Bay­ern sends a mes­sage in de­but

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

JOSHUA Kim­mich grabbed a sec­ond­half dou­ble and birthday boy Thomas Mueller was on tar­get as Bay­ern Mu­nich ham­mered the Rus­sian side Ros­tov 5-0 in the Champions League on Septem­ber 13.

It was an omi­nous warn­ing of in­tent from the Ger­mans in their Group D opener, af­ter pro­lific Robert Le­wandowski scored mid­way through the first half from the penalty spot be­fore Mueller dou­bled the lead in the sec­ond minute of firsthalf in­jury time.

Kim­mich grabbed a sim­ple third soon af­ter the break fol­low­ing fine work from Dou­glas Costa, and then the im­pres­sive mid­fielder headed home to make it 4-0 just min­utes later.

Span­ish de­fender Juan Ber­nat popped up in the box in the clos­ing mo­ments for num­ber five.

Carlo Ancelotti, tak­ing charge of Bay­ern for the first time in the Champions League af­ter suc­ceed­ing Pep Guardi­ola, said, “It was a great game. We opened the scor­ing early and then the game was more open for us and we created more chances.

“Can we win the Champions League? For sure our team will be com­pet­i­tive this sea­son and for the mo­ment ev­ery­thing is good, but the first ob­jec­tive is to win the group, and then we will see the draw.”

Ros­tov, mak­ing their Champions League de­but af­ter fin­ish­ing sec­ond in Rus­sia last sea­son, de­ployed the same 5-3-2 for­ma­tion that brought them shock suc­cess against Ajax and An­der­lecht in the qual­i­fy­ing rounds.

And the un­her­alded vis­i­tors frus­trated five-time Euro­pean kings Bay­ern in the open­ing quar­ter of an hour, throw­ing plenty of men be­hind the ball and look­ing to hit their more il­lus­tri­ous op­po­nents on the break.

But on 18 min­utes Kim­mich floated in a free-kick that had Ros­tov goal­keeper Soslan Dzhanaev stranded, and mo­ments later Le­wandowski and Kim­mich again both had chances.

Just be­fore the 30-minute mark Bay­ern – Champions League win­ners in 2013 – took the lead through a Le­wandowski penalty af­ter the ref­eree spot­ted the Ros­tov rear­guard tug­ging at sev­eral home play­ers in the box from a corner.

Le­wandowski sent Dzhanaev the wrong way to put the Ger­mans on their way, and they had sev­eral chances to ex­tend their lead, with Thi­ago Al­can­tara, Mats Hum­mels, Ar­turo Vi­dal and David Alaba all spurn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties be­fore Alaba crossed for Mueller – aged 27 on the day – to sweep home for 2-0 mo­ments be­fore half-time.

Soon af­ter half-time it was 3-0 af­ter Costa teed up the Ger­man in­ter­na­tional Kim­mich, 21, for a sim­ple tapin, and then Kim­mich rose high­est to nod home un­chal­lenged on the hour.

Kim­mich, who also net­ted on the week­end in a 2-0 win at Schalke, said even he was sur­prised by his scor­ing ex­ploits.

“I don’t know why it is work­ing at the mo­ment,” he said. “When you score it gives you more con­fi­dence. Up un­til now I hadn’t been this pro­lific and had only scored two or three goals a sea­son.”

Also in Group D, last sea­son’s run­ners-up Atletico Madrid won 1-0 at PSV Eind­hoven thanks to a first-half strike from Saul Niguez. –

Photo: AFP

Bay­ern Mu­nich’s striker Thomas Mueller (right) cel­e­brates scor­ing the 2-0 goal with his team­mate, Pol­ish striker Robert Le­wandowski, dur­ing the Champions League foot­ball match be­tween Bay­ern Mu­nich and Ros­tov in Mu­nich, Ger­many, on Septem­ber 13.

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