Münster - FC Bayern München slipped into first gear with a tentative 4-1 win over ten-man SC Preußen Münster in the first round of the DFB Cup on Sunday.
The holders were comfortably beaten by Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night, but showed only mimimal signs of a Supercup hangover in front of a capacity crowd at the Preußen-Stadion.
“I want to congratulate my team on a focused display, although Münster were better than us until Mario Götze’s goal,” said Bayern head coach Pep Guardiola after the game. “We improved after that and were much better in the second half. I'm satisfied with the performance, but everyone can see we still need time.”
Five of die Münchner’s six 2014 FIFA World Cup winners started the contest, with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, defender Jerome Boateng, captain Philipp Lahm and forward Thomas Müller joining 19th-minute goalscorer Götze in Guardiola’s star-spangled line-up.
Müller, David Alaba and Claudio Pizarro added the gloss to an encouraging display, but Robert Lewandowski missed an injury-time penalty after Münster’s Rogier Krohne had notched a consolation spot-kick of his own. “What mattered today was making the next round,” explained World Cup hero Götze. “We’ve reached a good level of performance, but we know we still have work to do on our fitness.”
One man winning a very personal fitness battle is Holger Badstuber, the 25-year-old having just made his first competitive start since December 2012 following four rounds of surgery to repair the cruciate ligament in his right knee. “I’m delighted I got to play,” he enthused. “I really enjoyed it and we won, so it’s been a good day.”
Understandably, given the circumstances, Badstuber was perhaps the only player not to sign off citing the 17-time cup winners’ need for improvement. Bayern had lost two of their last five pre-season outings prior to Sunday’s success, while their preparations for Friday’s Bundesliga opener against VfL Wolfsburg have been rocked by injuries to Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez.
“We played well today,” surmised beaten World Cup semi-finalist Dante on the back of his first start of the 2014/15 campaign. “We’re happy with that performance, but there are always things you can work on. It’s going to take time for us to find our rhythm.” There's just no satisfying some folk, or so the saying goes, least of all the unappeasable red ballet.