Bayern Munich picked up right where it left off to begin the new Bundesliga season.
Serge Gnabry’s hat trick, Leroy Sane’s goal and two assists and Robert Lewandowski’s penalty kick and sensational rabona assist got Bayern’s latest title defense start on the right foot, with the treble-holders thrashing Schalke, 8-0, Friday at the Allianz Arena.
Schalke has been quite transparent about its financial troubles and expectations to struggle this season, and it could not have been proven more correct.
The scoring started in the fourth minute, when Gnabry settled a ball over the top from Joshua Kimmich, turned and uncorked a left-footed blast from the edge of the box.
Thomas Muller, who set the Bundesliga’s single-season record for assists last season with 21, notched his first in the 19th minute, setting up Leon Goretzka to double Bayern’s lead.
Lewandowski, who scored 55 goals in all competitions last season and would have been the front runner to win the Ballon d’Or had the award not been canceled on account of the coronavirus pandemic this year, got his first of 2020-2021 from the penalty spot. The conversion gave Bayern a 3-0 lead going into halftime.
It got worse from there in a hurry. Gnabary notched his second and third in short order, scoring off assists from Sane in the 49th and 57th minutes.
Things turned ridiculous 10 minutes later, when Lewandowski displayed his flair for the outrageous by hitting his rabona and picking out Muller to make it 6-0.
Two minutes later, Sane broke free through the center of Schalke’s porous defense, scoring his first goal as a member of Bayern Munich. He made the move from Man City to Bayern this summer after missing a long period of time follow a torn ACL suffered in the 2019 Community Shield.
U.S. youth prospect Chris Richards came on a minute later, and he was joined off the bench by 17-year-old Jamal Musiala, who capped the scoring with a fine goal of his own.
The result is astounding on its own, but then consider that left back sensation Alphonso Davies didn’t even play, Thiago just departed for Liverpool and David Alaba was kept out with what the club called a muscle injury–though there’s. been a public contract dispute between the two parties as well.
Bayern will have its share of challengers this season, most likely in the form of Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig, but it’s quite clear that a ninth straight Bundesliga title is the baseline expectation for Hansi Flick’s men this season.
The reigning Champions League winner can win another trophy next week, when they face Europa League winner Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup on Sept. 24.
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