Bayern Munich began their pursuit of a seventh successive Bundesliga title with a win, beating Hoffenheim 3-1 at the Allianz Arena on the opening night of the 2018/19 season.
Bayern Munich 3-1 Hoffenheim
Defending champions Bayern were the dominant force from the outset, with Jerome Boateng first to try his luck from a Thiago corner. The Germany international got plenty of venom behind his effort, but was unable to circumvent the ruck of white shirts on the edge of the six-yard box. Hoffenheim were up against it, and it came as no surprise when Thomas Müller met a fierce Joshua Kimmich corner to head Bayern into the lead. Hoffenheim almost found an immediate equaliser as Nico Schulz burst clear, but Joelinton was unable to steer the former Hertha Berlin left-back’s inviting cross on target. David Alaba dragged an effort wide, before Kingsley Coman - having been thwarted one-on-one by Oliver Baumann - was carried off with a serious-looking ankle injury.
Coman’s replacement Arjen Robben went within a whisker of a signature goal soon after the restart, before Robert Lewandowski had a tidy close-range finish ruled out for offside. The pendulum swung with the next attack, though, as Adam Szalai bulldozed his way past Boateng and fired across Neuer to draw Hoffenheim level. An injury to Hoffenheim captain Kevin Vogt unsettled the visitors, however, and Bayern took full advantage. Baumann had already kept out Franck Ribery when the Frenchman was awarded a penalty following a foul by substitute Havard Nordtveit. Lewandowski's spot-kick was saved, but Robben tucked in the rebound, only to be penalised for encroachment. Match referee Bastian Dankert ordered a retake which Lewandowski successfully converted, sending Baumann the wrong way. A second VAR review denied Müller a deflected goal for handball, but Bayern were relentless in the closing stages and added a third when Robben thumped in Müller's clipped pass to wrap up the points.
- Bayern scored the opening goal of a Bundesliga season for the 14th time. Müller now has five Matchday 1 goals to his name - only four players have found the net more often on the opening weekend.Lewandowski has eight goals in 15 meetings with Hoffenheim. He also scored a league-high seven goals in the final 15 minutes of matches last term.Szalai scored away from home for the first time since May 2017. Neuer’s last Bundesliga appearance came against Mainz on 16 September 2017. He last conceded a goal in the Bundesliga in a 2-0 defeat to Hoffenheim on 9 September 2017. Joelinton’s only previous Bundesliga outing was as a substitute on 18 December 2015.
Bayern: Neuer (c) - Kimmich, Süle, Boateng, Alaba - Martinez (Goretzka 67'), Thiago - Coman (Robben 45+4'), Müller, Ribery (James 83') - Lewandowski
Unused substitutes: Ulreich, Wagner, Hummels, Rafinha
Absentees: Gnabry (thigh)
Coach: Niko Kovac
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Adams (Akpoguma 67'), Vogt (c) (Nordtveit 734'), Bicakcic - Kaderabek, Grillitsch, Schulz - Grifo (Zuber 46'), Bittencourt - Szalai, Joelinton
Unused substitutes: Kobel, Brenet, Belfodil, Otto
Absentees: Amiri (fatigue), Demirbay (ankle ligaments), Geiger (thigh), Hübner (concussion), Rupp (knee ligaments), Kramaric (knee)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Watch: Can Bayern Munich make it a magnificent seven Bundesliga titles in a row?