Bayern brew revival with free beer for fans
FANS of Bayern Munich, who have made their worst start to the Bundesliga for 43 seasons, will get a chance to drown their sorrows before today’s home match against champions VfL Wolfsburg.
The Bavarian club are to give away more than 7,000 litres of beer before the game as part of a sponsorship deal with a Munich-based brewery.
The same deal also saw the players and coach Louis van Gaal dress up in traditional Bavarian costume, including lederhosen, for a photoshoot this week.
Van Gaal was photographed grinning as he held up a half-litre of beer but the for mer Barcelona and Netherlands coach has had little else to smile about at his new club.
Bayer n have taken only two points from three Bundesliga games and are languishing in 14th place after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by promoted Mainz 05.
The Bavarians are desperate for Franck Ribery to play against Wolfsburg, the Frenchman having returned to training on Monday after a knee injury kept him out for around two weeks.
“We knew it could be a bumpy start, and it has been,” said German international Philipp Lahm, adding the players were still getting used to Dutchman Van Gaal’s system.
“A lot of what he does is tactical. He has a clear vision of how he wants each position to be played.
“That’s a massive change for each and every one of us because it’s not been like that here in recent years.”
Wolfsburg won their opening two games before losing 4-2 to Hamburg SV on Sunday, their first home defeat in nearly 18 months.
Hamburg, touted as possible title contenders, were inspired by 35year-old Brazilian midfielder Ze Roberto, a player Bayern let go at the end of last season.
Hamburg, at home to Cologne on Sunday, are one of three clubs who have taken seven points from three games – the others are Schalke 04 and leaders Bayer Leverkusen.
Leverkusen host VfL Bochum on Saturday while Schalke are at home to bottom team Freiburg.
SIMPLY TWO MUCH: Abou Diaby’s two goals in three minutes for the Gunners against Portsmouth in the first half last Saturday knocked the stuffing out of the struggling visitors, who came to The Emirates having already lost their first two Premiership games. Diaby’s first was a beauty. A pass from Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas in the Portsmouth half found Eduardo, and the striker turned provider by laying it on for Diaby. The lanky Frenchman still had a lot to do, but he was given so much time and space he was able to place his shot well past an already-overworked David James in goal. Three minutes later Fabregas set Emmanuel Eboue off on a run, and his cross from the right was exploited by Diaby who again, unmarked, slotted that home as well.