On the plus side for Hamburger SV is that, unlike last season, they actually showed up for the game.
The downside was that they still could find no way of stopping a Bayern side that cruised to a 5-0 opening-night win, despite cruising in third gear for much of the game.
The opening fifteen minutes were largely a case of possession rather than pressure from the Bavarian hosts. Both Xabi Alonso and Jerome Boateng picked up yellow cards following sloppy touches.
New signing Douglas Costa, deployed wide on the left, seemed to smell fear (or at least I hope that was what it was) from HSV fullback Denis Diekmeier and looked to get to the bye-line at every opportunity.
Last season’s fixture saw Hamburg hold out for 21 minutes before conceding. On Friday, they made it to 27 minutes. Alonso’s precise free-kick found the shoulder of Mehdi Benatia, and Bayern took the lead.
Bayern slowly got into their groove and progressed to enjoy 78% ball possession and a passing accuracy of 89%.
Emir Spahic, booked in the first half, was a tad lucky to get away with a nasty-looking boot left in on Robert Lewandowski, but when it all kicked-off there were few Bayern players willing to confront to Bosnian one-to-one. I wonder why?
Talking of Lewandowski, he’s many a pundit’s prediction for Bundesliga leading scorer. The Polish attacker being handed goals on a plate will only help his cause in the matter, which is just what Matthias Ostrzolek did on 53 minutes, gift-wrapping a scoring chance with a pretty bow on top. Help yourself, Herr Lewandowski.
Fair play to Bruno Labbadia for switching to two up front with the introduction of Ivica Olic, but Bayern had, by then, found their groove.
Remember the days when Rene Adler was ahead of Manuel Neuer in many people’s eyes for the number one spot in the German national team? Well, his save from Rafinha on 64 minutes was a real blast from that past.
The Bayern machine then clicked and punished a HSV side allowing them too much time and space. Goals from Müller (two) and then a glorious strike from Costa saw the scoreline jump to 5-0.
So it’s a familiar story then already with Bayern top of the table. Is anyone going to shift them?
For HSV, it’s now two defeats to start the year, and the word ‘crisis’ will no doubt be making more than a few appearances in the coming days.
The Bundesliga is back!
Bayern: Neuer, Lahm (Thiago 72), Boateng, Benatia, Alaba, Alonso (Rafinha 56), Vidal, Costa, Müller, Robben (Götze 65), Lewandowski
Hamburg: Adler, Diekmeier, Djourou, Spahic, Ostrzolek, Ekdal (Olic 61), Jung, Holtby, Gregoritsch, Ilicevic (Diaz 69), Schipplock (Lasogga 69)
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