Bayern Munich beat Dynamo Dresden on Monday in their second to last summer friendly for the season. The Rekordmeister easily dispatched their hosts 3-1 while mostly remaining in cruise control.
Arjen Robben, Arturo Vidal, and Juan Bernat got on the score sheet for Bayern as Guardiola used almost every player on his team sheet in the friendly. Pascal Testroet scored the lone goal for Dresden late in the match to give their faithful fans something to cheer for.
Guardiola used a very loose formation in defense, packing the midfield to try get the players to manufacture chances against a sturdy 4-4-2 structure from Dresden. Robben, playing in his third match of the summer, got in the best positions to score, nearly finishing off a sharp cross from Bernat in the seventh minute to get things going.
He converted his third chance of the match on a counterattack in the 17th minute. Pierre-Emile Højbjerg weaved his way through the midfield before finding Robben wide on the break, who slotted home a shot under the dive of Dresden goalkeeper Patrick Weigers.
Arturo Vidal doubled the scoreline shortly after halftime. The newly acquired midfielder won the ball in a high position and finished of another perfectly-placed ball from Højbjerg. Even with the 2-0 scoreline, Bayern kept numbers high up the pitch as they continued to press on.
Dresden took advantage of Bayern's aggressive tactics, finding space out wide to break forward. Jimi Müller was one of those wide men, breaking free down the right sideline before servicing a ball into Tim Väyrynen. The veteran striker could not beat Tom Starke with his shot, the 33-year-old goalkeeper sprawling his right leg out just in time.
Bayern remained on the attack, trying to make runs in the penalty area to open up the stubborn Dresden defense. Juan Bernat was able to stay onside and sneak in behind late in the match, prompting Thomas Müller to swing him the ball to allow the fullback to net a close-range finish.
Guardiola brought on four reserve players with the match firmly in hand. Dresden substitute Pascal Testroet was able take advantage of their inexperience, pouncing on a Felix Pohl turnover to motor around Starke and score Dresden's only goal. Bayern went on to win 3-1.
The turnout was tremendous for the cash-strapped club, with Bayern donating all of the ticket, jersey, and fan item proceeds to Dresden. Several of the Bayern players had smiles on their faces throughout the match as well, and there was not a single altercation on the field.
"It was a lot of fun in front of this backdrop," said Philipp Lahm after the match. "It was a great party here."
Bayern will be back to Bundesliga action on Saturday when they travel to Hoffenheim for their first away fixture of the season. They have one more friendly match on the docket before the summer is out, taking on Fanclub Red Power on Sunday, August 30.
Dynamo Dresden (1-3) Bayern Munich
SGD: Pascal Testroet
FCB: Arjen Robben (17'), Arturo Vidal (48'), Juan Bernat (74')
Dresden XI: Wiegers - Teixeira (Modica 46'), Hefele (Aosman 46'), Jannik Müller (Hagemann), Kreuzer - Andrich, Moll - Landgraf, Dürholtz (Fetsch, Jimi Müller - Väyrynen (Testroet)
Bayern XI: Ulreich (Starke 46') – Rafinha (Alaba 63'), Dante (Pohl 81') – Lahm (Vidal 46'), Rode (Scholl 81'), Kimmich (Alonso 63'), Højbjerg (Benatia 63'), Bernat (Steinhart 81') – Benko (Weihrauch 46') – Robben (Müller 46'), Götze (Green 81')
- For the third time this preseason, Bayern played without a recognizable striker at the top to start a match. Götze and Robben provided the width to the play, as Højbjerg and Rode made runs from midfield to put finishers in the box. The tactic did not directly lead to a goal, but it did give Højbjerg and Rode chances to score that they normally wouldn't have. Bayern have yet to indicate they are looking into a back-up striker this transfer window, so the likelihood Guardiola sticks to the players he has is probably pretty high.
- To try to ascertain what Bayern were up to was a fools errand. It appeared as though Dante and Rafinha were playing as the only two defenders like the football played a century ago. It appeared as though Bayern were playing with a back-three in possession and a back four without, a tactic they have used in the past. Rode interchanged with Lahm on the right flank while Højbjerg interchanged with Bernat on the left. It certainly stuffed the midfield for Bayern against a weaker opponent, but it did not necessarily lead to more chances.
- The temperate atmosphere of the match play was very noticeable, especially in light of Guardiola's spy excursion over the weekend. Perhaps as the rain continued to pour, the players became more reserved in their defensive aggressiveness and stayed on their feet. Michael Hefele and Giuliano Modica, the two players Guardiola was reportedly most interested in, each only got a half and did not play together.
- The utilization of the reserve players were fascinating, especially when one considers the minute count. Fabian Benko was the only reserve who started, and Patrick Weihrauch was the only other reserve player to get a full half. Benko is a player who Guardiola highly rates, but Weihrauch may be getting the playing time in order to audition for other clubs. That said, Weihrauch did deserve the start after scoring five times in Bayern II's last two matches.
- If you need more context for Bayern's motivation to do this match, be sure to read this great piece Kirsten Schlewitz wrote last spring on clubs from East Germany.