BOOM! That was the sound of Bayern Munich's opening victory against Hamburger SV to kick off the 2015/16 Bundesliga season with a bang. The Rekordmeister defended their home turf with a 5-0 win, their biggest opening match victory in 41 years.
Douglas Costa had a goal and an assist in his Bundesliga debut, the first to score in his Bayern Bundesliga debut since Mario Mandžukić in 2012. Thomas Müller had a brace as well as Bayern scored four goals in the second half.
Hamburg did their best to contain Bayern, manager Bruno Labbadia putting as many players behind the ball as he could. Bayern's best chances came through the air as a result, Douglas Costa and Philipp Lahm providing service from the flanks as Arjen Robben and Robert Lewandowski tried to find spatial opportunities in the penalty area.
The Dinosaurier stood tall though, and Lewis Holtby and Sven Schipplock were nearly able to capitalize on defensive mistakes from Bayern. Both Medhi Benatia and Jérôme Boateng turned the ball over, and Holtby nearly capitalized on a shot from the top of the area after quality hold-up play from Schipplock in the penalty area.
Bayern huffed and puffed hard enough to finally blow Hamburg's doors down midway through the first half. Once Douglas Costa drew a foul outside of the penalty area, Xabi Alonso delivered a clinical in-swinger towards the far post, one Benatia was able to shoulder into the back of the net. It was Benatia's second career Bundesliga goal, and the tenth time a Bayern player scored the first Bundesliga goal of the season.
Alonso was a main culprit in Bayern's second goal early in the first half. His ball over the top reached the head of Matthias Ostrzolek, but the defender headed the ball down straight to Lewandowski, who discharged a shot inside the right post before goalkeeper René Adler could react.
The second goal really put Bayern in full gear at both ends of the pitch. Not even bringing on Rafinha and Mario Götze could slow down Bayern's momentum as Hamburg's defensive efforts began to decay.
Thomas Müller scored two goals in four minutes past the hour mark, first from an impressive cross from Douglas and then from well crafted hold-up play from Lewandowski. Douglas's majesty continued until match's end, Rafinha poking him the ball after a no-call from referee Bastian Dankert on Ostrzolek so the 24-year-old newcomer could slice the ball into the back of the net.
Dankert's three whistles brought Bayern's biggest opening match victory in the Bundesliga to an end. They continue their Bundesliga campaign against Hoffenheim as they return to Saturday afternoon action.
Bayern Munich (5-0) Hamburger SV
FCB: Medhi Benatia (27'), Robert Lewandowski (53'), Thomas Müller (69', 73'), Douglas Costa (87')
Bayern XI: Neuer – Lahm (Thiago 72'), Boateng, Benatia, Alaba – Alonso (Rafinha 56') – Robben (Götze 65'), Müller, Vidal, Douglas – Lewndowski
Hamburg XI: Adler – Diekmeier, Djourou, Spahić, Ostrzolek – Ekdal (Olić 61'), Jung, Holtby – Gregoritsch, Schipplock (Lasogga 70'), Iličević
- Before everyone jumps out of their lederhosen, keep in mind this impressive Bayern performance came against Hamburg, a club Bayern has not lost to in six years. The Rothosen showed disciplined shape and defensive fortitude in the first half, but the flood gates opened pretty wide when they got behind. Emir Spahić has done little to change their defensive structure, and Bayern could impose their will with little effort. Nonetheless, the result is encouraging considering their underwhelming 3-1 result against fifth-tier FC Nöttingen.
- Guardiola teams have always played a high line in possession, often having center backs all the way in the attacking half of the field. That of course involves Boateng and Benatia getting a lot of touches, and that was not necessarily a good thing in Friday's match. While their giveaways were evidence of harmful high line effects, the tactic itself was necessary against a club that puts everyone behind the ball. Because of the quality on the field, Bayern will probably have to defend two-thirds of the field as opponents try to compact the final third.
- Bayern's setup was very structured – what seems like an anomaly after the preseason – but Douglas Costa was not as shackled as others were. He moved from flank to flank throughout the match, helping Bayern overload the right at times in order to try and overwhelm Ostrzolek in Hamburg's defense. Once Götze came in, he resided on the right side, an inverted front than Bayern had in the preseason. His ability to contribute on both flanks is important for Bayern, an attribute Guardiola will like exploit a lot this season.
- The fascinating player to watch in this match was Arturo Vidal, not for his orchestration skills, but how conservative he played defensively. With age has come somewhat of a temperament to his play, but he caged his agressiveness to the point where he appeared like a tame lion on the pitch. Perhaps with Bayern's constant pressing, he did not feel the need to lunge into rash challenges like he is known for. For a player known as the Destroyer, an equable Vidal shows he has the ability to switch his relentless play on and off depending on what Bayern needs. That's a level of zen one cannot teach a footballer.