In the first game at the Allianz Arena for new Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti, the only goal came with fifteen minutes left from 20-year-old Erdal Öztürk, a new signing for the club’s second string.
Little can be learned from a relatively sedate match, with Bayern’s more established-looking side having the edge over a City side full of younger players, even if they were able to bring some more recognisable names off the bench in the second half.
Plenty of experience for Bayern
The focus in the build-up was on the match-up between new Bayern boss Ancelotti and the man he replaced, Guardiola, taking charge of City for the very first time. The Allianz Arena was, in a rarity, not full to capacity, but plenty who were there were keen to give the Italian a warm welcome.
Despite many players still missing follow Euro 2016, there were still lots of senior players in the Bayern starting line-up, including Javi Martínez, captain Philipp Lahm and Franck Ribéry. David Alaba was also included, following Austira’s extra exit from the competition.
He replaced the injured Arjen Robben from the side that started their first friendly against SV Lippstadt, a 4-3 win. Nicolas Feldhahn, an experienced head from Bayern Munich II, came in for Felix Götze, the brother of Mario.
City named new signing Oleksandr Zinchenko in the starting line-up, plus four youngsters in Pablo Maffeo, Tosin Adarabioyo, Angelino and Brandon Barker. Guardiola is known for trying players in unfamiliar positions, and here he put experienced full-back Aleksandar Kolarov at centre-back.
Caballero keeps it goalless
The early stages had a very pre-season feel to them, but after 16 minutes the game came to life. Ribéry, coming in from the left, shared a quick one-two with Alaba, then repaid the Austrian with a precise pass, but his shot didn’t have enough on it to beat Willy Caballero in the City goal.
City’s only notable chance of the half came after Jesus Nevas used his pace to chase down a long ball. He set up Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho but his curling shot was little trouble for Sven Ulreich, just going over the bar.
Julian Green was twice denied by Caballero, who had an excellent first half. The second came as the result of great skill from Ribéry, beating Barker and Fernando. The American did beat the Argentinian keeper, but only after the referee had blown for an incorrectly given offside.
City’s forwards did look to press Bayern high up the pitch, but in truth Bayern’s greater experience and knowhow was clear throughout the opening 45 minutes. And in Ribery, they had someone who already looks ready for the season proper to start.
Bony comes close to beating Ulreich
The start of the second half saw three changes for Bayern, and four for City, including introductions for Gaël Clichy, Fabian Delph and Wilfred Bony. Further changes followed throughout the half, with Bayern introducing many of their younger players, and another experienced head in the form of Yaya Touré coming on for City.
Naturally the rhythm of play from the first half was interrupted by the changes, with chances on goal few and far between. Fernandinho and Angelino both missed chances for City, whilst substitute keeper Angus Gunn made a straightforward save from Daniel Hägler.
As the half wore on there were signs that the changes were giving City more of an edge, with two great chances falling to Bony to give Guardiola’s men the lead. First he headed Angelino’s cross into the side netting, whilst what would have been a superb opportunity went begging after he let the ball get ahead of him.
Öztürk breaks the deadlock
Eventually Bayern did take the lead, through Öztürk, another substitute. Coming to the edge of the box, his shot would have been an easy save for Gunn, but a deflection off Clichy completely caught him out, and the man who has joined from the ranks at Hoffenheim had scored.
They then had him to thank for keeping the score at 1-0. Bersant Celina managed to beat Ulreich with a deflection but Öztürk got back to stop the ball in its tracks. Celina was again then denied by another vital interception, this time from Götze.
Touré came close to equalising, with a well-taken free kick going just wide. And the only other chance for Bayern came from Hägler, whose shot from outside the box took an awkward bounce in front of Gunn, but he did enough to keep it out.
Works in progress
What we can learn from this game in unclear, as is often the case in pre-season. It was interesting to see Ancelotti play Lahm and Alaba in midfield rather than defence, although it’s quite possible this was just to cover absentees. Up front, Green would have liked to have done better with the opportunities that came his way.
Whilst Ancelotti is unlikely to rock the boat much at Bayern, the same cannot be said of Guardiola. However with so many experienced players absent here, and possibly more signings to come, this game is little indication of what is to come, even if he might have been disappointed with the result against his former club.