In a sneak peek of the opening game of the 2013/14 Bundesliga campaign Guardiola’s charges engineered a healthy 3-0 lead inside 26 minutes courtesy of goals from Franck Ribery, Philipp Lahm and new signing Thiago Alcantara. Luuk de Jong reduced the arrears shortly before half time, but after Arjen Robben and Thomas Müller got themselves on the scoresheet, the reigning Bundesliga champions were able to ease to a comfortable victory.
Out of the blocks
Pep Guardiola made four changes to the side that beat Hamburger SV 4-0, with Lahm moving into midfield and Müller operating in the lone striker role. The record titleholders rarely conceded possession and with the hosts struggling to fashion a clear sight of goal with their direct passing, Ribery timed his run to perfection, getting on the end of Robben’s lofted pass to volley home the opening goal just past the quarter-hour mark.
Both sides were contributing positively to the pace of proceedings, but Bayern’s relentless grip on the encounter saw them extend their lead when Lahm tapped home on the rebound shortly before Thiago chested in his debut goal from Jerome Boateng’s cross. However, Gladbach managed to pull a goal back just before the break when Diego Contento brought down Patrick Herrmann inside the area, allowing de Jong to send Tom Starke the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Salt in the wound
The visitors took the sting out of the game after the break, but still managed to further add to the scoreline as Robben scored a rare headed effort by getting on the end of Ribery’s pinpoint cross.
Despite his charges’ commanding position, Guardiola continued to issue frenzied instructions from the sidelines. Robben went close to doubling his tally with time winding down and, though the rhythm of the encounter was soon disrupted by the numerous substitutions made by both head coaches, Müller still found time to add a fifth goal as Bayern emerged victorious.