Munich - FC Bayern Munich got their 2012/13 Bundesliga campaign off to a winning start with an ultimately comfortable 3-0 win at top-flight newcomers SpVgg Greuther Fürth.
With the hosts on the back foot for much of the encounter, Bayern had to chip away at their new northern Bavarian rivals before Thomas Müller eventually broke the deadlock in the 43rd minute. Mario Mandzukic and Arjen Robben added further goals in the second half as Fürth were given a harsh welcome to the top table of the German game.
With Franck Ribery left behind in Munich with a fever, Xherdan Shaqiri was handed his Bundesliga debut. In defence, new signing Dante started in the centre, with Holger Badstuber moved to the left of the back four due to Emre Can's injury. Gerald Asamoah was the notable absentee from the Fürth team sheet with Baye Djiby Fall making his debut in the attack. He may well have expected a quiet debut and he was not wrong as a well-organised Fürth side set about containing their illustrious rivals with ten men packed in behind the ball.
Mario Mandzukic found the first chink in the Fürth defence in the eighth minute, but his acrobatic overhead kick landed harmlessly on the roof of the net. For all their possession, Bayern were struggling to make good any territory and, at the other end, Fall got his first touch of the game and Fürth's first sight of goal in the 35th minute, but lifted his shot over the crossbar from 20 yards out. Shaqiri's effort was no more threatening in the 43rd minute, but it was crucially deflected behind for a corner, which he took, finding Dante's head in the six-yard box. Schmidtgal managed to clear the Bayern defender's effort off the goalline, but the ball struck a team mate and fell invitingly for Müller to lash into the roof of the net from point-blank range.
Fürth inevitably took a more positive approach to the second half, with the knock-on effect of opening the game up. Arjen Robben exploited one such opportunity in the 59th minute, breaking clear and seeing his shot parried by Grün to the lurking Mandzukic, who nodded in his first Bundesliga goal for Bayern. The German record champions continued to attack, with Grün pushing away Robben's next effort - this time safely out of the reach of any awaiting Bayern player.
came on for the final 18 minutes with Shaqiri making way for him. Fürth rallied late on, with Manuel Neuer forced to clear the ball behind as Bernd Nehrig got in around the back of the Bayern defence, but normal business was promptly resumed as Robben's cross took a wicked deflection off Nehrig to loop over Grün and nestle in the far corner. Bayern substitutes Claudio Pizarro and Schweinsteiger both missed chances to make it four as the game ended punctually on 90 minutes with Bayern taking the spoils.
SpVgg Greuther Fürth: Grün - Nehrig, Kleine, Mavraj, Schmidtgal - Fürstner, Prib - Klaus, Tyrala (Stieber 69'), Sararer - Fall
FC Bayern Munich: Neuer - Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Badstuber - Luiz Gustavo, Kroos (Tymoshchuk 88') - Müller, Shaqiri (Schweinsteiger 72'), Robben - Mandzukic (Pizarro 81')
Goals: Müller (43'), Mandzukic (59'), Robben (78')