Created on 12-09-2015 at 17:20 PM by Chris Hamley
Bayern go into their midweek Champions League group stage opener away to Olympiacos on the back of a win, but Saturday’s 2-1 success against Bavarian neighbours FC Augsburg was hard-fought to say the least as Pep Guardiola’s men came from behind and scored in the last minute to continue their perfect start to the 2015/16 Bundesliga campaign.
The 75,000 capacity crowd at the Allianz Arena saw the champions control the play for the whole of the first half but fall behind to Alexander Esswein’s opportunistic strike two minutes from the break. New signing Kingsley Coman made his FCB debut as a 56th-minute sub and Robert Lewandowski finally crowned an intense spell of Bayern pressure with the 77th-minute equaliser, before Thomas Müller netted a 90th-minute penalty to secure the points.
The result sees the Reds keep pace with Dortmund at the top of the standings as both teams have the maximum 12 points, with Wolfsburg four points back in third. Following the European trip to Piraeus on Wednesday, the Bavarians are back in domestic league action away to minnows Darmstadt on Saturday.
Javi and Kingsley on the bench
Following the two-week break for internationals, Guardiola made two changes to the team that impressively beat Bayer Leverkusen last time out. Arjen Robben was ruled out with injury and Juan Bernat dropped to the bench, with Jérôme Boateng returning from suspension and Rafinha back in the line-up.
On the bench, Javi Martínez made a first squad appearance of term and took a seat alongside new signing Kingsley Coman. Mario Götze was a late withdrawal due to a minor sprain and, with an eye on the clash in Piraeus, was rested for the weekend.
The champions lined up with Manual Neuer in goal behind a back four of Rafinha, Jerome Boateng, Xabi Alonso and David Alaba, with captain Philipp in the holding role. Arturo Vidal, Thiago, Müller, Douglas Costa and Lewandowski formed the potent attacking unit.
Behind at the break
After referee Knut Kircher whistled play underway on a fine early autumn afternoon in Munich, Markus Weinzierl’s visitors initially saw plenty of the ball but Guardiola’s men made the first chance when Müller only just failed to connect with Lewandowski’s flicked header.
The men in red assumed control and camped out around their opponents’ box after a quarter-hour, Costa shooting just wide, FCA keeper Marwin Hitz making a superb reaction save from Thiago’s header, and Alaba’s 25th-minute free-kick hitting the defensive wall.
Both the Austrian and Lahm frequently got in behind the visitors’ defence only to find no takers for their cut-backs, with Müller and Lewandowski both crowded out while shaping to shoot and Costa’s driven cross evading friend and foe alike. It was frustrating for the Reds and matters were made worse when Esswein cracked home Augsburg’s only real chance of the half to hand his side a barely deserved half-time lead.
FCB emerged for the second half determined to right the wrong and Alaba fired the first chance over the bar before Hitz saved a one-on-one from Lewandowski after the Pole cunningly spun off his marker. Thiago got underneath a bouncing ball eight yards out and his effort ballooned into the crowd, before Coman made his Bayern debut in place of Vidal after 56 minutes and made an immediate impact with a couple of pacy darts.
The pressure became relentless around the hour mark but the equaliser refused to come, Hitz fisting Alonso’s free-kick away to safety, Dominik Kohr deflecting Costa’s cross inches wide of his own goal, Thiago blasting too high, and Hitz again saving from Lewandowski.
The FCA keeper clutched Coman’s angled effort as Munich urgently pressed, but it took until the 77th minute for Lewandowski to force home from a couple of yards after Hitz could only parry Müller’s close-range drive. The men in red pressed for a late winner and the shots continued to rain in, but Lewandowski struck the side netting. However, the late drama unfolded with three minutes to go when Mr Kircher pointed to the spot after Costa fell under a challenge from former FCB man Markus Feulner. Müller stepped up and sealed three hard-won points from the ensuing penalty.
Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley