Thomas Müller and Joshua Kimmich were among the goals as ten-man Bayern Munich cemented Bundesliga top spot with a 3-1 victory away to promoted side Greuther Fürth in the Matchday 6 curtain-raiser on Friday.
Julian Nagelsmann sent his side out in an unfamiliar 3-4-2-1 formation, with Benjamin Pavard and Alphonso Davies operating as wing-backs in a team designed to go all-out attack. They did just that from the outset, with Leon Goretzka setting the tone early with a drive from 18 yards that fizzed just wide. It wasn’t long before Bayern did take the lead though, Davies tearing into space down the left and his deflected cross into the middle falling at the feet of Müller, who swept home from 16 yards. Fürth refused to simply sit back and defend though, and got forward well on a number of occasions even if they were unable to produce an end product. The Reds remained in control, however, and added a second just after the half-hour mark when Joshua Kimmich curled in a second from the edge of the box from Leroy Sane’s lay-off. Fürth’s best chance of the first 45 minutes came just before half-time, with the unmarked Paul Seguin arriving a fraction of a second too late at the back post to poke in a corner that had been flicked on.
The home side were handed an unexpected lifeline soon after the restart when Benjamin Pavard was sent off for a professional foul on Julian Green. The Clover Leaves had their best effort on goal as a result, although Manuel Neuer was equal to Branimir Hrgota’s probing free-kick from 25 yards. Bayern largely remained comfortable though, and Robert Lewandowski went close to his eighth Bundesliga goal of the season, but goalkeeper Sascha Burchert was alive to the danger. The visitors still managed to extend their lead as the match entered its closing stages, with Lewandowski’s lurking presence from a Kimmich free-kick forcing Sebastian Griesbeck to bundle the ball into his own goal from close range. Fürth continued to probe for a consolation as the final whistle approached, and were rewarded in the 88th minute when substitute Cedric Itten headed in from Timothy Tillman's cross, but there was no danger of a late fightback as Nagelsmann's charges closed ranks and held on to their fifth league win of 2021/22.
- Fürth trio Green, Timothy Tillman and Adrian Fein all came through Bayern's youth academy. Tillman's brother Malik is still on the champions' books.
- The Clover Leaves have fallen behind in all six of their Bundesliga games this season, including three times in the opening 15 minutes.
- Müller climbed to 24th place in the league's all-time scoring chart with his 131st Bundesliga goal. He now also has 218 competitive goals for Bayern, putting him third in the club's all-time list behind Gerd Müller (552) and Lewandowski (305).
- Bayern have now scored at least once in each of their last 80 competitive games. They last failed to score in a 0-0 draw against Leipzig on 9 February 2020.
- Kimmich only scored four league goals in 27 appearances last season. This term he already has three, putting him well on course to overtake his personal best of six set in 2016/17.
- Bayern pair Goretzka and Niklas Süle played their 200th Bundesliga games here.
Watch: Davies: "We stuck to our game plan"
Fürth: Burchert - Meyerhöfer, Bauer, Viergever, Willems (Barry 76') - Seguin, Griesbeck (Tillman 76') - Nielsen, Dudziak, Green (Leweling 86') - Hrgota (c) (Itten 76')
Unsed subs: Funk, Seufert, Christiansen, Nunoo Sarpei, Abiama
Out: Jung (knee), Kehr (groin), Ngankam (knee)
Coach: Stefan Leitl
Bayern: Neuer (c) - Pavard, Upamecano, Süle (Stanisic 86'), Hernandez - Kimmich, Goretzka (Musiala 86') - Sane (Sabitzer 61'), Müller (Gnabry 76'), Davies - Lewandowski
Unused subs: Früchtl, Richards, Choupo-Moting, Sarr, Nianzou
Out: Coman (heart operation), Tolisso (calf), Ulreich (knee)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Watch: Neuer: "We got the job done"