Munich - FC Bayern München launched the defence of their Bundesliga crown with a 5-0 victory over Hamburger SV in the 2015/16 season opener on Friday evening.
First chance for Hamburg
Medhi Benatia scored the first goal of the campaign shortly before the half hour mark, with efforts from Robert Lewandowski, Douglas Costa and a Thomas Müller brace adding gloss to the scoreline.
After weeks of scorching temperatures across Germany, grey skies and thunderstorms greeted fans at the Allianz Arena on Friday evening, although it did little to dampen the atmosphere as the new season finally got under way. Bayern coach Pep Guardiola handed starts to his two marquee summer signings Arturo Vidal and Douglas Costa as the hosts sought to immediately stamp their authority on the game.
Yet it was the visitors who had the first sight of goal, with Lewis Holtby firing an effort goalwards from the edge of the area after just four minutes, but Manuel Neuer was well placed to save. Hamburg subsequently sat back in their own half and defended in numbers, inviting Bayern to attack.
Benatia opens the scoring
They duly did so, and went close through headers from Arjen Robben and Lewandowski that flew narrowly wide. There was, therefore, a sense of inevitability when the hosts finally broke the deadlock, Benatia heading in from close range from Xabi Alonso’s free-kick. Bayern continued pushing to double their lead but were unable to add to their tally before the break.
They did not need long to do so in the second half, though. After Hamburg failed to clear their lines from a right-wing cross, the ball fell directly to the feet of Lewandowski, who slotted home from ten yards out. Alonso went within inches of adding a third with an audacious attempted lob from the half-way line, only to see his effort dip too late and go over.
Hamburg needed to react if they were to have a chance of fighting back and coach Bruno Labbadia opted to bring on former Bayern striker Ivica Olic to join Sven Schipplock up front, but the change had little impact. Indeed, it was Bayern who clicked into another gear, with Rafinha drawing a fine save from Adler with a powerful drive from close range.
The hosts eventually got the third goal their dominance deserved. Mario Götze spread the ball out to the right wing to Costa, who sprinted to the bye-line before curling a pinpoint cross with the outside of his left boot on to the head of Müller. Bayern’s No.25 put the result beyond all doubt shortly afterwards, rounding Alder to slot home following neat work by Lewandowski. Costa curled in a fifth from the edge of the area in the closing minutes to crown a strong opening performance from the defending champions.
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