Bayern Munich's best start to a Champions League campaign sees them top of Group F after two wins from two, eight goals scored and none conceded but the German champions are expected to get even stronger when key players return from injury.
Bayern Munich’s best start to a Champions League campaign sees them top of Group F after two wins from two, eight goals scored and none conceded but the German champions are expected to get even stronger when key players return from injury.
Bayern Munich scored four goals in the opening 28 minutes against Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday and their overall performance in a 5-0 victory fired a warning shot to potential title challengers across the continent.
Striker Robert Lewandowski scored a hat-trick as Bayern ended the Croats’ 45-game unbeaten run.
Bayern’s dominance, both at home and in Europe, has come despite the fact wingers Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery, as well as defenders Holger Badstuber, Jan Kirchhoff and Medhi Benatia, have been missing due to injury. Spain international Javi Martinez has only just returned after spending several months on the sidelines due to injury.
The injuries have given some players the chance to shine, however, and new signings Douglas Costa and Kingsley Coman have so far proved more than adequate replacements for Ribery and Robben on the wings, while the team’s defence does not appear to have been substantially weakened despite the absences.
Five-time European champions Bayern, who are looking for a first Champions League title in coach Pep Guardiola’s third season in charge, will soon welcome back Robben, Badstuber and Benatia, though a date for Ribery’s return to action has yet to be set.
“Six points in two games. This shows the team is in really good form,” Guardiola said. “We did not let anything happen at the back and we had tight control over the game throughout.”
A day earlier he had said he would have just 14 or 15 fit players.
“With (Douglas Costa and Kingsley Coman our game is much better. Robert and Thomas (Mueller) have much more space in the middle,” he said.
Mueller has netted 11 times in all competitions while Lewandowski took his tally to a remarkable 10 goals in the past seven days.
After falling at the semi-final stage in his previous two seasons on the bench, the Spanish coach is reluctant to get carried away but he was in confident enough mood to order his players to attend Munich’s beer festival ahead of their Bundesliga derby against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.
“Now we are off to the Oktoberfest and then we will start thinking about Borussia Dortmund on the weekend,” he added.