FULL TIME: Bayern 3, Stuttgart 0. First impressions were correct. Stuttgart made a little noise with isolated counters, but they never seriously threatened Bayern and were outshot a whopping 24-4, conceding twelve corners in the process.
Credit to the Stuttgart fans, though: the stands were full and loud down to the end. Good luck to them going forward!
90’ — Kimmich fires a parting shot Zieler’s way, and that’s the game!
86’ — Stuttgart launch a promising attack, but Thiago unceremoniously taps the ball away just outside the penalty area. James takes a long-range effort on the subsequent attack, but blasts the ball as high over the net as he was standing away from goal. Oops.
80’ — Substitution: Corentin Tolisso now comes on for Müller.
78’ — Substitutions: James Rodriguez and Serge Gnabry replace Ribery and Robben.
77’ — GOAL for Bayern! Thomas Müller! But what an assist, folks! Joshua Kimmich fires in a fast lateral cross for Lewandowski, who uses his heel to flick the ball behind him to Thomas Müller, who deftly puts the ball past Zieler into the net.
Lewandowski Müller = Goal— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) September 1, 2018
Bayern extend their lead to 3-0 over Stuttgart. pic.twitter.com/EChDrNcTGe
72’ — Goretzka attempts to rabona a very promising pass from Lewandowski but completely misses the ball, wasting a chance at a goal.
67’ — Mats Hummels flirts with disaster in Bayern’s penalty area, tapping the ball away while Maffeo goes to the ground. But Maffeo had played the ball too far ahead anyway. No foul, let alone penalty, is given.
62’ — GOAL for Bayern! Robert Lewandowski! At last it has happened. Thomas Müller cross the ball centrally to Leon Goretzka who finds himself side by side with Lewandowski. Goretzka taps the ball on to Lewandowski, who turns and slots the ball past Zieler into the far right corner.
Lewandowski's at it again! Bayern's goal machine doubles the lead in Stuttgart. pic.twitter.com/dgFMHloxNU— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) September 1, 2018
57’ — Substitution: Thommy comes on to replace — Donis? Tayfun Korkut has opted to yank arguably the best performing player on their team. The crowd does not seem amused.
56’ — No rest for Zieler: Bayern continues to dance around Stuttgart’s goal, finally giving Hummels a chance to head the ball at the near post. Zieler parries and collects it.
55’ — Lewandowski misfires off a low cross by Müller, as Kimmich initiates an attack with a long pass to Robben.
53’ — Goretzka misses the target wide on Bayern’s tenth corner of the match.
51’ — Part of Kovac’s plan for Bayern’s center-backs appears to include allowing Jerome Boateng the freedom to drive forward up the pitch. On the last play, Boateng nearly made a solo strike up through the middle, penetrating as far as the edge of Stuttgart’s penalty area, while Joshua Kimmich lingered back in his spot alongside Hummels to cover.
49’ — Bayern wins a free kick from well outside the box. David Alaba sets up to take it... Low off the left post! So close!
Second half! — The second half is underway.
In case you missed it, check out that amazing video of Leon Goretzka’s goal: Thomas Müller got the assist because right after he passed the ball to Robert Lewandowski, he tapped it away from him through his legs on to Goretzka to shoot. In other words, he simultaneously dispossessed and nutmegged Lewandowski to get the assist. Lol, Müller’d.
45’ — HALFTIME! Bayern Munich leave the first half with a one-goal lead that almost feels disappointing, given how thoroughly they have dominated Stuttgart, eleven shots to one.
43’ — Müller fires a shot over Zieler from a tight angle near the left post. He’s made that shot before, but not today.
41’ — Ron Robert Zieler keeps Stuttgart alive, blocking a solid header by Mats Hummels on a corner kick.
40’ — Leon nearly makes it 2-0 with yet another good shot that is deflected out of bounds.
37’ — GOAL for Bayern! Leon Goretzka: Leon “ze professional” Goretzka has opened his goal accoutn with Bayern. The play begins with a forward pass from Jerome Boateng to Thomas Müller on the right. Müller immediately plays the ball inside to Robert Lewandowski. Lewandowski nearly loses the ball, so Müller taps it through his legs (!) further left to Goretzka, who turns and shoots. A goal — on just his 12th touch!
Leon Goretzka scores his first goal for Bayern and puts them ahead 1-0! pic.twitter.com/jZLM8utLl8— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) September 1, 2018
35’ — Stuttgart launches a dangerous attack on a brutally hard foul on Franck Ribery by Stuttgart’s Insua. The referee’s whistle stays silent. After he is briefly treated on the sideline, Ribery fortunately can continue.
31’ — After a fantastic dribble into the box, Ribery overhits a cross intended for Robben’s head.
28’ — Stuttgart waste a golden opportunity deep in Bayern’s penalty area. Gomez finds himself with the ball, but just cannot get either a shot or a timely pass off to Donis, who is left gesturing frantically.
23’ — Leon Goretzka heads the ball wide of the far post off an excellent cross by Kimmich.
21’ — Ribery protests after Donis wipes him out with a hard tackle. Bayern have won several more corners, while Stuttgart has answered only with isolated counters.
16’ — Joshua Kimmich takes a shot off the volley, but Benjamin Pavard manages to block it and clear the ball away.
13’ — Thomas Müller is visibly angry after a very scary looking tackle nearly takes him out. Gayern win a free kick on the right side of the box, but can’t convert. Stuttgart counter, but Bayern manage to collect themselves before it’s too late.
8’ — Thiago Alcantara takes Bayern’s second corner of the match. Ron Robert Zieler is able to parry away the threat.
4’ — Boateng defuses a Stuttgart attack with a tackle. Boateng played the ball, but the referee calls a foul for the hardness of the subsequent tackle. Stuttgart can’t do anything with the ensuing free kick.
2’ — Stuttgart already concede a corner to Franck Ribery. The Swabians are playing very, very deep in what looks like a 4-5-1 formation. Already, Hummels and Boateng have been playing over the halfway line in Stuttgart’s half. If that’s any indication of the rest of the game, it’s going to be a long day for the VfB.
Kickoff! — And we are underway! Stuttgart start the half with the ball, but Bayern win it handily within the opening seconds. Away we go!
5 minutes to kickoff! — The teams are in the tunnel and about to take the pitch. The excitement in the air in Stuttgart is palpable!
1 hour to kickoff: Lineups are out!
Here is Bayern Munich’s starting lineup:
New starter in the team for #VfBFCB! #packmas #MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/O12c5ZeR25— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) September 1, 2018
The starting lineup is out: Leon “ze professional” Goretzka gets his first start alongside Thiago in Bayern’s midfield. Niko Kovac has opted to start the traditional Bayern offensive package of Ribery, Müller, Robben, and Lewandowski. In defense, Jerome Boateng starts alongside Mats Hummels. It’s Niklas Süle’s turn to take the bench.
Unsere Startelf für #VfBFCB! #VfB pic.twitter.com/XofXw8ChWR— VfB Stuttgart (@VfB) September 1, 2018
And for the home team: the reunion with Holger Badstuber will be postponed, but we will have a close look at Benjamin Pavard. And of course, there’s old friend Mario Gomez.
Hey, remember the last matchday of last season? It was Jupp Heynckes’ last Bundesliga match in charge, and what did Bayern Munich do? We lost 4-1 to Stuttgart. In our home stadium! Well now that it’s matchday 2, we finally have the chance to get our revenge.
Niko Kovac said that all of his players are available, except for Kingsley Coman. However, Renato Sanches and Sandro Wagner have both been reportedly left out of the squad. With james Rodriguez finally fit, he may make his first start under the new coach — but apart from that, don’t expect any courageous new names on the roster. For now, Kovac is simply going to do what needs to to win.
It’s Bayern time.
Location: Mercedes-Benz Arena, Stuttgart, Germany
Time: 6:30 pm local time, 12:30 pm EST
TV/streaming: Find Your Country
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