Mane, de Ligt & Co. make their mark on debuts vs. DC United
It was the debut many imagine in a Bayern shirt as Sadio Mane started the first friendly of pre-season against DC United and didn’t take long to show fans what they can look forward to. The Senegalese forward found the back of the net after just five minutes from the penalty spot to put FCB ahead. The 30-year-old then teed up Serge Gnabry to make it 3-0 before the break.
Praise from Nagelsmann
But he wasn’t the only happy debutant in Washington. Coach Julian Nagelsmann changed the whole team for the second half, with the newest recruit, Matthijs de Ligt, also getting his first runout in Bayern colours. The Dutchman only penned a contract till 2027 two days ago, but he’s taken no time at all to settle. We were barely 100 seconds into the second 45 minutes when de Ligt got on the scoresheet with a lovely left-footed volley to make it 4-0.
“Both players have made a good start,” Nagelsmann said in praise of his two new signings. But while the 34-year-old had expected Mane’s good attacking performance, he was more impressed with de Ligt’s strike. “Matthijs scored a brilliant goal with his left foot. I saw his impressive passing with his left foot in training today, and now this brilliant finish as well.” Despite the strong start, the Dutch defender had to go off after 25 minutes. However, Nagelsmann stressed that this was nothing to worry about and stated the long travelling as the main reason. “He’s not got an injury, nothing unusual happened. I think he’ll be fit again tomorrow and will be able to play on Saturday.” That’s when Bayern take on Manchester City in Green Bay.
Mazraoui and Gravenberch also impress
Among the goals from Mane and de Ligt, the head coach didn’t want to miss out on mentioning that two other new signings also had good debuts in Ryan Gravenberch and Noussair Mazraoui. “Both have done really well, especially in training,” Nagelsmann enthused and highlighted Gravenberch’s assist for Thomas Müller to make it 6-2 at the end. “The final ball from Ryan was brilliant. He’s big but he’s very quick on his feet. He played a great pass to Thomas.”
Nagelsmann particularly liked Mazraoui’s “strong positional play” in his 45 minutes on the pitch in the first half. “I’m happy with both and hope that’ll also be the case in the future,” the coach added. The performances of all Bayern’s new signings in Washington promise a lot going forward.
Read about the victory over DC United here: