Just under three weeks ahead of the first competitive match of the new season, the DFB Cup first round trip to Jahn Regensburg, Bayern are feeling their way to ever-improving form. Kaiserslautern, still a Bundesliga side last season, provided Wednesday evening’s friendly opposition, but FCB registered a deserved 3-2 victory and have now won seven of their eight warm-up matches to date.
The 25,873 crowd at Fritz-Walter-Stadion saw a lively contest played at a good tempo in the first half, during which Thomas Müller handed Munich a 23rd-minute lead, but Florian Dick levelled ten minutes before the break. Munich picked up the pace again in the last quarter of the match and Emre Can (68) and Xherdan Shaqiri (86) restored the advantage, Itay Schechter grabbing what proved only a consolation for FCK with a minute to play.
“That was a good test against highly-motivated opponents. All in all it was very positive, and it was definitely worth us fixing up this game,” commented Jupp Heynckes afterwards. Just as for Tuesday evening’s Paulaner Cup des Südens in Ingolstadt, the coach ordered Bastian Schweinsteiger and Claudio Pizarro to remain in Munich and work on fitness basics. David Alaba and Rafinha are still unavailable with injury, and both Franck Ribéry and Diego Contento were rested to avoid aggravating knocks.
Even so, the customary 4-2-3-1 starting line-up favoured by Heynckes was packed with star names, with Manuel Neuer keeping goal behind a back four of Philipp Lahm, Daniel van Buyten, Holger Badstuber and Luiz Gustavo. Anatoliy Tymoshchuk and Toni Kroos lined up in defensive midfield, with Arjen Robben, Müller and Xherdan Shaqiri forming an offensive trident behind striker Mario Gomez.
FCB fast off the blocks
Despite heatwave temperatures, Bayern opened at a good pace and put the home side under pressure from the off. After just three minutes Gomez warmed Tobias Sippel’s gloves from close range, but the FCK keeper pulled off a great reflex save to prevent his side falling behind. Sippel also twice thwarted Robben, but the shot-stopper needed the help of the post to keep out a 20-yard Gomez thunderbolt.
Lautern, who open their second division campaign at home to Union Berlin next Monday, created their first chance on 13 minutes when Albert Bunjaku let fly from the edge of the box, but Neuer threw out a foot to make a fabulous save. The Germany man had less difficulty dealing with Idrissou’s hopeful 20-yard effort on 20 minutes.
Müller opens, Dick replies
Bayern were rewarded for their accurate and zippy play with the opening goal after 23 minutes. Gomez was unable to connect with Robben’s centre, but Müller was well-positioned to net from close range. FCB were easily on top after that, but a momentary lapse saw Heynckes’ side concede an equaliser when Dick’s 35th-minute free-kick evaded all and sundry.
The sides turned round with the scores level, but the men from Munich remained in control after the restart. Dick foiled Gomez with a late lunge, before Robben and Kroos whistled shots just wide of the target. Robben then saw his direct free-kick on the hour well saved by Lautern back-up keeper David Hohs.
Can and Shaq on target
The home side only rarely posed any kind of threat in the second half, largely due to FCK boss Franco Foda making a raft of changes to his team at the break and during the second period. Itay Schechter brought Neuer into the action with a quarter of an hour to play, but FCB were already 2-1 up at this point, as substitute Can had combined superbly with Müller to restore Munich’s lead after 68 minutes.
As the match entered its closing stages, Shaqiri put away an excellent interchange between Mandzukic and Lahm to make the score 3-1, with Schechters drawing cheers from the home crowd with a second for his own side a minute from time. “We’re getting better. We’re taking a big step every week,“ summarised Robben after the final whistle.
|FC Kaiserslautern - Bayern Munich 2-3 (H-T: 1-1)|
|FC Kaiserslautern||Sippel (Hohs 46) – Dick (Orban 71), Simunek (Yahia 46), Heintz (Wooten 86), Jessen (Bugera 75) – Vermouth (Fortounis 61), Alushi (Hajri 71), Borysiuk (Linsmayer 57), Zuck (Derstroff 46) - Bunjaku (Schechter 46), Idrissou (Micanski 46)|
|Bayern Munich||Neuer - Lahm, Van Buyten (46. Boateng), Badstuber (Dante 73), Luiz Gustavo – Tymoshchuk (Can 59), Kroos – Robben (Weiser 81), Müller, Shaqiri (Schöpf 87) - Gomez (Mandzukic 59)|
|Goals:||0-1 Müller (23), 1-1 Dick (35), 1-2 Can (68), 1-3 Shaqiri (86), 2-3 Schechter (89)|