On Matchday five, Bayern Munich took on a Hamburg side desperate to come away with a result, as their pre-match league standing of 16th place certainly didn’t do their quality of play justice.
The first half got off to a fast start, as a poor Renato Sanches pass was intercepted by Hamburg, and the ensuing counter almost lead to a goal, though final shot was far too weak and poorly placed to seriously challenge Manuel Neuer.
Bayern should have had the opener after 17 minutes, when David Alaba found an inch of space on the left side and used it to deliver a cross to a wide open Robert Lewandowski five yards from goal near the back post. The Polish international tried to go against his momentum, but unfortunately headed the ball slightly over the bar.
For the rest of the first half, the game took place mostly in the middle of the pitch, with both teams controlling possession at times and creating a plethora of half chances that all ultimately led to nothing.
Mats Hummels came up limping at the end of the first half after a challenge on Bobby Wood, and aggravated the injury at the beginning of the second, eventually being replaced by Jerome Boateng.
Bayern were, again, unlucky not to score in the 57th minute. Javi Martinez had his header brilliantly saved off the line by Adler, and just seconds later, had a volley headed for the back of the net blocked by a Hamburg defender.
Carlo Ancelotti used his remaining subs in minute 60, bringing on Franck Ribery for Kingsley Coman, and Arturo Vidal for Renato Sanches, who had his best performance in a Bayern jersey to date.
Bayern’s unlucky streak continued when David Alaba’s free kick from 25 yards out dipped beautifully over the wall, but struck the post with about 20 minutes to go. Just minutes later, Ribery created a good amount of space for himself before squaring the ball to a wide-open Lewandowksi, who was unable to strike it properly from 3 yards out.
It was at this point that Bayern pushed Hamburg deep into their own half and suffocated them with their pressing while in defense, creating a multitude of chances in the process.
In the 88th minute it was finally time. A beautiful volley in Bayern’s own half by Thiago sent Ribery off on the counter. The winger took the ball all the way to the touchline and into Hamburgs box, ultimately sending a low cross to the far post where it was slotted home by none other than Joshua Kimmich.
The final whistle came just minutes later, and while Hamburg certainly played at a level above what their league-standing indicates, Bayern were the better side, and had it not been for a few brilliant moments by Adler, the Bavarians would have walked out of this one with a 3-0 victory, at the very least.
Next up for Bayern is a Champions League re-match with last years semi-final opponent Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Colderón Stadium.