Bayern Munich FC of Germany are showing no signs of rustiness as they restore their 4-points lead in the Bundesliga with a comprehensive victory over Eintracht Frankfurt at home at the Allianz Arena in a match played behind closed doors in the German capital city; pulling ahead of their closest title rivals, Borussia Dortmund, going into a testy Der Klassiker (elite derby) away against the Dortmund outfit on Tuesday. Despite the fact that it was played without fans in the stands, it was more or less entertaining. The ease with which the Bavarians despatched the struggling but determined Frankfurt, is putting fears in the minds of fans of English Premier League club, Chelsea, who are billed to square up with Bayern Munich once the UEFA Champions League (UCL) resumes.
Dortmund had earlier today narrowed the gap at the top to a single point, but not unexpectedly, Bayern responded with a resounding victory, irrespective of the fact that they conceded two Martin Hinteregger goals in the space of three minutes. (Same Hinteregger bagged an own-goal on the other end.)
Leon Goretzka opened scores with a beautiful strike just after 16 minutes of play. Attacking midfielder Thomas Muller, netted Bayern’s second goal from close-range, at the 41st minute, to go to the halftime break with a comfortable two goals lead. Irrepressible talisman, Robert Lewandowski, headed in the third goal for the hosts within the first minute of the second half. This was before a momentary blip as Eintracht Frankfurt pulled two goals back in a three-minute moment of lapse for the hosts. The first of Hinteregger’s goals was a mishit volley which somehow beat Manuel Nuer into the net. Hinteregger’s second was a header off a well-taken corner kick.
The league strugglers, however, could not handle the pressure that the front three of pacy Kingsley Coman, Ivan Perisic, and Lewandowski, and then later, Serge Gnabri, mounted, and therefore capitulated, suffering their fifth loss in a row.
The league leaders resumed the season after the two-month limbo due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a win away from home, at Union Berlin last Sunday. Today’s win is their 16th win in 17 games in all competitions, including a blazing run in the UCL.
According to BBC Sports, it really was an entertaining game deserving a crowd to savour the spectacle.
“Usually home to 75,000 vociferous fans, the deserted Allianz Arena made for an odd and eerie backdrop to an otherwise typically vibrant and gripping Bayern home display.”
“The strict hygiene measures put in place on the first weekend of German top-flight football’s return were again present and correct – staggered warm-ups, coaching staff and substitutes wearing masks and all separated by two metres on the sidelines.”
But while the Bayern players did their best to cheer their positive work, the goals and play leading up to them were deserving of greater appreciation in the stadium.”
Goretzka’s finish was sublime, steered into the net with an opened boot following a neat ball from Muller.”
Muller did what Muller does, slotting home after chesting the ball down to claim his 117th Bundesliga goal.”
Lewandowski, ever the predator, looked to have finished the game as a contest before the second half had even hit its stride with a thumping header from Kingsley Coman’s cross.”
“Hinteregger’s two goals at the right end were as well taken as his goal at the wrong one was calamitous.“
“Davies utilised his pace and awareness to latch on to a misplaced pass from Gelson Fernandes and slot home to conclude a mad opening 15 minutes to the second half.“
And there could easily have been more. Lewandowski hit the bar with a shot and Benjamin Pavard saw a header from point-blank range saved with the game still goalless.”
At the other end and later in the game, Manuel Neuer produced a superb block to prevent Mijat Gacinovic from making it 4-3, while Frankfurt’s Filip Kostic was very unlucky, hitting the inside of the post with a fierce shot following a super solo run.“
Any unexpected test then for Bayern, but one they may appreciate come Tuesday’s Der Klassiker – a game that could go a long way to deciding if Bayern continue their run of having won the Bundesliga every year since 2012-13.”
Sources: BBC Sports, The Bundesliga