Defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich collected the first points of the 2017/18 season, with goals in either half proving too much for Bayer Leverkusen in a 3-1 win.
Bayern 3-1 Leverkusen
The 2017/18 season began in sizzling style for last season’s champions, who stole the march on Bayer Leverkusen and made their early work count. It was a night for the summer signings, as less than ten minutes into the new season, one of the new faces for Bayern notched his first goal for the club, as Sebastian Rudy’s free-kick found the head of his former Hoffenheim teammate Niklas Süle, who found the far corner.
The defender’s effort was added to minutes later by the third new arrival starting on opening night in Munich. Arturo Vidal’s volleyed ball into the box found Corentin Tolisso alone at the back post, and the Frenchman flicked a header into Bernd Leno’s net. Leverkusen never looked lost, though, and created a number of chances, with Admir Mehmedi and Karim Bellarabi producing shots on goal before the first half came to a close.
The second half began just as the first, however this time, an historic moment for the Bundesliga history occurred. The first-ever decision-changing use of VAR was made by referee Tobias Stieler, after a penalty was not given during the game and at the first time the ball was dead, the officials checked with the Video Assist Referee and reversed the decision.
Robert Lewandowski, who won the penalty, stepped up and converted the spot-kick. However, with 25 minutes to play, Heiko Herrlich’s side finally scored after again carving out a number of chances in the second half. Mehmedi was found in space running into the box by Julian Brandt, and smashed a laced shot past Sven Ulreich at his near post. The away side certainly should have added to their goal tally in the second half, but Bayern’s stranglehold on the game was in place early and remained throughout until the final whistle.
Man of the Match
In his first Bundesliga outing, Corentin Tolisso showed us exactly what he is about. The dynamic midfielder not only bagged a goal on his league debut but dominated across the stats board of the match, covering the second-largest amount of distance of any player, producing the most attempts on goal, most touches and most passes of any player. Debuts don’t get much better than that.
Watch: Corentin Tolisso wants more after dream debut!
- The reigning champions have never lost when officially opening the new season (W13, D3).A Bayern player has scored the opening goal of a Bundesliga season 13 times – including the last five.Niklas Süle scored with his third touch in the Bundesliga for Bayern Munich.Bayern and Leverkusen met for the fifth time on an opening weekend (4 FCB wins and a draw).Robert Lewandowski now has 19 goals in his 18 Bundesliga matches during 2017.Leverkusen had more efforts on on goal (20) than any visiting side at the Allianz Arena last term.
Bayern: Ulreich - Kimmich, Süle, Hummels (Rafinha 62'), Alaba - Tolisso, Rudy, Vidal- Müller (Robben 61'), Ribery (Coman 77') - Lewandowski
Coach: Carlo Ancelotti
Leverkusen: Leno - Henrichs, Tah, S. Bender (Dragovic 46'), Wendell - Kohr, Aranguiz (Kampl 61') - Bellarabi, Bailey (Brandt 46') - Volland, Mehmedi
Coach: Heiko Herrlich
Watch: Highlights of Bayern's win below