Created on 14-08-2015 at 22:20 PM by Chris Hamley
Champions Bayern impressively began their quest for a fourth straight title triumph with a wholly deserved and highly convincing 5-0 thrashing of outclassed Hamburg in Friday evening’s official opening match of the 2015/16 Bundesliga season.
The 75,000 capacity crowd at the Allianz Arena saw Pep Guardiola’s men patiently pick away at their deep-lying opponents and take a 27th-minute lead through Mehdi Benatia. Robert Lewandowski doubled the lead eight minutes after the restart, before Thomas Müller banished any lingering doubts with the third from Douglas Costa’s brilliant build-up play, the Germany international promptly adding a fourth with quarter of an hour still to go. Summer signing Costa added a final flourish with his maiden German top flight strike to complete the rout before the end.
The Bavarians will be looking to build on their winning start to the new domestic campaign, are back in action on Saturday 22 August with the trip to TSG Hoffenheim on Bundesliga Matchday 2.
Strong starting line-up
Guardiola made five changes to the team that beat FC Nöttingen in the DFB Cup last weekend with Manuel Neuer, Benatia, Xabi Alonso, Müller and Arjen Robben taking over from Sven Ulreich, Rafinha, Joshua Kimmich, Juan Bernat and Mario Götze. These five began on the bench alongside Thiago, who only resumed training after in midweek after a stomach upset, and Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg.
Bayern’s starting line-up for the first match of the new league campaign comprised Neuer in goal, David Alaba, Benatia, Jerome Boateng and captain Philipp Lahm in defence, Alonso anchoring the midfield, and a potent attacking force of Robben, Arturo Vidal, Müller, Costa and Robert Lewandowski.
Off the mark through Mehdi
After a brief but colourful ceremony to mark the start of the 53rd Bundesliga season, referee Bastian Dankert whistled play underway – and the first chance fell to underdogs Hamburg, although Lewis Holtby’s shot barely had the power to warm Neuer’s gloves.
The Reds replied with Robben’s flicked header and Lewandowski’s effort onto the roof of the net, but it took until the 27th minute before Benatia opened Bayern’s account for the campaign with his second league goal for the club, a firm header from Alonso’s teasing free-kick.
FCB turned the screw with Müller just off target and HSV keeper Rene Adler turning aside Boateng’s piledriver, but the visitors tackled hard and there was some typically early-season wayward passing, so Guardiola’s men were restricted to Alaba’s fizzing drive before half-time.
Reds coast to victory
Adler was in action again at the start of the second half, punching away Alaba’s curling free-kick, but the keeper was powerless to prevent Lewandowski making it two on 53 minutes after Matthias Ostrzolek’s weak clearing header under pressure from Müller.
Rafinha and Götze now replaced Alonso and Robben, before Adler denied Rafinha and the Reds had a very convincing shout for a penalty waved aside when Johan Djourou appeared to handle the loose ball. The third goal was not long in the coming, and it was a beauty when it did: Costa showed stunning pace to prevent the ball going out before whipping in a deadly cross, met on the full at the near post by the stooping Müller after 69 minutes.
Hamburg were reeling and the punishment continued four minutes later when Müller ran onto Lewandowski’s neat reverse pass and skipped past Adler before firing home the fourth from a narrow angle. FCB were not done yet as Alaba drew a good save from Adler, before Costa iced the cake with a fulminating drive to make it five in the 87th minute on a night where the better team registered an utterly deserved victory.
Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley