Bayern Rout Schalke
From nearly the get go, Bayern utterly dominated this match. Serge Gnabry started the scoring in the 4th minute and never looked back. Goretzka scored the second 15 minutes later and Lewandowski made it 3-0 in the 30th minute. The second half started off similarly with Gnabry scoring within 3 minutes of the restart. 12 minutes later, Sané would set him up for his hat trick. Müller, Sané and Musiala would all add to the tally to finish the scoring at 8-0!
The New Order
It’s safe to say we were all excited by the arrival of Leroy Sane. However, if this game was anything to judge by, I think our collective expectations were incredibly low. The front four of Lewandowski, Müller, Gnabry and Sané looked as if they had played together for decades rather than weeks. The movement between the four of them was impeccable. They seemed to have an innate understanding of where the others were and where to be.
That movement resulted in goals. Lots of goals! And even more opportunities. Sané and Gnabry’s ability to get in behind was on full display. Time after time they torched the Schalke back line and created numerous opportunities. In years past when Lewandowski didn’t have a great game, we always wondered where the production would come from. With these two wingers and Müller in top form, that question no longer appears to need answering. Bayern have a plethora of players who are now capable of stepping up on any given day.
While I don’t think we can expect this type of return every time they step on the field, Schalke were truly horrible, every team in Europe who saw tonight’s display had to feel a little uneasy. The Bayern team who won the treble last season, looks as though it has actually improved. Significantly!
This morning as the news of Thiago’s offical departure was coming in, we learned that Kimmich would take over the Spaniards number 6 leaving behind 32 after five season. To be honest I had mixed emotions about that for various reasons, and still do, but if anything, he looked even better tonight with the new number.
His passing was world class. His assist to Gnabry on the first goal was sensational. His ability to maneuver out of 3 or 4 people with the ball seemingly attached to his foot reminded me of his new number’s predecessor. His positioning was nearly flawless. I said in our season preview that I thought Kimmich could take that next step to becoming one of, if not the best six in the world and if tonight is any indication, that very well could happen by the end of this season.
Onward and Upward?
The focus now will shift to the UEFA Super Cup match with Sevilla on Thursday before facing Hoffenheim 3 days after. It will be interesting to see how Hansi rotates players, if that’s even possible. Hopefully Coman and Alaba will be able to return soon which will help matters but as things stand fatigue and injuries could become a problem sooner rather than later.
However, Bayern have their first chance to pick up silverware this season on Thursday and they will be looking to put the rest of Europe on notice in that match. It’s a European match (of sorts) and fans will be in attendance for the first time in seemingly years. The entire footballing world will be watching and they look primed to make a statement.
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It was a perfect start to the new season, perfect debut of Leroy Sane, and perfect warm up for the UEFA Super Cup. Schalke was bad, and I feed bad for David Wagner, but on the other hand I enjoyed our vertical game a lot. The interchangeability of the 4 attackers were a joy to watch, and Sane is definitely a great addition to the team. I was pleasantly surprised with his form and fitness. Without Davies and Coman he was easily the fastest player on the field, and he tend to position him self very high in half-space, even higher and Lewandowski and Muller, when we started a counter attack. With his ball control, speed and movement we have a quite nice new weapon.
With that being said, I still feel our midfield lack a bit of skilful play. Probably I’m still sad with the departure of Thiago. Kimmich was sublime, but he was given a lot of space, due to Schalke’s bad pressing and positioning game. I would like to see how we cope with ball progression through midfield when Kimmich is heavily marked (Alaba?).
On to the next game.
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