Episode 6. Bayern Munich 8-0 Schalke 04
Bundesliga Matchday 1
September 18, 2020
Allianz Arena, Munich
Lineup: Neuer — Pavard, Sule, Boateng (Richards 72), Hernandez — Kimmich, Goretzka (Tolisso 52) — Gnabry (Cuisance 72), Muller (Zirkzee 82), Sane (Musiala 72) — Lewandowski
Goalscorers: Gnabry 4’, 47’, 59’, Goretzka 19’, Lewandowski 31’(p), Muller 70, Sane 72’, Musiala 81’
Bayern Munich were coming back from a stellar season, having won the treble in 2019/2020. Now, after a rather shortened break, they had to go again. A big game against Schalke was the curtain raiser for the new season. Could the Bavarians live up to their lofty expectations and lay down a marker again? Could Hansi Flick produce another magical moment with his team?
The shortened break meant that the usual DFL Super Cup was not the first match of the season. Instead, the Bundesliga was first in line, and Bayern would have to hit the ground running if they were to successfully defend the Meisterschale. It was go time.
It was evident from the get-go that Bayern meant business. A long punt from Joshua Kimmich found Serge Gnabry on the edge of the area, and the forward spun on the shot before curling home his first goal of the campaign with just four minutes gone. Leon Goretzka doubled the score as he arrowed in a lay-off from Thomas Muller fifteen minutes later. Robert Lewandowski then made it 3-0 with a well-taken penalty after he was fouled in the area.
Gnabry doubled his tally two minutes after the restart, firing in a loose ball into an empty net. Twelve minutes later, the German international completed his hat trick by finishing off a pass from summer signing Leroy Sane. The scary part? There was still a half hour for Schalke to suffer, and more goals were coming.
With twenty minutes to go, Lewandowski recorded the assist of the season when he flicked the ball with a wonderful rabona into the path of Muller, who volleyed home with his left foot. Barely two minutes from then, Kimmich played an outstanding pass straight through Schalke’s defense to Sane, and Bayern’s new number 10 got his first goal for the club. There was still enough time for Jamal Musiala to score his first goal for Bayern after a nice run and finish before the referee blew for full time and put Schalke out of their misery.
Why was this match special?
This was Hansi Flick’s biggest win in charge of Bayern, so it was naturally going to be special. It not only laid down a marker for the treble winners, but sent out a clear message that their dominance was far from over. The team was here to fight, and fight they did. There was still more history to be written further on in the season, and there could not have been a better start to it.
It was also Bayern’s biggest win in the Bundesliga since 2017, when the Bavarians destroyed Hamburger SV with the same scoreline. Even Jupp Heynckes had failed to win by eight clear goals in the Bundesliga, although his team had scored one more in their 9-2 win in his own treble winning season. The opponent? You guessed it, Hamburg.
Yes, it was against Schalke, a team ultimately doomed to finish bottom of the pile by the end of the season, a team that was destined for failure even before the season began. But scoring eight goals isn’t something that happens every day, and this was one hell of a curtain raiser, so I think it fully deserves to be in the running for most memorable matches under Flick.
Having started their season with a bang, Bayern were on the hunt for more silverware just a few days later. The Reds travelled all the way to Hungary to play in the UEFA Super Cup, in which they defeated Sevilla 2-1 to secure their fourth trophy of the year. Javi Martinez was the man to shine, scoring in two consecutive Super Cups to win his team two titles.
Although Bayern slumped to a 4-1 defeat against Hoffenheim on their return to Germany, that defeat remained a mere blip as they picked up yet another trophy in the DFL Super Cup and continued their strong start to the season.
Schalke, meanwhile, never recovered from their thrashing against the champions, and ended up winning only three games in the league all season before being relegated with four matches to spare.