Bayern Munich sure know how to open the season. Their 6-0 scoreline against Werder Bremen topped the 5-0 score they recorded against Hamburg last season. Even without several wing players, the Bundesliga champions were in a different stratosphere as Bremen, who added five times as many players this summer as Bayern did. Here are some observations from Bayern’s rout of Bremen on Friday.
1. Bayern played with a lot of intent
Bayern had a lot of possession last season, but it did not seem to result in as many goals as it maybe should have. That was not the case today, Bayern playing one-touch and two-touch football the entire game.
That was certainly the case when Franck Ribery, Thomas Müller and Robert Lewandowski nearly combined for a third goal at the end of the first half. The chance was a fantastic display of one-touch football that resulted in a fortunate save from Felix Wiedwald off the crossbar. The kind of intent Bayern played with was reminiscent of Jupp Heynckes Bayern, and the club celebrated many trophies playing that way.
2. Arturo Vidal is more of a factor in attack than before
Vidal has always been a good attacking player, but he did not get many chances to show his capabilities last season under Pep Guardiola while playing more of a holding midfield role. Against Bremen, the Chilean was often sprinting into the box, trying to time his runs with balls over the top from Thiago and Bayern’s center backs.
He was a big attacking force for Juventus, eclipsing double-digit goal scoring totals multiple times in Italy. Ancelotti seems to want to unlock that potential from Vidal in his first season with Bayern. If Vidal can consistently contribute in the final third, teams lose even more sleep before facing the defending German champions.
3. Bayern continue to be much more aggressive on corner kicks.
Someone can count on one hand how many goals Bayern scored from corners last season, but that total is probably going to be much higher. Guardiola usually held one central defender outside the penalty area (usually Jerome Boateng) to prevent a counter attack. Against Bremen, Hummels and Martinez both frequently strolled into the penalty area, ready to receive service from the corner flag.
Ancelotti has called both center backs forward in every Bayern game during this young season, and Friday’s game was the first in which they did not score from a corner. The added scoring threat may not seem like much, but any increase in scoring from corner situations will seem like an improvement after the last few seasons.
4. Lewandowski and Müller have their swagger back
If someone watched Lewandowski and Müller for the first time since the club season ended in May, he or she would probably not guess that the two scored one goal between them in the European Championship. Both attackers were consistently dangerous in the final third on Friday, Lewandowski firing off 12 shots – en route to a hat trick – in the game and Müller unleashing six himself.
The two played off each other a lot last season, Müller often playing behind Lewandowski. Their positioning this season may be a little more loose under Ancelotti, but Bayern’s new coach knows he will want to keep both players on the field as much as possible.
5. Ending his Germany career was the best decision Lahm has ever made
After watching Bayern open the season, Germany fans were probably wondering what would have happened this summer had Lahm continued to play for Germany. However, due in large part to his lightened football schedule, Lahm has looked very fresh all summer, and that continued against Bremen.
In the summer, he was taking on Manchester City youth players head on, and on Friday he combined flawlessly with Müller to score his 14th Bundesliga goal. Lahm said his current contract with Bayern – which expires at the end of next season – will be his last, but Bayern fans will undoubtedly beg him not to hang up his boots so soon.
Author’s note: This post is my 1000 for SB Nation. I am truly honored to reach this milestone, and hopefully there will be 1000 more in the future. Thank you to Phillip Quinn for giving me this opportunity three and a half years ago when Bavarian Football Works had an uncertain future. Thank you also to all of the readers that have followed my work at SB Nation and who continue to read my work – it really means a lot to have a voice on this website.