Summary

  • Ancelotti has won all five Bundesliga encounters.
  • Bayern are unbeaten during Oktoberfest in six years.
  • Record titleholders aiming for a fifth-straight Bundesliga title.

Carlo Ancelotti can evidently mark up his first Munich Oktoberfest visit in the semi-official line of duty as a success.

“I'm perfect,” he said with a twinkle in his eye, asked as to the after-effects on a renowned wine lover of downing a couple of litre-mugs of beer in one of the world-famous festival tents. More generally, the reconnaissance trip with his assistants ahead of the full FC Bayern München squad's obligatory annual appearance was “a nice moment, with everyone there together.”

The record champions' new coach had every reason for good cheer at the Wiesn, with his team having made a four-game winning start to the Bundesliga. They stretched that to five a couple of days later with a 1-0 victory at struggling Hamburger SV – a mighty close-run affair, decided only by Joshua Kimmich's 88th-minute strike. “It was a very difficult game, Hamburg played with a lot of intensity,” said Ancelotti. Come the final whistle, however, as so often, Bayern had made their extra class count: “Thiago's pass at the end was fantastic. That's one of his great qualities.”

Joshua Kimmich (l.) celebrates his winning goal at Hamburger SV on Matchday 5.

For defensive linchpin Mats Hummels, subbed off injured early in the second half, Thiago's volleyed outside-of-the-boot ball to Franck Ribery was “ridiculously good.” The French wing wizard raced free to tee up Kimmich's close-range finish, keeping Bayern's 100 percent league start intact. The fact that Ancelotti could bring Ribery and double Copa America winner Arturo Vidal off the bench for the final half-hour against a tiring home side serves only to underscore the unrivaled pool of talent available to the battle-hardened Italian tactician.

Next up is a home meeting with early-season surprise package 1. FC Köln, riding the crest of a wave in third place on the back of their best start to a Bundesliga season in almost 40 years. For the first time since the new coach took over, Bayern are on the rebound from a defeat – 1-0 at Atletico Madrid in their second UEFA Champions League Group D outing. Should they bounce back in their accustomed style, Ancelotti will savour the first fully official Oktoberfest beer with his players all the more.