Leave it to Bayern Munich to make sure Hamburg and their fans would not miss the annual Dinosaurier BBQ that has become a Bundesliga tradition. Since Bayern was playing only a friendly match against the recently relegated Hamburgers, they kept the heat on medium and served up a 4-1 grilling (rather than an 8-1 blackened dino-burger).
Jersey swap: Khaled Narey
Narey nearly gave Hamburg an early lead while Bayern were slow to get into the game early on. In the 16th minute, it was Narey whose shot on the counter hit the post. He was rewarded for his swift pace and skill in the 25th minute, when Jann-Fiete Arp managed to play the ball to an unmarked Lewis Holtby. Narey was on hand to receive the assist and score easily past Manuel Neuer.
Tip o’ the cap: Franck Ribery
Ribery came on at the beginning of the second half and put in an outstanding forty-five minutes of play-making on Bayern’s left wing. Ribery was instrumental in the goal that set up Thomas Müller’s second, and he just came up short of several assists on chances he created for Zirkzee and Sanches.
Golf clap: Sandro Wagner
Wagner put in an outstanding shift in the first half of the game. When Kingsley Coman won a penalty half an hour into the game, Wagner put the shot away effortlessly. But it is Wagner’s highlight-reel back-heel goal that got him here: Wagner made himself an effective target man and was duly rewarded when Leon Goretzka found him with a cross. Wagner acrobatically spun in the air and back-heeled it into Hamburg’s net for a fine finish. Wagner reminded everyone yet again how lucky Bayern are to have such a backup striker.
Standing ovation: Kingsley Coman
Coman played for an hour today, switching from the left to the right wing when Ribery replaced Arjen Robben. For almost the entire first half, Coman was the primary motor of Bayern’s offense, using his pace and dribbling to run at Hamburg’s defense and dropping back to press on defense, as well. A lightning fast run deep finally broke open the scoring for Bayern, when Gotoku Sakai fouled Coman in the penalty area near the goal line, conceding the penalty that Wagner scored. Coman again dazzled toward the hour mark, when he used a skillful behind the back move to pass to Renato Sanches. He was on the receiving end of another back-heel pass from Renato Sanches just minutes later, but his shot was unfortunately stopped.
Meister of the match: Thomas Müller
Müller’d. And Müller’d again. It is ten years to the day that an 18-year-old Thomas Müller made his first-team debut against Hamburg, and he still has their number. Müller played only half an hour against Hamburg, but he was deadly and largely responsible for turning a respectable 2-1 scoreline (from Hamburg’s perspective) into a more familiar 4-1 demolition job. Müller was on hand with a perfectly timed run to receive Maximilian Franzke’s pass in the box in the 73rd minute, scoring his first goal. He just missed his second five minutes later, when a cross by Kimmich was intercepted at the last second. But Müller’s anniversary brace could not be stopped: Müller found a way to be perfectly placed to receive the ball after a quick give-and-go between Ribery and Kimmich, Ribery virtually dummying the return ball to Müller. Müller scored on a perfectly placed shot past the keeper into the near corner.
Here’s to a great season and many more productive years for Bayern’s goofy genius!