MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 15: Mario Mandzukic (R) of Muenchen scores the opening goal during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and 1. FSV Mainz 05 at Allianz Arena on September 15.
FC Bayern kept the perfect Bundesliga start going, beating FSV Mainz by a 3-1 score-line. But the result was by no means an easy one, as Mainz stayed in the match and made things difficult for Die Roten. The Bayern back line made a few errors and had some nervy moments, and the offense and midfield did just enough to come away with the win. At the end of the day, though, it's another three points in the bag for Bayern.
The match started beautifully, as Mandzukic got on the board inside three minutes from a brilliant Mueller cross:
Mainly just a right-place, right-time goal for Mandzu, but he still did enough to cash in. Bayern looked sharp in the subsequent few minutes, threatening to score again on several occasions as Mainz had no answer for our wings.
The second finally came from Schweinsteiger. For the second straight match, he got his head to a low cross and put it on target. At that point, it seemed like Bayern would run away with the match.
But Mainz fought back, helped by a pair of first-half substitutions and a few errors by Bayern's defense. We nearly could have given up a goal twice late in the first half. Dante was out of position to give up an opportunity, the midfield gave up a turnover twice in the span of 5 minutes, and it basically felt like Mainz was gaining confidence as we went into the half.
In the second, Mainz pulled one back thanks to Szalai penalty. Dante was late with a crunching tackle, and GK Manuel Neuer had no chance on Szalai's well-struck penalty shot:
Fortunately, that seemed to wake Bayern up. Although we still didn't look technically brilliant in the final 30 minutes, we at least showed some effort and managed to keep the ball away from FSV. New boy Javi Martinez came on with about 15 minutes to go. He didn't do anything brilliant, but he's a good ball winner, and exactly the kind of guy you want when you're playing keep away. I guess the bigger question is why we needed to be playing keep away when we looked like we were going to blow them off the pitch a while earlier. Both CBs looked a little slow when Mainz came on the break, there were a few minutes of confusion (especially as Dante seemed to wander off to the side far too easily), and we somehow went from cruising to a victory to a tough fight.
At the same time, Mainz is a tough opponent, and there's no reason to think they would roll over. Good substitutions and a refusal to get discouraged brought them back into the match, and they deserve credit for that. The late goal from Kroos killed it off, and the win (despite an inconsistent performance) was still deserved). So Bayern remains at the top of the table coming into this week's Champions League clash.
Back with more later, I'll do Bundesliga News and Notes after all the weekend's matches are over. Thanks for reading.