Bayern wins Bundesliga opener with new players and video ref
ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 19, 2017 08:41 AM
Bayern's Thiago celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between FC Bayern Munich and FSV Mainz 05 at the Allianz Arena stadium in Munich, Germany, Saturday, April 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
By Ciaran Fahey, Associated Press
BERLIN (AP) — It was out with the old and in with the new but Bayern Munich still started the 55th Bundesliga in familiar fashion on Friday, with a 3-1 home win over Bayer Leverkusen.
Bayern was playing its first league game without the retired Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso, but two new signings - Niklas Suele and Corentin Tolisso - got the five-time champions underway.
Then the Bundesliga's first ever use of video assistance saw the awarding to Bayern of a penalty, which Robert Lewandowski converted in the second half.
Bayern quickly got into its stride, and Suele, an imposing defender, got the home side off to a flying start when he headed in a free kick from former Hoffenheim colleague Sebastian Rudy. Both joined Bayern in the offseason.
Corentin Tolisso made it 2-0 when Arturo Vidal picked him out at the far post.
Tolisso then hit the post, and the visitors' new coach, Heiko Herrlich, called on his players to keep their heads up as Bayern threatened a rout.
A thunderstorm forced the start of the second half to be delayed by more than 10 minutes. Some fans took their tops off to enjoy the deluge. Others took shelter under rain-ponchos. Most sheltered safely inside the stands.
Herrlich made use of the break for two changes, though the positive impact they made was undone when Charles Aranguiz hauled Lewandowski back in the area. Referee Tobias Stieler allowed play to continue before consulting his video assistant. He then pointed to the spot, booked Aranguiz, and Lewandowski did the rest.
Substitute Julian Brandt set up Admir Mehmedi for Leverkusen's deserved equalizer.