Lightning starts, lethal finishing
180 seconds. That’s all it took to see the first FC Bayern goal of the season with an absolutely stunning strike of the left foot by Serge Gnabry. Gnabry continued his absolutely terrific form from last season into the start of this one. Quickly following that strike, Leroy Sané and Robert Lewandowski combined for a beautiful set of plays that almost went in for a 2nd before the 10’ mark. By the end of the 20th minute, Bayern Munich led 2-0 after a terrific assist by Thomas Müller to Leon Goreztka. By the 31’ minute, Lewandowski put Bayern 3-0 due to a penalty. Bayern are in midseason form.
FC Bayern opened up the 2nd half nearly identical to how they opened up the 1st half: with clinical finishing and creative passing.
Kimmich ➡️ Gnabry— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 18, 2020
It didn't take long for Bayern to score the first goal of the Bundesliga season! pic.twitter.com/RvZRMyl8ej
Positions? What positions?
Thomas Müller, Serge Gnabry, & Leroy Sané all consistently rotated positions all match long. Even though they started with Gnabry on left, Müller in the middle and Sané on the right, they all often interchanged. Numerous occasions saw Sané in the middle and Müller on the right or Sané on the left and Gnabry on the right. So if anything, this match makes it clear that where these players start is utterly irrelevant, as they consistently rotate around to where the match needs them to be, rather than adhering to a strict formation and structure.
Debuts & mehr!
Welcome to Bayern, Leroy Sané. Creative and quick, Sané very quickly made his make throughout the match slicing through Schalke 04’s defense and making their lives generally hard. His chemistry with Gnabry was crystal clear, establishing two assists for him, including the incredible assist to open the 2nd half. Showing great touches and creative movement, Sané is very quickly establishing his worth as far greater than what Bayern paid for him. Oh, and he also scored a beautiful onside goal to make It a staggering 7-0. We only paid €45m for him. What an absolutely robbery. He’s fitting right on.
On the other end of the spectrum, Lucas Hernández made the most of a rare start due to Alphonso Davies sitting on the bench. Hernandez not only looked sharp and extremely competent on defense, he looked quick. It was brought to my attention in the BFW chat that he was the La Liga sprint leader around 3 years ago and he looked every bit the part. While the LB role is Davies’, Hernández did everything he could to make a claim for not a starting role in the defense but also to be the first defensive sub off the bench. With rumors of David Alaba’s transfer away from FC Bayern, this is a good sign at the defensive depth of Bayern.
New year, same storylines
Poor Schalke 04. New hopes going into this season and the same old story. The story of getting the floor wiped with their faces. While they showed some positive runs and threats during the start of the match, their defense was nothing short of a shamble. FC Bayern has spent the entire game simply slicing and dicing the defense of Schalke, from Hernández and Sané’s passing to Müller’s creative pacing opening it up for the likes of Lewandowski and Goreztka. If it wasn't for Ralf Fährmann, it could easily have been north of a 10-0 match. This will be, simply put, another long year for Schalke 04.
On the other end of the pitch, FC Bayern picked up exactly where they left off following their Champions League Finale victory over PSG, absolutely manhandling Schalke 04. Hell, even Lewandowski earned a rabona assist. It’s almost as if they were toying around with Schalke 04.
This was a bona-fide Bundesliga club and yet Bayern were treating it like a wannabe training session. Gnabry had a hat-trick, Sané and Kimmich each had 2 assists, Müller had an assist and a goal. Man, I don’t even think Manuel Neuer made more than 1 or 2 actual saves all match long. One of Bayern’s coveted prospects, Musiala, scored a goal and became the youngest FC Bayern player ever to score in the league. In what is surely a grim sign for the remainder of the Bundesliga, this is yet again Bayern’s league to lose.
I mean, good grief. Look at this assist. LOOK AT IT. I’m speechless. It’s encouraging to know they just spend 2+ weeks on a tropical vacation and have not lost a single step.