Bayern Munich got their domestic season back on track with a dominant 4-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen on Friday night, ending a run of four Bundesliga games without a win.
Jamal Musiala ran the show as Die Roten dominated their visitors from the off, bursting into a lead after just three minutes. A shell-shocked Leverkusen couldn’t keep the ball away from Bayern, who made good on a fast start with goals from Musiala and Sadio Mane before half-time.
Mane had his second of the night chalked off early into the second half, but it didn’t deter the hosts who played the game almost exclusively in the opposition half as things progressed. Thomas Muller sealed things by adding a fourth from another Lukas Hradecky error late on.
With the pressure on, it took Bayern just three minutes to make the most out of a positive start, with Sane’s shot deflecting in for 1-0 following Musiala’s low cross.
The early goal clearly settled Bayern and completely rattled an already fragile Leverkusen side, who were merely trying to keep the ball away from goal and get it forward as quickly as possible. Bayern pressed well, though, and won the ball back quickly, which caused the visitors a flurry of problems.
Intelligent movement and well-picked vertical passes saw Bayern double their lead after 17 minutes. Musiala brought down a long ball, knocked it into the path of Muller and received it back beyond the defender, before beating Hradecky at his near post too easily with a low strike.
Bayern’s press was relentless. Leverkusen simply couldn’t retain possession within their own half, and saw the ball coming straight back at them far too often, despite the occasional counter attack whenever Callum Hudson-Odoi and Jeremie Frimpong received the ball.
Mane had been rather quiet in possession, but came up with the goods some six minutes before half-time to add a third for Bayern. Leverkusen were caught out by the hosts’ press, allowing Musiala to pick out Mane who, unchallenged, found the bottom corner with a deflected effort that left Leverkusen desperate for the whistle.
Julian Nagelsmann’s side didn’t let up after the break and added a fourth 11 minutes after play resumed, following more sustained pressure. Musiala kept the ball alive following a corner and his dribble fell into the path of Mane, who fired in for 4-0. His second goal was chalked off, though, due to a foul committed in the build-up that played him onside.
A rare chance for a counter attack saw Leverkusen spurn their best chance to score all night. Manuel Neuer was out quick to deny Sardar Azmoun just beyond the hour mark.
Hradecky’s evening went from bad to worse as he slipped when trying to play a pass inside his own box after 84 minutes, sending the ball straight to Muller who tapped into an open goal for 4-0 and ensured Bayern shot themselves up to second in the table ahead of the weekend.
GK: Manuel Neuer – 6/10 – Alert to deny the visitors on the rare occasions they broke forward. Otherwise quiet.
RB: Benjamin Pavard – 7/10 – Pavard impressed despite not being renowned for his attacking prowess. Didn’t shy away from committing high up the pitch and tracked rare counter attacks well. A balanced display.
CB: Dayot Upamecano – 7/10 – The Frenchman, when at his best, is such an asset to Bayern. His presence in possession was immense and he responded well when occasionally challenged defensively.
CB: Matthijs de Ligt – 6/10 – Left the more risky, progressive actions to his partner. But that’s exactly what Upamecano needs. The pair clearly compliment each other and it was on show here. Swept things up in composed fashion when needed.
LB: Alphonso Davies – 7/10 – Unable to get himself back on the scoresheet, but gave Leverkusen a headache with his constant forward runs and ability to cause overloads.
DM: Joshua Kimmich – 6/10 – Much more like his usual self. Composed, assertive and clean with his actions. Nothing too flashy, and still needs to find his groove consistently, but better.
DM: Marcel Sabitzer – 7/10 – Unchallenged defensively for the most part, but put in an impressive display on his return to the starting XI. Keen to get on the ball, kept things ticking and would join attacks when possible.
RM: Leroy Sane – 7/10 – Sharp. Rotated smartly with his colleagues and showed off his fine technical ability with an array of delicate touches and passes. Took his goal well early on, but spurned a great chance to grab his brace after an hour.
AM: Thomas Muller – 7/10 – Strangely, Muller did all the right things, but just lacked that clinical edge. He was often let down by a loose final touch or a scuffed effort at goal. Well-positioned for his goal, which was gifted to him.
LM: Jamal Musiala – 9/10 – Exceptional awareness, a stunning first touch and the confidence and physicality to pull it all together. Musiala is an absolute star in the making. Made the fluid approach in attack tick.
ST: Sadio Mane – 8/10 – Peeled out wide to stretch the play with regularity, but came up with the goods when it mattered. A first goal in five games and a first as a Bayern Munich player at the Allianz Arena.
SUB: Serge Gnabry (65′ for Mane) – 6/10
SUB: Leon Goretzka (65′ for Sabitzer) – 6/10
SUB: Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (74′ for Sane) – N/A
SUB: Ryan Gravenberch (81′ for Gravenberch) – N/A
SUB: Noussair Mazraoui (82′ for Upamecano) – N/A
Manager: Julian Nagelsmann – 8/10 – After a difficult few weeks where the pressure was on to get a result, Nagelsmann delivered. A slip-up could’ve been easy, but he coached his side well and selected an XI that responded to the challenge.