Bayern brush Billygoats aside with solid display at the RheinEnergie

Week six of the Bundesliga campaign would see Bayern travel north-west to take on 1. FC Köln, last year’s champions of the second division. The team known as Die Geißböcke or “Billygoats” had been among Bayern’s rivals in the early 1980s, and while the intensity may have waned over the years with the decline of the Rhineland outfit here would still be a classic “old school” feel about this meeting at a packed RheinEnergieStadion.

Bayern’s starting lineup would see the welcome return of Dutch winger Arjen Robben, while Brazilian Rafinha and Juan Bernat would replace Dante and Sebastian Rode from the team that had beaten Paderborn 4-0 in midweek as the coach switched back to the three-man defensive line.

Bayern would start aggressively, and from the start would take the game to a Köln defence that had only conceded one goal in their previous five league outings. It would a case of when rather than if for the first real opportunity to come, and just short of the twenty minute mark Mario Götze would notch up his fourth goal of the season with a coolly-executed right-footed finish. Köln’s Daniel Halfar would be robbed by Rafinha and Robben would flick the ball delightfully into the box to Thomas Müller, whose unselfish square ball would leave Götze with plenty of time to pick his spot with ‘keeper Timo Horn completely stranded.

The goal would see the visitors up the ante, but once again they would let themselves down in the final third. There would be chances for Müller, Robben and David Alaba to put the game out of sight before half-time, but as the two teams went into the break Peter Stöger’s side would just about be in the contest. It could have been even better for Köln were it not for Manuel Neuer, who made a superb save to deny Adam Matuschyk before pulling off an even better one to keep out Anthony Ujah on the rebound.

The second half would see more of the same, as the home side sought to stem wave after wave of Bayern attacks. For all of the chances the visitors would double the lead due to a defensive blunder after sixty-six minutes, with the unfortunate Halfar poking the ball into his own net under pressure from Alaba. The Köln team would protest the decision claiming a push by the Austrian, but with replays showing Halfar stumbling under his own weight the referee’s decision would be the correct one.

Now safe with their two goal lead, Guardiola’s side would easily see the rest of the game out, securing yet another three points and extending their lead at the top of the Bundesliga table. Bayern would be far from their clinical best and would clearly have plenty left in the tank, but against opposition that had created few chances there would be little need to press any harder, particularly with a potentially testing trip to Moscow in midweek.

By the end of the weekend’s fixtures Die Roten would be out in front with fourteen points from their six games played, two ahead of Borussia Mönchengladbach.

1. Bundesliga, Week 6
RheinEnergieStadion, Köln, 27.09.2014

1. FC Köln 0:2 (0:1) FC Bayern
– / Götze 19., Halfar og 66.

Köln: Horn – Brecko (c), Maroh, Wimmer, Hector – Lehmann – Matuschyk, Gerhardt (59. Risse) – Olkowski, Halfar (76. Vogt) – Ujah (88. Finne)

FC Bayern: Neuer – Rafinha, Boateng (55. Dante), Alaba – Lahm (c), Bernat – Alonso – Robben (76. Shaqiri), Götze – Müller (55. Benatia) – Lewandowski

Yellow Cards: – / –

Originally published on the website of the Red Dragons London, the United Kingdom’s premier FC Bayern München fan club.

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London-based but with his heart firmly in Fröttmaning, Rick Joshua's love of German football goes back more than thirty years and has witnessed everything from the pain of Spain '82 and the glory of Italia '90 to the sheer desolation of Euro 2000. This has all been encapsulated in the encyclopaedic Schwarz und Weiß website and blog, which at some three hundred or so pages is still not complete. Should you wish to disturb him, you can get in touch with Rick on Twitter @fussballchef. This carries a double meaning, as he can prepare a mean Obazda too.

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