Friday, 22 August 2014

Bayern Munich 2 Wolfsburg 1 - Bundesliga OPENING NIGHT:


There was an exciting game on-show, as defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich played at home against VFL Wolfsburg on the opening night of the 2014-15 season. 

Before the game started, there was an "opening ceremony" type gathering for both teams - as Bayern's players were given an applause for their performance in the last campaign; as well as the fact that Germany had won the World Cup in Brazil earlier on in the summer.

German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was awarded with the "player of the season" award before kick-off, as the hosts were looking for an impressive performance in-front of their home support earlier on this Friday evening. 

Best goalkeeper in the world: Neuer was awarded with the player of the season award before kick-off
The game got off to a slow, gradual pace which quickened whenever Bayern got on the counter attack.

However, the match opened up as an interesting contest after Munich scored the opening goal, thanks to a strike in the 37th minute from German forward Thomas Muller, who was set up inside the area by the quick footwork of Robben on the flank to get past left-back Ricardo Rodriguez before passing towards his team-mate to break the deadlock.

Slotted into the net: Muller scored the first goal of the new season to give Bayern the lead
Then, a moment of magic ensured that Bayern doubled their lead within a minute of the restart from half-time, as a pass-and-move between Robben, Lewandowski and Muller combined well and the Dutch winger got his goal to make it 2-0.

Pace and agility: Robben waltzed past the Wolfsburg defence on the counter to make it 2-0
Wolfsburg were not going to lie down and let Bayern dominate them, despite all of their clear star quality. The German outfit grabbed a goal back less than 10 minutes later, thanks to former Bayern striker Ivica Olic who struck a curling strike past Neuer, who dived high to try and parry it - but wasn't able to keep it out. 

Wolfsburg were back in the game with the scoreline at 2-1, but they should have equalised thanks to substitute Junior Malanda who had an initial shot bounce off the crossbar before his second attempt was narrowly wide, DESPITE the fact that he had an open goal to shoot at with Neuer out of goal and struggling to get back in time. 

Unbelievable miss! Malanda should have scored from close range, when it was easier to miss
Somehow, they were unable to score from that - and Bayern's substitute midfielder Sebastian Rode had a low drilled shot from 20 yards out; which swerved low and hard out of reach for Wolfsburg's goalkeeper to stop, but after a dispute between the referee, Wolfsburg players and the linesman, the goal was wrongly disallowed for offside.

Muller jumped over the ball and impeded the sight of the goalkeeper, but the goal SHOULD have stood. 

In the end, the match finished 2-1 with the defending champions Bayern Munich edging out the game. They had dominated for sustained periods, and were denied on numerous occasions by Max Gruen. 

Wolfsburg made the game entertaining in the second-half, but should have taken their chances clinically and failed.