Steve McClaren made history today by being the first English manager to take charge of a Bundesliga side, but he could not secure what would have been an historic win over Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich. Goals from Thomas Mueller and Edin Dzeko, and then a dramatic winner from Bastian Schweinsteiger just thirty seconds from full-time, saw the reigning champions kick the season off with three points.
Bayern Munich absolutely dominated affairs in the first half, but failed to turn their possession into goals until a moment of brilliance from Thomas Mueller, who cut his way in between Barzagli and Kjaer and rifled in a volley with his left foot that gave Benaglio no chance between the sticks for Wolfsburg. Ribery starred down the left for Bayern Munich, where he absolutely tortured Peter Pekarik for the entire ninety minutes. Ribery’s promise to fulfill his potential this season looks like a promise that will soon be seen through after a stunning display today. His cross created what would be Bayern Munich’s winner.
Wolfsburg kept nine outfield players behind the ball at almost all times during the match, with Wolfsburg captain Josue sitting between Wolfsburg’s midfield and defense to disrupt any and all of Bayern Munich’s attacking moves. In the second half, Bayern Munich continued to press for another goal but left themselves vulnerable in defense. Wolfsburg counter-attacked at lightning pace, and the technical ability of Misimovic led to some very nervy moments for Die roten. Finally, it was Edin Dzeko who evened things up from a corner kick. Dzeko towered above his marker and knocked in a header, and the pressure was immediately on Bayern Munich to secure a win in front of an expectant crowd who roared their team on.
Just seconds from the full-time whistle, some trickery from Franck Ribery and an excellent cross to the far-post allowed dynamic midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger to poke the ball passed an advancing Diego Benaglio from a tight angle and secure the win for Bayern Munich.
While a loss is certainly not what Wolfsburg fans wanted on the opening day of the season, they performed well and battled hard and were really unlucky not to leave Munich with at least a point for their efforts. McClaren will need to lift his side before their next match, but he will be encouraged by some positive performances from his side today. Certainly, though, Kjaer and Pekarik need some fine-tuning in defense. Ribery absolutely dominated the pair of them everytime he ran at them and McClaren will need to create a back-line that is far more stable than it looked today.
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