Sat, 19/08/23, 01:35
Kane's perfect start provides brilliant boost
He was completely exhausted, but his post-match smile told its own story. Harry Kane had satisfaction written all over his face after the final whistle as he walked from the dugout towards the centre circle to celebrate the away win with his team-mates.
FC Bayern posted a deserved 4-0 victory in their Bundesliga opener at Werder Bremen. Kane contributed an assist, a goal and an enormous amount of effort - it was a dream debut for our big-name newcomer. And it was emblematic of an highly successful evening for the entire team.
Full focus from the off
"I'm thrilled. Of course I was a bit nervous with the new surroundings and the new club. But once I was on the pitch, instinct took over and I'm happy we got a good result," Kane declared.
The 30-year-old striker loosed off six shots, three of them on target, in 83 minutes on the field. He was - like FCB from front to back - fully focused from the kick-off, completely engaged and always dangerous.
Kane's match intelligence was on display for all to see. Again and again, he moved to the wings, opening up crucial spaces, which Jamal Musiala, Leroy Sané or Kingsley Coman were able to use. This was matched by the positive body language, which always seemed to say: I'm working for you and am always up ahead when you need me.
The assist for Leroy Sané's 4th-minute opener was a a real treat for all Bayern fans, before Kane himself scored the ultimately decisive 74th-minute second with his coolness in front of goal.
The way Bayern performed was exactly the desired reaction following the Supercup defeat to RB Leipzig. That's how Kane also saw it: "It was a good step forward from the Leipzig game. We had a few chances in the first half and could have wrapped it up earlier. But we also defended better and we're very happy with a clean sheet."
That was also what coach Thomas Tuchel liked best on Friday evening, as he admitted. He was also in raptures over Kane's performance. "The assist was great, the goal was a classic. He takes his time and hits it where he wants it to go. He is absolutely top, as a person, his presence, how he trains and of course his quality. He delivered an assist and scored - long may it continue."
A real team
The last observation certainly also applied to FCB's entire performance, which was to say the least accomplished. Jamal Musiala kept turning up the heat, Alphonso Davies made good runs down the left, Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sané were a constant threat, Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich moved forward dangerously, while Minjae Kim, on his Bundesliga debut, together with Dayot Upamecano, were rock-solid at the back. And Noussair Mazraoui's attacking instincts were unmistakable. Last but not least, the substitutions provided energy and drive in the closing stages.
68 per cent possession, 673 to 243 passes and 25 attempts on goal to Bremen's six - from Bayern's point of view, a dominant display was duly reflected in the statistics. "Overall, it was a textbook team performance with consistently high concentration and energy, also from the bench. There were many good things and it was a deserved victory," Tuchel summed up. Goalkeeper Sven Ulreich added: "We delivered what we set out to do."
In the end, the most memorable thing about this Bundesliga opener was Kane's satisfied expression. But the proof that the team worked as a unit, and that the players were there for each other at all times is just as important going into next week, which concludes with the home fixture against FC Augsburg.
The victory in Bremen was a good first step on the way to what all Bayern fans hope will be a successful season.
Reaction to the victory away to Werder Bremen: