no mistake this time, though.
2016: Alonso's stunner in opening rout
The 2016/17 season began with a true Bayern exhibition. In the first Bundesliga appearance for new coach Carlo Ancelotti, the Munich team got off to a dream start against Werder Bremen - with a stunning goal from Xabi Alonso after only nine minutes as the Spaniard shot from a good 20 yards into the corner after poor defending. Shortly afterwards, the outstanding Robert Lewandowski scored the first of his three goals (13', 46', 77') that evening, while Philipp Lahm (66') and Franck Ribéry (73') were also on the scoresheet for the vastly superior hosts. FCB equalled the record set for the biggest victory on the first matchday by Kickers Offenbach, who won 6-0 against Bayern in summer 1974.
2020: Record eight-goal madness
Newly crowned Champions League winners Bayern opened the season against Schalke in September 2020 in stunning style with an 8-0 rout. Serge Gnabry (4', 47', 59'), Leon Goretzka (19'), Lewandowski (31'), Müller (69'), Leroy Sané (71') and Jamal Musiala (81') scored the goals against the Royal Blues as Bayern became the first team in Bundesliga history to score eight goals on the first matchday. It also means it's the biggest opening win of all time in the German top flight. And there was another record as Lewandowski, who shone with a fantastic rabona assist that evening, scored for the sixth year in a row on the first matchday and extended the record he'd set the year before.
Here are more facts and figures about the opening game in Mönchengladbach: