Bayern Burst into the 22/23 Season
Julian Nagelsmann started things off with the lineup we saw most of the preseason. Manuel Neuer was healthy enough to take his place in goal with Benjamin Pavard, Dayot Upamecano, Lucas Hernández and Alphonso Davies in defense. The midfield consisted of Joshua Kimmich, Marcel Sabitzer, Thomas Müller and Jamal Musiala with Serge Gnabry and Sadio Mané making up the attack.
Bayern came out of the gates fast. In the fifth minute, with smoke still clouding the Frankfurt goal, Kimmich hit a direct free kick from the right side to the near post and took Kevin Trapp by complete surprise to put Bayern on the board early and open the Bundesliga scoring for the year 0-1.
Just five minutes after that, Pavard would add a second following a corner that pinged around the box before finding the defender who smashed into the far netting 0-2.
After the second goal, SGE finally seemed to wake up a bit. In the 12th minute they hit the bar following a corner. Just a few minutes later though, Gnabry and Müller would get a breakaway on Trapp however a late pass from Gnabry and some mis-footing from Müller combined with a defender making a last ditch tackle kept the German out of the goal.
That would prove to be little more than a stumble in the end as the goals were inevitable on the night. In the 29th minute Gnabry would find Mané in the box for a header which he put away 0-3. Six minutes after that, Müller would play in a ball to Musiala for an easy tap in goal 0-4.
Just before the end of the half Müller found Gnabry in the box who was able to poke it past Trapp to finish the first half scoring 0-5.
The second half went much more business as usual. Bayern noticeably dropped their levels and Frankfurt gained a bit of control. Frankfurt managed to score in the 64th minute through a mistake by Hernández and Neuer that gave them a free shot on goal 1-5.
However, in the 83rd minute substitute Leroy Sané would play in a beautiful pass to Musiala who took a nice touch and scored his brace to make it 1-6.
Obviously the primary question heading into this season was how Bayern would score goals following the departure of Robert Lewandowski. While it’s still far too early to entirely answer this question, this match certainly gave us our first hint.
While there was no focal point up top as there has been in the past, the players we had worked together seamlessly to find their way past Frankfurts defense. The passing and movement was fantastic. The speed was devastating. The interplay was beautiful to see.
Obviously they’re not going to score 6 goals every match. They will struggle at times without their target man and outlet up front. Still, it’s a good sign that they’re already playing this cohesively.
Another question had been around the midfield, especially with Goretzka out. For the last ten months or so, Kimmich has not played up to the lofty standard that we all have for him. He didn’t play badly, but he wasn’t influencing the match the way he has his entire career.
The preseason didn’t really do anything to allay those fears. However this match certainly should have. Kimmich looked very good today. His passing was in general phenomenal. His goal was opportunistic and very intelligent.
While Kimmich and Sabitzer will have tougher challenges than the one they faced today, Frankfurt were very poor in general, hopefully this will be a catalyst to good solid play from the midfield all year.
Most of all what this match showed me was potential. Yes, Eintracht were less than stellar on the night, but Bayern forced some of that with their play.
The passing and movement worked extremely well. They in general defended good as a team, applying pressure and making well time tackles when need be. Upamecano continued his good run of form making several key tackles.
All of the new signings made their debuts. Mané was the only one to get on the scoreboard but all of them looked reasonably comfortable already, especially given the short time several of them have spent with the club.
Bayern will have nine days till their next match against Wolfsburg at home. It seems unlikely there will be any changes to the lineup with that amount of time and the performance today. If they play anywhere near as well, we could see another big night.