FC Bayern fell 3-2 to FC Köln in the first pre-season friendly of the 2021/22 season. Armindo Sieb handed Bayern an early lead, but Jan Thielmann and Mark Uth turned the tide for the Rhineland side, Joshua Zirkzee levelling the scores in a lively first half. Uth rounded off a brace and the final scoreline after half-time. In the context of the match, Bayern, partner Telekom and Saturday's opponents Köln donated €100,000 for the victims of the flood disaster in Germany.
With many players still on holiday after the Euros, new boss Julian Nagelsmann handed playing time to a clutch of youngsters. The Bavarians started with Sven Ulreich in goal and Chris Richards, Dayot Upamecano, Josip Stanišić and Omar Richards in a back four. Torben Rhein and Taylor Booth featured in a twin holding role behind Sieb, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Christopher Scott, with Zirkzee up front. Nagelsmann comprehensively shuffled his deck at half-time.
Level at half-time
Five minutes had been played when Köln were unorganised following a corner, Sieb making the most of it and firing home from 15 yards. Omar Richards saw an effort blocked before the Billy Goats enjoyed a spell in command, Uth drawing a strong save from Ulreich, who was powerless to prevent Thielmann's equaliser one minute later.
Uth artistically put Köln in front following a cross, but Bayern bounced back after the half-hour, Zirkzee rounding off fine interplay when he tapped home a Booth square.
Uth seals win for Köln
Uth miscued from 18 yards early after the restart, Michaël Cuisance curling just wide at the other end, but Uth rounded off his brace when he headed in from close range. Lucas Copado saw a shot blocked before Köln's Sebastian Andersson headed wide. Keeper Ron-Thorben Hoffmann shone with fine saves against Köln's Tim Lemperle and Kingsley Schindler, but Bayern upped the ante in the closing stages. Copado saw an effort deflected wide, Tanguy Nianzou heading over, but another goal refused to come.
The Reds next face Ajax in the Audi Football Summit at the Allianz Arena next Saturday.
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Ulreich (Hoffmann 46) – Stanisic (Sarr 46), Upamecano (Nianzou 46), C. Richards (Lawrence 46), O. Richards (Vita 46) – Rhein, Booth (Cuisance 46) – Sieb, Scott (Mosandl 28), Choupo-Moting (Tillman 46) – Zirkzee (Copado 46)
T. Horn - Ehizibue (Andersson 60), Meré (Schmitz 46), Czichos (Schindler 60), Katterbach (Kastrop 46) - Özcan (Wydra 60), Hector (Skhiri 67) - Kainz (Ljubicic 60), Uth (Hübers 60), Thielmann (Ostrak 60) - Modeste (Lemperle 46)
1-0 Sieb (6), 1-1 Thielmann (20), 1-2 Uth (27), 2-2 Zirkzee (34), 2-3 Uth (56)
Sarr / Schmitz