1. FC Köln came to the Allianz Arena, hoping that the reigning Bundesliga champions would show some fatigue and weakness after a heart-breaking loss in London midweek. No such luck for coach Peter Stöger and his men, as Bayern Munich made it clear who is the boss in Germany, with a clear 4-0 win at home. Pep threw all sorts of curveballs at his Austrian compatriot, including starting the game with five forwards in Robert Lewandowski, Douglas Costa, Thomas Müller, Kingsley Coman and Arjen Robben. You could just imagine Stöger's mind racing when he first saw the Bayern lineup.
Bayern possessing in first half, Köln just holding on for dear life
As we've become accustomed, Bayern played their game, possessing the ball against a team that loaded up their own half with everyone but their striker, in hopes of not conceding early. The plan seemed to be working, as the guests were tied up in their own half almost the entire first 45 minutes, only rarely venturing into Bayern's side of the field, but not allowing any scores. Thomas Müller would probably have liked his 11th minute scoring chance back, where he found himself alone in front of Timo Horn, but fired right into the keeper's hands.
Bayern moving everyone around
Using a lot of position movement to try to confuse the opponent, Pep had players moving around into different positions most of the game. Kingsley Coman and Douglas Costa caused all sorts of problems on the wings, either dribbling around their defenders, or bringing in cross after cross into the box. Chances were there, but nobody in red could get anything past Horn.
Robben announces his return, opens the scoring
In the end, it only appeared to be a matter of time before Bayern would break through. Robben initiated the sequence for the first goal, with a nice through pass to Müller in the right corner, who would quickly pass into the box to Lewandowski, whose shot was blocked by a defender. But the rebound would bounce right to a streaking Robben, who would pick up the loose ball, and put it past the out of position Horn.
Vidal adds to the lead
One of the most noticeable players in the first half was young French phenom Kingsley Coman, repeatedly terrorizing the outside backs, no matter what side he was on. After twisting his opponent around, Coman would cut a cross back to the top of the box, where Arturo Vidal would accept the present, and bury it in the goal for a 2-0 lead.
The rare excursions into Bayern territory would lead to some lukewarm chances for Köln, but they would either be wildly inaccurate shots, or offside, like Anthony Modeste's chance in front of Manuel Neuer (that he put over the goal anyway) just before the halftime whistle.
More of the same in the second half
Both teams came out unchanged from the locker rooms, and so did the run of play. Bayern would dominate possession, while Köln would look to hoof the ball upfield, hoping Modeste could do something with it. However, it would take until the 62nd minute before Lewandowski would remove all doubt about who would take the three points today, when a curled free kick from Costa into the box was expertly headed into the far corner by the Polish striker, leaving Timo Horn no chance, to make the score 3-0.
Lewy draws a penalty kick, Müller does what he does
Although quiet for most of the game, Lewandowski still put in a lot of work, and contributed some more to the Bayern offense, by getting taken down in the box by two defenders simultaneously, and earning a penalty kick. Thomas Müller, the designated PK-taker, confidently converted from the spot, putting the ball just inside the right post, with Horn jumping the other way, to finish the scoring at 4-0.
A deserved win, a historical milestone
After struggling to break down a team defending deep (let me know if you've heard that one before), Bayern show everyone why they are the class of the Bundesliga, and Köln can't really complain about that scoreline, as they barely made it out of their half all game. Bayern extend their record winning streak to start a season to ten, and also achieve an unbelievable milestone for the club, notching Bayern's 1000th win in the Bundesliga, well ahead of their closest rival, Werder Bremen, who just claimed victory number 741 today.
Bayern Munich 4 - 0 1. FC Köln
FCB: Robben (35), Vidal (40), Lewandowski (62), Müller (77)
FCB XI: Neuer - Lahm, Alaba, Boateng (Martinez, 62), Rafinha - Vidal - Costa, Müller (Thiago, 78), Robben (Kimmich, 65), Coman - Lewandowski
Köln XI: Horn - Heintz, Maroh, Sörensen - Hector, Vogt, Lehmann, Risse - Gerhardt (Svento, 75), Modeste (Osaka, 58), Zoller (Hosiner, 71)
- Köln managed only eight forays into Bayern territory (with more than just perfunctory possession) in the first half, and about seven in the second half
- Would Bayern play a four-man or a three-man backline? Well, how about two? For large chunks of the game, the Bayern defense would consist of Jerome Boateng and Rafinha, while Philipp Lahm and David Alaba would bomb forward. Even Boateng was frequently sighted close to the Köln penalty box.
- Poor Jonas Hector. The German national team player was consistently burned and outplayed by 19-year old Kingsley Coman. Even when Hector would anticipate which way Coman was going to go, the Frenchman would still blow past him and deliver crosses into the box.
- One of the prettiest plays occurred in the 72nd minute, when Coman would (once again) dribble through the defense on the wing, pass the ball to Müller standing on the right post. Müller's heel would find Costa wide open, but the Brazilian's shot would get cleared off the line by a defender. If that had gone in, it could have been Tor des Monats material.