Bayern Munich Hammer Schalke in Opening Game of the Season

Bayern Munich Schalke
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In Bavaria, the machine at the Allianz Arena keeps on rolling. A few weeks after their Champions League triumph over Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich returned to league action against Schalke.

Some people may have thought that Bayern may suffer a Champions League hangover, just like the one their opponents in the final, PSG, are currently suffering from. However, these doubts were more than wiped away, as Bayern hammered Schalke 8-0.

Bayern Munich Return to League Action With 8-0 Hammering of Schalke

Dominant From the Off

The game’s first shot surprisingly came from the visitors. They worked the ball quickly on the right-wing and forced a save from Manuel Neuer. It was to be their only shot on target the whole game.

Soon after, the Bayern Munich showed Schalke they are champions. In the fourth minute, Joshua Kimmich collected the ball deep off his centre-backs. With no pressure from Schalke, he played it long to Serge Gnabry, who made a run in behind. The former Arsenal forward took it down, shifted the ball onto his left and curled a beautiful shot beyond Ralf Fahrmann. Replacing Thiago will be a hard job for any team in the world, but with Kimmich in their ranks, Bayern may have someone to soften the blow.

The second came from the right-hand side. Again, the ball was well worked to Gnabry, who had plenty of time and space. He delivered a low driven ball in the box, finding Thomas Muller, who laid it off to Leon Goretzka to drive the ball home. Goretzka was not well received by the Bayern faithful at first due to him under-performing. However, you would struggle to find a better box-to-box midfielder in all of world football. He has slowly but surely, became an essential cog in this dominant Bayern team.

After Robert Lewandowski’s penalty, the most shocking thing was that it was only 3-0 in the first half. Bayern should have been at least 6-0 ahead. It was so dominating that even Niklas Sule almost scored from an attack when he hit the post from a run into the box. Even when 3-0 up, Hansi Flick was showing his frustration on the sideline due to his team’s wastefulness. A sign that last season’s treble has been left behind, with him still demanding perfection from his team.

Ruthless Bayern Run Riot in the Second Half

Just like in the first half, Bayern would score soon after the game started. In the 47th minute, they would score their fourth. It came from Bayern playing out of pressure. Benjamin Pavard played it up to Lewandowski, who flicked it onto Leroy Sane’s path. Munich’s new arrival then ran past Schalke’s suicidal high line, and instead of selfishly trying to score, he squared it to Gnabry for his second.

The fifth goal was similar. After Bayern won the ball in midfield, Kimmich played the ball over the top first time to Sane, who again was making a run in behind. Again, he squared it to Gnabry for his hat-trick. If the two German internationals click for Bayern as they do for Germany, no defence in Europe is safe from these two.

Bayern kept the pressure on, preferring to keep their foot on the gas rather than relent and simply keep possession. The sixth goal came was the most spectacular of them all, coming from a good combination play in midfield. Corentin Tolisso, a second half substitute, moved into the 10 position and played the ball through to Lewandowski. Uncharacteristically, the frontman hesitated and got barged off of the ball. However, he recovered brilliantly, audaciously attempting a rabona straight into the path of Thomas Muller. The everlasting German then volleyed it in first time with his left foot. Relentless, ruthless and confident, if ever a goal summed up Bayern it was this one.

With the game dead and buried at 6-0 before the 70th minute, the home side continued to search for more. Leroy Sane and 17-year-old Jamal Musiala rounded off the win, sealing an emphatic opening day victory for Bayern.

Tactical Tweaks From Hansi Flick

It finished 8-0 to Bayern, the same amount they put past Barcelona. Whether it is against another European giant or a Bundesliga team, they will treat both the same and show no relent against them.

There were a few interesting tactical tweaks from Hansi Flick in the game. Goretzka, and not Kimmich, came deep and formed a back three with the other two centre-backs when playing the ball out from the back. Kimmich was positioned slightly ahead of him. This was a tactic to play the ball quickly to Kimmich, who in the turn would play the ball to Bayern’s attack. Whenever Goretzka drifted forward, his midfield counterpart would then drop deep to cover against the counter and act as an option to recycle the ball.

If there were any negatives from an 8-0 victory then it was in the first half, Hansi Flick’s side were exposed at times in their defensive transitions. There was space there for Schalke to exploit, but they could not take advantage at all. Whether this is a structural problem or just Bayern Munich simply not taking Schalke seriously enough remains to be seen.

Schalke’s Woes

This will be a long season for Schalke. It will be a struggle for them to stay in the Bundesliga. Ever since they came back from the COVID-19 enforced break, they have been abysmal. They have played 10 league games, won none of them, drawing two and losing eight. To add to their misery, they have only scored five goals and conceded over 28.

Against Bayern, all their problems were on show. The amount of space in their defence was huge; there was no pressure on Bayern when they were in possession, and they carried no threat going forward. Whether David Wagner keeps his job remains to be seen. If they carry on this form, expect the former Huddersfield Town manager to be looking for a job again.

It seems like nothing is going to stop Bayern Munich from winning their ninth league title in a row. Even with Thiago leaving, with Kimmich slotting into midfield, the blow of the Spaniard leaving is lessened. With Sane now introduced into the starting line-up, Bayern now have the best front line in all of Europe. If people thought this Bayern team was done, they are wrong. They are here to compete and will be favourites to win the Champions League again.

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