presented by
Eintracht Frankfurt 0 Bayern 1

Mandzu seals the points for relentless Reds

Bayern made it two wins out of two in the Bundesliga with a narrow but deserved victory in Frankfurt on Saturday afternoon, Mario Mandzukic crowning an irresistible first-half display from the on-fire champions with the opening goal. After half-time, the treble winners were content to keep the lid on the reinvigorated home team and bring home the points.

The 51,500 capacity crowd at the Commerzbank Arena saw Pep Guardiola’s side roar off the blocks and take a 13th-minute lead through Mandzukic. The only possible criticism of a totally dominant first-half display from FCB was the failure to turn utter superiority into more goals, but although the visitors were unable to maintain the ceaseless pressure against a much-improved home team after half-time, Guardiola’s side did more than enough to earn the victory.

The result means Bayern have the maximum return of six points from two matches, and have also equalled the club record of 27 Bundesliga matches without defeat, while scoring at least once in 39 league fixtures in a row.

After checking over his men following the midweek round of internationals, FCB boss Guardiola made just one change to the winning team from the season opener against Gladbach, with Xherdan Shaqiri in for Arjen Robben. All eyes were on the bench of course, where Götze took a seat as a member of the matchday squad for the first time.

The starting line-up comprised Manuel Neuer in goal, with David Alaba, Dante, Jerome Boateng and captain Philipp Lahm in defence, Bastian Schweinsteiger in the holding role, Shaqiri and Franck Ribery out wide, Thomas Müller and Toni Kroos in attacking midfield, and Mandzukic at centre-forward.

Eintracht coach Armin Veh made four changes to the team thrashed 6-1 on opening day, bringing in Anderson and Philippine international Stephan Schröck to stiffen the defence, with Stefan Aigner and Takashi Inui joining veteran Alex Meier in attack.

Once referee Peter Gagelmann whistled play underway on a warm afternoon in Hesse, the match started at a brisk pace and Japan international Inui brought a good save out of Neuer with the first shot of the day, but it was otherwise all Bayern, with Ribery and Shaq causing havoc down the flanks, and Kroos hitting the post with a 12-yard header after just nine minutes.

The treble winners were ahead four minutes later when Müller chipped a lovely cross into the box, Mandzukic spinning acrobatically and blasting a sumptuous volley past Eintracht keeper Kevin Trapp. The home side were barely able to escape Munich’s stranglehold for a spell, before Meier directed a header straight at Neuer, Ribery fired into Trapp’s arms, and Müller miskicked with the goal begging midway through the half.

Dante looked sure to make it two on 33 minutes from a loose ball on the six-yard line, but Trapp pulled off a superb reaction save. The keeper comfortably collected Shaqiri’s low drive, but FCB were a trifle fortunate after 42 minutes when Meier forced the ball over the line from close in, only to be ruled offside on a hairline call. Bastian Oczipka denied Müller with a desperate lunge in the last move before the break, as the sides turned round with FCB a goal up.

Veh’s men came out for the second half with far more energy, but the early chances were Bayern’s and Mandzukic headed wide, before the visitors wrestled the game back under their control with the hour approaching. Thiago replaced Shaqiri after 65 minutes, freeing up Schweinsteiger for a more forward role, before Alaba fizzed a cross-shot just too high as FCB went for the killer second.

Robben took over from Müller for the last 15 minutes, immediately setting up Thiago for a shot straight at Trapp and then netting himself from an offside position, but Eintracht sub Celozzi bounced one just wide of Neuer’s goal and there were a couple of hairy moments in the Bayern box as the home side launched a final assault. That gave FCB space to break and Robben, Lahm and Schweinsteiger all came close, before Rafinha replaced Kroos at the end, and Dante had to hack clear when Frankfurt sub Lakic fired goalwards.

Live match report for by Chris Hamley