Xabi Alonso, an enemy in Real Madrid white, became a Bayern red quicker than any of us expected. Pep Guardiola placed him in the middle of the three man back line and his distribution was impressive. He used Jerome Boateng from time to time as a translator, not having the grasp of German quite yet.
Unlike against Wolfsburg, Bayern started the match quickly. Within the first four minutes, the energy of the midfield led to two chances for Thomas Müller and Robert Lewandowski, neither of which were converted. Lewandowski was set up by a wonderful pass into the box from Philipp Lahm but his shot was saved by the gigantic Ralf Fährmann. Lewandowski set up Mueller for his chance, also saved by Fährmann. Eventually, Bayern got their goal. A one-two with Lewa led to Rode unselfishly setting up Lewandowski by passing to him in front of goal. Lewa opened his account for Bayern.
Bayern continued dominating as Rode kept on finding more and more holes in the Schalke back line. Schalke seemed to be playing on the counter and were unlucky to see Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting flagged offside when Boateng was playing him on during one such counter. Schalke grew into the game as it became more physical but could not quite seriously threaten Bayern's goal. It took them 26 minutes for a first shot at goal which came via Sidney Sam.
Later, Manuel Neuer had to come out of his goal to deny Julian Draxler. In what was one of the game's most entertaining and crazy moments, he tried to play a pass instead of shooting the ball out. Had Kaan Ayhan's shot been straight at goal, Neuer would have been made to pay for the slight error, although his decision to come out of goal was undoubtedly the right one.
In the second half though, Neuer could do nothing to prevent Schalke from scoring. Dante, challenging for the ball after Schalke put in a cross, headed it towards the far corner. Xabi Alonso tried to prevent the goal from happening bit only managed to knock the ball to Benedikt Höwedes. The ball hit the Schalke captain's hand and went into goal. Bayern protested but the goal stood. The situation was one of those "ball to hand" situations where Höwedes could do nothing to stop it from hitting his arm. Had the incident taken place anywhere else on the pitch, there would have been no debate about it and play would have continued. And perhaps, as a result, the referee refused to rule out the goal.
The goal gave Schalke confidence. Jerome Boateng meanwhile had already been substituted for Bayern. Juan Bernat was introduced as was Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Xabi Alonso and Mario Götze were taken off as well. Bayern had chances to score via Lewandowski and Xherdan Shaqiri but could not convert. In the dying minutes, Choupo- Moting found himself with a path to goal but he needed a partner to pass to. Unfortunately for Schalke, nobody was present in the box to pick up the pass.
Overall, Bayern's performance was quite good. Schalke is a very good team and a 1-1 draw early on in the campaign against a top four Bundesliga side away from home can be considered a good point. As for Schalke, whenever Jens Keller is in trouble, his team finds him a point or three, and they did so today.
Bayern has many positives such as the performances of Alonso and Rode to take from this game into the next Bundesliga match against old rivals VfB Stuttgart.