Munich - Just as was the case in pre-season, FC Bayern München’s Douglas Costa once again proved that, despite being at the club a little over a month, he already appears to be an irreplaceable part of the Bundesliga champions’ team.
Bayern dispatched Hamburger SV 5-0 in the new campaign’s opening game on Friday night, and although Thomas Müller bagged a brace to score in an official season opener for the third time, it was Costa that grabbed the headlines.
Costa was a blur of pace and athleticism throughout the 90 minutes and the chief reason that, despite a solid opening half from HSV, they ended up on the end of another heavy defeat, making it 36 goals conceded on their last six trips to Munich.
Costa won the free-kick from which Medhi Benatia opened the scoring, and bagged the final goal of the evening, but there was no doubting his coup de grace. Sprinting to keep an overhit Mario Götze pass in play, he delivered a vicious, dipping cross with the outside of his left boot, which Müller glanced home to make it 4-0.
Müller: ‘His energy levels are crazy’
It was the assist that observers will remember, not the goal itself, and Müller himself wasted no time in crediting his team-mate for a remarkable piece of play. “It was one of those situations where you just don’t bank on a cross that good,” said the German. “His energy levels are crazy. He’s a great team player and I hope he carries on like this.”
Coach Guardiola was similarly effusive in his praise of the 24-year-old. “He’s great at knowing when to dribble and when to pass,” with captain Philipp Lahm adding, “He’s a superb player. He can take players on in one-on-one situations and he usually comes out on top.” The Bavarians are evidently coping with the absence of Frenchman Franck Ribery very well indeed.