Fighting for a new contract, Mitchell Weiser powered Bayern Munich passed the Qatar All-Stars with two goals in a 4-1 result Tuesday in Doha, Qatar.
The 20-year-old's first came in the fourth minute, the All-Stars leaving Thomas Müller on side and allowing him to pass to the running Weiser for the opener. Weiser doubled his money just over 10 minutes later, wiggling his way into the box before a strong left-footed finish inside the far post.
Bayern had only one major gaff in the match, Dante and Juan Bernat allowing Hamdi Harbaoui to sneak in behind. He hammered in a low cross over Pepe Reina as the All-Stars took one back. Franck Ribéry restored the two-goal lead before halftime, whacking a goal line cross from Sebastian Rode, and Claudio Pizarro poked another in before the end of the match.
With a wide selection to work with, manager Pep Guardiola used 20 different players throughout the match, giving a full 90 minutes to just Dante and Weiser. Among his substitutions was Holger Badstuber, playing in his first match since his thigh tear at the end of August. All four U19 players – Michael Eberwein, Gianluca Gaudino, Marco Hingerl, and Sinan Kurt – put in a shift in the victory.
Bayern were without David Alaba, Mehdi Benatia, and Javi Martínez, all of whom are working to recover from various ailments. Manuel Neuer and Arjen Robben missed the match as well, returning from Switzerland after the Ballon d'Or ceremony. The Qatar All-Stars were missing several top players as well due to the Asia Cup currently underway.
Bayern's next friendly will be against Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal, a match which will take place on Saturday at 18:00 CET (12:00 PM EST).
Qatar All-Stars (1-4) Bayern München
QSL: Hamdi Harbaoui (26')
FCB: Mitchell Weiser (3', 14'), Franck Ribéry (43'), Claudio Pizarro (90+1')
Bayern XI (4-3-3): Reina (Zingerle 62') – Weiser, Dante, Boateng (Badstuber 62'), Bernat (Rafinha 46') – Rode (Hingerl 75'), Schweinsteiger (Alonso 46'), Gaudino (Kurt 75') – Müller (Eberwein 46'), Lewandowski (Pizarro 60'), Ribéry (Götze 46')
- Well as Weiser was going forward, his performance as a right back (presumably the position he was playing), was not as impressive. His movement tracking back and going forward was a liability at times, one that Gianluca Gaudino and Jérôme Boateng had to account for. He was not great in one-on-one situations, leading one to believe that his future as a fullback may be bleak. Unfortunately for him, that is the only spot he can break into the first team in, and if he does not, he will have to find another club to build a future with this summer.
- The experiments Guardiola had on the flanks were fascinating to follow. He appeared to have Weiser playing a more forward role on purpose, and part of Sebastian Rode's responsibility was to help support the pressure on the right defensive side of the field. On the opposite flank, the gaffer brought on Rafinha to play on the left, the same position he played in the DFB-Pokal Final last May. He is actively trying to find different answers for the fullback areas of the field, a positive, proactive approach to deal with the depth issues Bayern have had recently.
- Watching Sinan Kurt was a real delight. He had an instant presence the minute he stepped onto the field, establishing a passing rapport with Claudio Pizarro and Mario Götze. It was telling that he was the ones taking free-kicks and corners rather than usual suspects Götze and Xabi Alonso. He made astute runs with and without the ball, and he is not far away from breaking into Bayern's attack.