FC Bayern suffered their second defeat within two days in the third-place play-off of the 2017 Audi Cup following their loss to Liverpool last night. In an almost repeat performance of the semi-final, the Reds dominated the play against Napoli but again found themselves behind early on to Kalidou Koulibaly’s goal after a free-kick.
It was deja-vu in the second 45 minutes with the Italian side again hitting the back of the net early on, this time through half-time substitute Emanuele Giaccherini. As always in pre-season, substitutions disrupted the flow of play and prevented any prolonged spells of attack, meaning that Bayern failed to find a way through and ended the tournament goalless.
Debuts for Süle and Rudy in youthful line-up
Carlo Ancelotti made full use of his squad for the second day of this Audi Cup tournament, making a full eleven changes to his starting line-up. Christian Früchtl was once again given a chance in goal during pre-season. In front of him was the untested back-four of captain Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Süle, Lukas Mai and Marco Friedl. Kimmich and Süle were both making their first appearances of the new season following their Confederations Cup triumph with Germany, with Süle also making his Bayern debut.
In midfield, Sebastian Rudy was also handed his FCB debut in a trio alongside Renato Sanches and Arturo Vidal – the Chilean also starting for the first time since the Confed Cup. There was a youthful trio ahead of them in the form of Kingsley Coman, Timothy Tillman and Manuel Wintzheimer. James Rodriguez, Thiago and David Alaba all suffered knocks in yesterday’s defeat, but the remainder of the starting XI from that match were on the bench.
Bayern dominant but suffer again
It was all Bayern in the opening ten minutes of this third-place play-off as chances came and went for Sanches, Coman and then youngster Tillman. However, just like yesterday the Reds were at risk on the break and Jose Callejon was through on goal moments after Tillman’s shot, but he was denied by Früchtl and the ensuing loose ball was quickly cleared to safety. Vidal had an effort saved shortly afterwards, but the Bayern defence was breached before a quarter of an hour when Kalidou Koulibaly tapped home a loose ball inside the FCB penalty area following a free-kick.
Bayern thought they had an equaliser after 20 minutes when Wintzheimer slotted home a tidy effort following Kimmich’s through-ball, but the linesman’s flag was raised with a hint of doubt about the decision. Sanches came closest to an equaliser before half-time when his left-footed effort from just outside the box was deflected narrowly wide, but the German record champions could not find a way through the Italian side’s defence.
Clearer skies but lightning strikes twice
The Reds again dominated the opening stages of the second half and Tillman was the first to test substitute goalkeeper Raffael, but the youngster’s effort was held by the Brazilian. In a sight now all too familiar during this Audi Cup, Bayern again conceded early in the half when substitute Emanuele Giaccherini was allowed space to turn and shoot inside the FCB box to double the Italians’ lead.
Franck Ribery came on with little under half an hour to go looking to add some impetus and guile to the Bayern play, but not even the experienced Frenchman could find a way past the solid Napoli defence and restore some hope for Bayern in the closing stages. Wintzheimer had the last effort of note before the final whistle with his header from Tillman's cross, but it lacked the power to test Raffael.
Bayern begin their 2017/18 campaign proper on Saturday with the traditional season curtain-raising Supercup. The Bundesliga champions are guests at the Signal Iduna Park of DFB Cup winners Borussia Dortmund with the first Klassiker of the season kicking off at 20:30 CEST.
Charlie Mason reporting from the Allianz Arena for fcbayern.com
FC Bayern 0-2 Napoli
Früchtl – Kimmich, Süle (Awoudja 77’), Mai, Friedl – Sanches, Rudy (Fein 77’), Vidal (Tolisso 64’)– Tillman, Coman (Ribery 64’), Wintzheimer (Crnicki 64’)
Ulreich, Hummels, Javi Martinez, Rafinha, Heiland, Müller, Lewandowski
Sepe (Raffael 46’) – Maggio (Hysaj 61’), Maksimovic (Chiriches 61’), Koulibaly, Ghoulam (Mario Rui 46’) – Zielinski (Pavoletti 78’), Diawara (Jorginho 61’), Hamsik (Giaccherini 46’) – Callejon (Allan 61’), Mertens (Milik 78’) – Insigne (Rog 46’)
Reina, Albiol, Tonelli, Ounas
Benjamin Cortus (Germany)
|Goals||0-1 Koulibaly (13'), 0-2 Giaccherini (55')|