On Sunday, Pep Guardiola added his first trophy when Bayern Munich won the four-team Telekom Cup with their win over Borussia Mönchengladbach. On Wednesday the new Bayern coach added another trophy as his team defeated his former Barcelona club 2-0 in the Uli Hoeneß Cup before a packed house at the Allianz Arena.
Bayern hosted a Barcelona squad disrupted by last Friday’s announcement of Coach Tito Vilanova’s resignation due to the recurrence of cancer that had plagued him earlier. Although the Blaugrana have already come up with a replacement in Argentinian Gerardo Martino, the former Newell’s Boys headman. With Martino yet to begin at the club, the Barça squad that faced Bayern was headed by assistant coach Jordi Roura.
Roura put out a starting XI of players who probably won’t be starters come the kickoff of the La Liga season, with the exception of Messi the magician. Although familiar names such as Xavi, Iniesta, Puyols, Busquets and Valdes were among those absent, Roura nevertheless named a talented and experienced squad that kicked off the match for the Catalan team, with players such as former Liverpool destroyer Javier Mascherano, Alex Song, Alexis Sanchez and 37 year-old backup goalkeeper José Manuel Pinto, the longtime Celta Vigo keeper in the starting lineup.
Guardiola opted for a lineup that included neither striker Mario Mandžukić or Claudio Pizarro, to begin the match. He lined up Rafinha, Jerome Boateng, Dante and David Alaba across the back, with Philipp Lahm in central midfield, in what appeared to be a 4-4-1 or 4-3-3 formation. Guardiola has so much talent at his disposal that he seems like a millionaire in a high-end men’s clothing store, knowing that whatever he decides to wear, it will look perfect.
Lionel Messi got the game going early on, when he unleashed a shot at Manuel Neuer’s goal within the first 30 seconds of the match, but his miss and a later inaccurate free kick by the master only emphasized that Barça are behind their German opponents in preseason training and games (this was the Catalan’s first friendly of the summer). But it was Bayern’s showcase, as Toni Kroos, Franck Ribery, Thomas Müller and David Alaba had scoring chances in the game’s first ten minutes. Bayern’s inevitable goal came in the 14th minute, when Lahm knocked in an excellent cross from Ribery.
Despite unable to add any more first-half goals, Guardiola’s squad certainly showed their superiority during the first 45 minutes as Müller ‘s toe-pick attempt in the 22nd minute and Dante’s header from Lahm four minutes later both narrowly missed high over Pinto’s goal.
To begin the second half, Guardiola brought in goalkeeper Tom Starke, midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri and Mandžukić for Neuer, Robben and Müller. His Barcelona counterpart changed over the his entire lineup, bringing in eleven Barcelona youngsters to battle the European champions. While the young Barcelona players demonstrated their tiki-taka expertise and displayed a great deal of energy, they were unable to mount much challenge on the Bayern goal. Guardiola continued to empty his bench as the second half went on, with Pizarro joining Mandžukić in a two-striker attack in the 73rd minute. The outcome was secured with a few minutes remaining in the match, as Diego Contento found Mandžukić from the left and the Croatian netted his third preseason goal to give the blue-clad Bavarians a comprehensive 2-0 win, though without the sheer dominance displayed in the hour-long Telekom Cup matches against HSV and Gladbach.
Bayern meet Borussia Dortmund Saturday in the DFL SuperCup matchup that will be televised in over 145 countries.
FC Bayern: Neuer – Rafinha, Boateng, Dante, Alaba -Thiago – Robben, Lahm, Kroos, Ribery – Müller
Subs: Starke, Van Buyten, Mandžukić , Shaqiri, Pizarro, Kirchhoff, Weiser, Contento, Luiz Gustavo, Schweinsteiger, Hojbjerg, Can.
FC Barcelona: Pinto, Montoya, Sanchez, Messi, Dos Santos, Mascherano, Bartra, Song, Tello, Adriano, Sergi Roberto
Subs: Olazabal, Gomez, Ilie, Jordi Quintilla, Kiko Femenia, Espinosa, Roman, Dani Nieto, Planas, Patric, Samper.
Schalke 2-0 Southampton
The first half of FC Schalke 04’s Villach/Lind Stadium friendly in Austria was naptime for both Schalke goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand and Southampton’s Kelvin Davis, as a match played mostly in midfield created little work for either stopper. Schalke Coach Jens Keller had former Mainz man Adam Szalai in his starting lineup and also gave the starting nod to another of the club’s summer acquisitions, midfielder Leon Goretzka, but there wasn’t a great deal to note in the Royal Blues first half play, with the exception of the green shirts and black shorts that they wore.
The introduction of Dutch master striker Jan-Klaas Huntelaar, along with young former Köln player Christian Clemens, turned Schalke’s fortunes around. The Hunter came close in the 50th minute, jumping high to head a Michel Bastos cross, but Davis was up to the save. In the 58th minute, though, Huntelaar netted on a low, rifled shot to the left side of Southampton’s goal following a drive into the box from Clemens. Another Schalke second half substitute, 21 year-old Cameroonian international Joel Matip, added a second goal for the Royal Blues in the 69th minute when the Saints were unable to clear a Clemens corner, as Schalke rolled to a 2-0 win over their EPL opponents before a crowd of 3000.
Schalke: Hildebrand – Uchida, Ayhan (Matip 46′) , Höwedes (Hoogland 64′), Fuchs – Goretzka, Jones (Neustädter 72′) – Barnetta (Clemens 46′), Draxler (Huntelaar 46′), Bastos (Meyer 64′) – Szalai (Pukki 64′)
Southampton: K. Davis (Gazzaniga 65′) – Chambers (Clyne 65′), Lovren, Hooiveld (Fonte 46′), Shaw – Puncheon, Wanyama (Ward-Prowse 65′), Isgrove (Lallana 46′), S. Davis (Schneiderlin 46′) – Lambert (Mayuka 65′), Rodriguez (Cork 65′)
More Bundesliga News
New Werder Bremen Coach Robin Dutt is off to a slow start as the replacement to longtime Werder Coach Thomas Schaaf. The north German side lost its fourth consecutive test match of the summer Tuesday, falling to 3. Liga side RB Leipzig 2-1. In their three previous matches, Werder had lost by a goal to Ajax, VfL Osnabrück and Zwolle Bremer.
Of course I am not satisfied. We made too many mistakes, especially in aggressiveness. We gave Leipzig too much possession and could not implement our own approach from training. We tried today for the first time to line up individual building blocks. We still have a lot of work ahead of us. RB deserved to win
Twenty year-old striker Niclas Füllkrug scored a 13th minute goal for Werder Bremen Tuesday, assisted by Marko Arnautovic, before RB Leipzig answered in the 45th and 58th minutes. Dutt’s squad will take on another 3. Liga side, RW Erfurt, on Thursday.
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