Created on 2019-08-17 at 11:25 AM
The floodlights were on, the national anthem had been sung and 75,000 fans turned the sold-out Allianz Arena into a madhouse. Bundesliga season number 57 kicked off on Friday night with the clash between FC Bayern and Hertha Berlin and everything was set up for a perfect start. The Reds played some good football but were unable to achieve the desired result. "That was the worst combination a football game can have. We were superior to the opposition in all areas," said Thomas Müller in summing up the 2-2 draw with the team from the capital.
Bayern forced Hertha back towards their own penalty area for most of the game and had 71 per cent possession with a shots on goal return of 17 to 6 demonstrating FCB's superiority. "The dominance we showed in the game was definitely what we intended. If you play like that then you most probably win nine out of ten games against Hertha – it was a tough game today," added Müller.
Lewandowski in the record books again
The opening goal from Robert Lewandowski on 24 minutes was the logical consequence of the an initial attacks and resulted from a great move by Bayern. The Poland international netted the first goal of the season to set up a new record: Lewandowski has scored on the first matchday for the last five seasons and that is unequalled in the Bundesliga. However, Hertha hit back twice within 177 seconds through Dodi Lukebakio (36') and Marko Grujic (38') to turn the game on its head before the half-time break. "We pulled ourselves together in the dressing room and then really came out fighting," said Niklas Süle.
Bayern penned the visitors back in their own half and deservedly levelled the scores from the penalty spot through Lewandowski on the hour mark. After that, "it was all one-way traffic," declared Hasan Salihamidzic but the ball failed to find the back of the net. "Of course, we also know we should have scored one or two more goals given this dominance and superiority," declared a disappointed Thomas Müller.
Huge anticipation for the new season
"It's right that the final pass was missing from time to time," admitted Salihamidzic. But he did not see this as a major problem. "It's normal at the start when the runs aren't right or perhaps there is a lack of cohesion," added the 42-year-old. "Everybody's feeling their way into the new season on the first matchday so it's not really a problem," said Karl-Heinz Rummenigge unconcerned by the draw.
"At the end of the day, we played well. We created a relatively high number of chances," said the chairman in praising the performance of his team. Obviously, Bayern were disappointed with the result but the approach taken by Niko Kovac's team "increases the desire for more," according to the assessment of Salihamidzic.
FCB are next in action at Schalke on Saturday night with Kovac having the option of using new signing Ivan Perisic who was suspended for the Hertha match. In addition, other transfers could strengthen the team as announced after the game against Hertha Berlin. A similar performance against the Royal Blues to the one on the first matchday should bring the first win of the league campaign – and then the season can really take off.