Bayern Munich kicked-off their preparations for the 2018/19 campaign with a 3-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the International Champion's Cup in their first pre-season fixture under new boss Niko Kovac.
Bayern Munich 3-1 Paris Saint-Germain
Goals: 0-1 Weah (31'), 1-1 Martinez (60'), 2-1 Sanches (68'), 3-1 Zirkzee (78')
The Bayern coach started with a strong line-up but his charges were initially second best against PSG, now led by former Borussia Dortmund tactician Thomas Tuchel. The sides traded hopeful attempts at goal early on before the French side took the lead when Timothy Weah sprinted away from the Bayern defence before expertly slotting the ball past Sven Ulreich. Sandro Wagner and Oliver Batista Meier had the best opportunities for the defending Bundesliga champions, but were unable to get the better of Gianluigi Buffon in the PSG goal.
Kovac's charges were much improved after the break and soon had a stranglehold on the game that would remain until full time. Their pressure paid off in the 60th minute when Javi Martinez powered in a free header from Arjen Robben's corner, before Renato Sanches gave the the lead with a well-taken free-kick shortly afterwards. The well-deserved victory was sealed in the closing stages when 17-year-old Dutchman Joshua Zirkzee flicked in at the near post from Serge Gnabry's cross.
After this match, Bayern will head to the United States for two more preparation bouts against Juventus in Philadelphia (25 July) and Manchester City in Miami (28 July).
Watch: Bayern Munich's 2017/18 season review.
Bayern: Ulreich – Rafinha (Johansson 71'), Martinez (Gnabry 62'), Stanisic (Alaba 46'), Bernat (Zirkzee 62')– Sanches (Zylla 70'), Will – Robben (Meier 62'), Batista Meier (Shabani 46'), Ribery (Coman 46') - Wagner (Richards 62')
Unused subs: Früchtl, Wriedt, Zaiser, Jeong
Coach: Niko Kovac
PSG: Buffon (Descamps 66') - Dagba (Georgen 84'), Rimane, Mbe Soh, Nsoki - Bernede, Rabiot (Zagre 72'), Diarra (Jese 72'), Toufiqui (Fressange 84'), Nkunku (Postolachi 72') - Weah
Unused subs: Cibois
Coach: Thomas Tuchel
- With eight goals in 722 minutes last season for Bayern, winter signing Sandro Wagner scored on average every 90.25 minutes, which translates to one goal per full match.
- Bayern and PSG have faced each other eight times in official competitions with the Parisians winning five times and the Bavarians three.
- Tuchel coached Mainz and Dortmund against Bayern a total of 17 times with a balance of five wins, two draws and ten losses.
- The teams' last meeting, in the 2017/18 Champions League, likewise ended with a 3-1 victory for Bayern.
- Ulreich saved 62 shots and only conceded 26 goals for Bayern last season as he stepped in for the injured Manuel Neuer.
- Buffon has now faced Bayern nine times with a record of two wins, two draws and fives losses, shipping 15 goals in the process.