No coach, no great shine yet, but up front with merciless efficiency: Bayern Munich’s record hunters landed the opening victory they had hoped for at the start of the Henkelpott mission in the classic against Manchester United and with a turbulent 4:3 (2:0) before a hot autumn immediately set the desired example in the Champions League.
“In the end, we are happy that we got the first three points. The game was a bit wild. It was good offensively, but we made too many mistakes at the back,” said Leroy Sane at DAZN.
On the first step on the way to Wembley, where the final will take place on June 1, 2024, Sane took the lead that was undeserved at the time (28th). United keeper Andre Onana looked really bad. He had no chance when Serge Gnabry made it 2-0 a little later (32′). In just four minutes, Munich, who had been clearly inferior until then, turned the game on its head. The suspended Thomas Tuchel cheered in the stands.
He was less happy about Rasmus Höjlund making it 2-1 (49′), but Harry Kane restored the old gap shortly afterwards. The superstar scored coldly with a hand penalty according to video evidence (53′). It was only the fourth chance for Bayern. Casemiro (88th/90th+5) and Bayern’s joker Mathys Tel (90th+2) ensured a wild final phase.
For the Munich team it was the 20th (!) opening win in a row in the premier class and the 14th in a row in the group phase – both records. Before the weeks of truth with five games alone until the international break on October 8th, the Munich team was able to gain self-confidence. Manchester with team manager Erik ten Hag is still in crisis.
Before the classic, Bayern had once again underlined their high ambitions after three lean years in which they had already ended in the quarter-finals. Superstar Kane, who has not yet won a trophy, also made it clear “that I want to play for the title. That’s why I came here.”
Tuchel initially did without icon Thomas Müller at the start of the group phase. The recently ailing young star Jamal Musiala started for this. The suspended coach himself said goodbye to his team at the bus and took his place as a spectator.
From high above he immediately saw a huge opportunity for United, who had been well prepared by former Bayern II coach ten Hag. Facundo Pellistri was just pushed away by Alphonso Davies, and Christian Eriksen’s follow-up shot was brilliantly parried by Sven Ulreich (4th). Bayern had a very difficult time against the surprisingly bold English team.
They made many inexplicable careless mistakes in the build-up to the game. Captain Joshua Kimmich and Musiala in the headquarters were initially unable to provide the desired impetus, and not much came from the two outside players Gnabry and Sane either. This left Kane completely hanging in the air. Bayern possibilities? No report for a long time! Until Onana let a shot from Sane slip through his hands.
Bayern now had more control. And suddenly Musiala also worked magic, passing the ball perfectly to Gnabry, who didn’t miss the chance from close range. Football is wrong. The goals had an impact on United.
After the change, the guests were wide awake when Höjlund shortened the score with a deflected shot. But Bayern quickly hit back. Eriksen had his hand too far out when attempting to defend. Seconds later, Sane missed the preliminary decision when he shot against the post. Instead, it went back and forth again in a crazy final phase.