Bayern Munich kicked off the defence of their Bundesliga title with an entertaining 1-1 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach.
It was a pulsating start to the new season as both teams came flying out of the traps – defending seemingly the last thing on anybody’s mind.
The first opening came Serge Gnabry’s way, but after the German winger had fired wide from an offside position, Gladbach showed a ruthless cutting edge on the break to carve the champions apart. Alassane Plea was the beneficiary, latching onto Lars Stindl’s neat pass to fire past a helpless Manuel Neuer after 10 minutes.
Bayern grew into the game, though they still looked vulnerable to the counter, and finally found their way past Yann Sommer – who continued his superb Euro 2020 form – just before the break; Robert Lewandowski, who else, steering home Joshua Kimmich’s corner.
Gladbach were the better team in the second half as the game continued to be played at a frenetic pace, though Bayern will be rueing a late miss from Kimmich; the deep-lying playmaker unable to convert Kingsley Coman’s pinpoint late cross.
Here’s how Bayern‘s players rated on the night…
Manuel Neuer (GK) – 6/10 – Was powerless to prevent Gladbach’s goal but made a couple of smart saves in quick succession during the second half. Calm as ever with his distribution.
Josip Stanisic (RB) – 7/10 – Thrown into the deep end by Julian Nagelsmann for only his second Bayern start but wasn’t phased by the occasion. Improved after a nervy start and can expect plenty more opportunities.
Dayot Upamecano (CB) – 6/10 – A bit shaky early on as Gladbach looked to carve Bayern open on the counter. Grew into the game before being put under the cosh once more by Marcus Thuram. A tough start.
Niklas Sule (CB) – 6/10 – Advances so well with the ball from defence but was left a little exposed at times by Bayern’s occasionally non-existent midfield. Solid enough.
Alphonso Davies (LB) – 7/10 – Unbelievable speed to get back and put Patrick Hermann off after he scampered through early on. Dangerous going forward, as usual, but lacking that final end product.
Joshua Kimmich (CM) – 6/10 – If Carlsberg did corner deliveries they would replicate Kimmich’s whip for Lewandowski’s equaliser. A little overrun defensively but oozed class with his passing range from deep. Wasted a glorious chance late on.
Leon Goretzka (CM) – 5/10 – Tried to support Bayern in the final third but his commitment to pushing forward allowed Hermann, Stindl and Plea to break with regularity.
Thomas Muller (AM) – 6/10 – A quiet evening for the German. Saw plenty of the ball but his link up play with Lewandowski wasn’t up to the usual high standards.
Leroy Sane (RW) – 6/10 – Began brightly and looked dangerous when running at Gladbach’s backline. Faded as the visitors failed to take a vice like grip on the game.
Robert Lewandowski (ST) – 8/10 – He’s just too good, isn’t he? The service for Lewandowski was great on the night, but the Pole snaffled one of the few clear cut chances he was given. Clinical.
Serge Gnabry (LW) – 6/10 – Wasted a good early chance, though he was spared by the linesman’s flag. Quiet considering the fiercely high tempo of the game.
Jamal Musiala – 6/10
Kingsley Coman – 6/10
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting – N/A
Bouna Sarr – N/A