Back by popular demand, I am filling in for Kai. Well, not so much popular demand, Kai asked me to post for him today since he’s in school. He will be back tonight to post a couple of Liga MX games. Since this is The Bundesliga Blog he wants to post about Bundesliga games but could not get this one from school.
The First Half
Dusseldorf launched the first real attack of the game in the second minute of the game but the defense responded swiftly, knocking the ball out of danger and regaining possession.
Robert Lewandowski made his presence known early with his first touch and Dusseldorf defenders swarmed. No danger at that time but a sign of many opportunities to come. Soon after, Bayern picked up the early lead as Pavard’s expert touch in the eleventh minute found the bottom corner.
Martinez received the first booking of the game for a hasty challenge on Kownacki at mid-field. Dusseldorf’s brief resulting possession yielded a corner but the attempt was controlled quickly.
Bayern’s at-will possession in the Fortuna defensive quarter yielded a second goal in the 27th minute. Gnabry’s penetration deep in the right side drew the defense and he quickly sent a cross through the box. After Muller whiffed, Tolisso connected and beat the overwhelmed Zack Steffen.
The game was nearly put away three minutes later on a beautiful touch from Lewandowski, where he fed a cross with the outside of his foot around the Fortuna defense, and curled back perfectly to Serge Gnabry as if drawn by a magnet. His resulting shot found the post.
Gnabry buried his next chance four minutes later. Fortuna’s defense was completely outclassed as they could not even keep possession in their defensive zone. Bayern’s offense pounced on an errant pass in front of Zach Steffen. Steffen moved across the goal to the left to block but Gnabry’s shot went back across to the right and into the back of the net.
A Note on Staffing
Everyone but Tomas Müller put on a football clinic in the first half. Müller can’t make up his mind on whether his true calling is to be a Shakespearean actor or a referee. At the lightest touch of a defender, he crumples to the ground. It is as if he plays Caesar merely for the knifing scene. However, if someone else on his squad goes down or an errant pass is deflected out, his arm is raised faster than the most diligent linesman.
Which is it, man? Do you want a purple toga or a checkered flag? If you hurry up off the field and hang up the boots, I’ll buy either of those props for you and overnight it.
The Second Half
The second half started out with a little hope for Dusseldorf. A couple of long runs and a corner which nearly connected with a friendly boot both looked promising but ended up demonstrating the impotence of the home side.
Zack Steffen’s quick reaction kept Lewy off the scorecard in the sixty-fifth minute. A brilliant cross curled beautifully to the head of the Polish striker. (I think it came from some washed up actor but I couldn’t see clearly.)
Gnabry scorched the right side of Fortuna’s defense for over an hour so Flick subbed him out to give Perisic a shot. With Gnabry on the bench, Lewandowski switched things up and put Fortuna’s left side on the heat. Driving deep to the endline, Lewy sent a beautiful little lob in front of the goal and Coutinho tacked on the fourth in the 70th minute.