A 35,000 crowd gathered at Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi on Tuesday afternoon, for two main reasons: to cheer on the Indian national team, and to witness the FC Bayern stars at close hand. The spectators were rewarded with a hatful of goals in an entertaining if one-sided match, the highlight of the AUDI Football Summit, in which Bayern warmed up for the Bundesliga restart fixture in ten days’ time with a 4-0 victory over India.
Following a colourful opening ceremony with dancers and spirited violin music, Mario Gomez opened the scoring after 14 minutes. Thomas Müller struck a brace on 29 and 37 minutes, before Bastian Schweinsteiger curled in the best goal of the game from 20 yards two minutes prior to the interval. There were no further goals in an easy-paced second half.
Against a depleted India, who are well outside the top 100 in the FIFA World Ranking, Jupp Heynckes sent out a line-up featuring nearly all his star names. Franck Ribéry, who is suspended for the restart match away to Gladbach, came on after half-time. Daniel van Buyten felt a calf go tight in the warm-up and was replaced at centre-back by Jérôme Boateng, with Rafinha starting at right-back.
In the farewell match for India’s most-capped international and long-serving captain Baichung Buthia, who eventually left the field to tumultuous applause five minutes from time, Bayern showed the same energetic movement and slick passing as in the first three friendly matches of the New Year. The home side put in plenty of effort but were clearly inferior to the Bundesliga outfit in every respect, and posed few problems for the illustrious visitors. Manuel Neuer spent his evening in Delhi virtually as a spectator.
Nine changes in the second half
The hosts won their first corner after 49 minutes, an achievement celebrated riotously by the happy and boisterous fans in the huge bowl of the stadium. The crowd, including an 80-strong travelling knot of FCB diehards, grew by the minute as ticket-holders held up in the chaotic Delhi traffic finally arrived at the ground.
The spectators saw a much-revised Munich line-up after half-time: Ribéry, David Alaba, Luiz Gustavo, Ivica Olic and Breno took to the field, and were later joined by Takashi Usami, Nils Petersen, Diego Contento and Danijel Pranjic. The visitors now eased back and were a trifle careless with the chances they did create. India upped their game and made sporadic inroads into the FCB half of the field, without creating a genuine chance worthy of the name
Back in Munich in the early hours
After the final whistle, the Bayern stars briefly warmed down on the pitch, before returning directly to the team hotel, not even pausing at the stadium to shower. Lahm and Co packed their bags, freshened up and enjoyed a snack, before transferring to the airport for the 1.35 am Lufthansa charter flight back to Munich. The FCB party is scheduled to land in the early hours of the central European morning.
|India - Bayern Munich 0-4 (H-T: 0-4)|
|Bayern Munich||Neuer - Rafinha (Pranjic 61), Boateng (Breno 46), Badstuber (Luiz Gustavo 46), Lahm (Contento 61) - Tymoshchuk (Alaba 46), Schweinsteiger - Robben (Usami 61), Müller (Olic 46), Kroos (Ribéry 46) - Gomez (Petersen 61)|
|Substitutes:||Butt, Van Buyten|
|Referee:||Santosh Kumar (India)|
|Goals:||0-1 Gomez (14), 0-2 Müller (29), 0-3 Müller (37), 0-4 Schweinsteiger (43)|