FC Bayern lost an Audi Cup match for the first time since 2011 as an energetic Liverpool side put two past the three-time winners at the Allianz Arena. Knowing that the winner would compete for the title against Atletico Madrid tomorrow after their 2-1 win over Napoli in the first semi-final, Bayern started the game on the front foot but were quickly behind after a sucker-punch from Saido Mane on the counter.
The Reds found themselves 2-0 down before the break after Mo Salah headed home into an open net, but despite FCB’s best efforts they could not find a way through the Liverpool defence as the Merseyside club capitalised on a number of Bayern errors. Daniel Sturridge wrapped the game up in the closing minutes with a lob over Sven Ulreich.
Home debuts for James and Tolisso
Carlo Ancelotti named an almost full-strength side for Bayern’s penultimate warm-up match before the season officially gets underway on Saturday in the Supercup against Borussia Dortmund. Manuel Neuer is still a number of days away from full fitness so Sven Ulreich occupied the position between the posts. In front of him was the familiar defensive line-up of Rafinha, Martinez, Hummels and Alaba.
The Allianz Arena crowd was given the chance to see two new signings from the start in this semi-final. Corentin Tolisso made his first appearance at the home of the German record champions. James Rodriguez has played here before for Real Madrid, but this was the first chance for the FC Bayern faithful to see him in the flesh in the red of the Bundesliga champions. The was the familiar trio of captain Thomas Müller, Franck Ribery and Robert Lewandowski alongside the Colombian.
Bayern controlling, Liverpool clinical
The opening five minutes of the game were entirely dominated by Bayern with Liverpool hardly having a touch or getting out of their half just as the heavens opened above the Allianz Arena with lightning flashing overhead. However, the English side were ahead after just seven minutes when Roberto Firmino intercepted a Tolisso pass and played in Saido Mane, who was able to beat Ulreich one-on-one. Jürgen Klopp’s side were happy to play on the counter in Munich and came close to a second minutes later when Mo Salah latched onto Alberto Moreno’s ball across the box, but Ulreich was equal to it at his near post.
Bayern were doing most of the running and seeing most of the ball, but it was still Liverpool with the better of the chances. Whilst Loris Karius remained untroubled at one end with a number of shots of target, Ulreich was again in action before the half-hour mark with a strong hand to deny a Moreno free-kick. Liverpool did double their lead not long after Moreno’s cross following Mane’s flick could only be parried by Ulreich and left for Salah’s to head home. It remained 2-0 to the side from Merseyside as the teams went in for the break.
Bayern huff and puff, Liverpool blow the house down
Liverpool thought they had the chance to score seven minutes into the half once again after the break, but Mo Salah’s effort was saved by Ulreich. It would not have counted anyway though with the Egypt international flagged offside by the linesman. Clear-cut chances remained at a premium but Daniel Sturridge had Bayern hearts in mouths just seconds after coming on. The England international raced clear down the left and looked to go across Ulreich with his shot, which only narrowly went wide of the far post.
Liverpool did have the ball in the back of the net on 70 minutes when substitutes Ryan Kent and Marko Grujic combined down the left, but the goal was ruled out for offside by referee Hartmann. Bayern came close to getting one back with ten minutes remaining as Arturo Vidal’s long-range effort deflected narrowly behind off a Liverpool hand. FCB were awarded a free-kick for that, but Lewandowski’s effort clipped the top of the wall. The ensuing corner was played quickly into Thomas Müller, who quickly played it onto Mats Hummels inside the box, but the centre-back couldn’t direct his efforts towards goal. Liverpool did have a third immediately after that when Sturridge beat the offside trap to run through and chip the ball over Ulreich.
Bayern will contest their final pre-season game tomorrow in the third-place play-off against Napoli (kick-off 17:45 CEST).
Charlie Mason reporting from the Allianz Arena for fcbayern.com
FC Bayern 0-3 Liverpool
Ulreich – Rafinha, Martinez, Hummels, Alaba (Friedl 79’) – Tolisso (Vidal 72’), Thiago (Sanches 21’) – Müller, James (Coman 62’), Ribery - Lewandowski
Früchtl, Süle, Cmicki, Rudy, Kimmich, Tillman, Mai, Awoudja, Wintzheimer, Heiland
Karius – Alexander-Arnold (Flanagan 79’), Lovren, Matip (Klavan 67’), Moreno – Henderson (Grujic 67’), Can (Wijnaldum 46’) – Mane (Lallana 46’), Coutinho (Woodburn 79’), Salah (Sturridge 67’; Solanke 86’)) – Firmino (Kent 67’)
Mignolet, Ward, Robertson, Solanke, Ejaria
Robert Hartmann (Germany)
|Goals||0-1 Mane (7'), 0-2 Salah (34'), 0-3 Sturridge (83')|