Created on 18-07-2015 at 15:25 PM by Chris Hamley
FC Bayern obviously feel at home in China, both off the pitch and on it. The men from Munich turned in a convincing display in their first friendly on the Audi Summer Tour, beating FC Valencia 4-1 in front of a 49,000 crowd at Beijing Olympic Stadium on Saturday thanks to a brace from Thomas Müller and second-half strikes by Thiago and Robert Lewandowski. Rodrigo had levelled for the Spanish top flight outfit on 27 minutes.
Juan Bernat started at left back against his former club with David Alaba moving into central defence. Xabi Alonso played in holding midfield, Douglas Costa (left) and Philipp Lahm (right) were the two wing backs and Thomas Müller the target man up front.
A second FCB goal seemed on the cards. A Lahm shot on 17 minutes was blocked, Bernat fired just over the target three minutes later and Thiago hit the post on 24 minutes. But out of the blue, the next goal came at the other end: A cross from Rodrigo de Paul just before the half-hour mark was met by Rodrigo and his close-range header left Sven Ulreich in the Bayern net helpless. First shot on goal for Valencia, first goal and 1-1.
In spite of the equaliser, Bayern remained on top with Costa (33) and Alonso (44) going close to restoring the lead. Valencia also played their part: A counter-attack ended with Santi Mina forcing Ulreich into a save on 37 minutes. But it was the Reds who went into the break the happier of the two teams: Lahm was again the provider as Müller doubled his tally from twelve yards out a minute into injury time to make it 2-1.
Pep Guardiola made just one change at half-time with Tom Starke replacing Ulreich in goal, although there were plenty more substitutions in the second half. But it did not affect the flow of the game. Alaba’s effort from a corner a minute after the restart was saved by Yoel Rodriquez but the Valencia keeper was beaten again shortly after that. Costa broke through down the left flank and Thiago slid in to convert the cross in the six-yard box, making the score 3-1 to FCB on 54 minutes.
Then it was Robert Lewandowski’s turn. The FCB striker came off the bench and a brilliant solo run ended with him curling the ball into the far corner to round off the scoring at 4-1 with 69 minutes on the clock. Gianluca Gaudino (74) and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (76) also went close as Guardiola’s team sewed up a convincing victory.