Sadio Mane scored 29 minutes into his Bundesliga debut as Bayern Munich kicked off the 2022-23 league campaign with a flourish, crushing Eintracht Frankfurt 6-1 at Deutsche Bank Park.
What looked a tricky opener on paper against the Europa League winners proved anything but as Julian Nagelsmann’s side ran riot in a scarcely believable first half in which they scored five goals.
Joshua Kimmich gave Bayern lift-off in the fifth-minute with an audacious low free-kick from 30 yards that caught out goalkeeper Kevin Trapp at his near post, and five minutes later, it was 2-0, Benjamin Pavard with a striker’s finish from a corner.
Mane got in on the act with a trademark header to finish Serge Gnabry’s cross – and he was central to Bayern’s fourth and fifth goal, too, as Thomas Muller left it on a plate for Jamal Musiala and then Gnabry to make it five before the sound of the half-time whistle.
Determined to start afresh in the second half after a triple substitution, Frankfurt were much improved, and the arrears were reduced in the 64th-minute – after a rare mistake from Manuel Neuer. The Bayern Munich goalkeeper was caught in possession as Kolo Muani stole in and slotted the ball into an empty net.
With the game already sewn up, Bayern lifted their foot from the pedal, taking the opportunity to introduce new signings Ryan Gravenberch and Matthijs De Ligt, but they finished on a high with Musiala scoring his brace and Leroy Sane grabbing the assist.
TALKING POINT – ROBERT WHO?
The big question going into the new term is how Bayern Munich can cope without Robert Lewandowski, their Polish talisman who has scored at least 48 goals in each of the last three seasons. OK, this is only the first game of the campaign, but the early evidence suggests the 32-year-old may not be missed as much as the club may have once feared. Between tonight and the Super Cup triumph last weekend, Bayern have had six different goalscorers, bagging 11 in total. No longer, it seems, are they reliant on one central striker.
Indeed, all eyes were on Mane following his switch from Liverpool to see how he will fit in amongst the Bayern superstars. All the characteristics Premier League fans had become accustomed to were on show – clever movement, blistering pace, exemplary passing and vision – and of course, a ruthless finish.
These are extremely early days, but the signs are looking ominous for the rest of the league.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – SADIO MANE (BAYERN MUNICH)
A sensational league debut from the Senegal star, and even though Musiala pushed him close, Mane takes the award. Involved in everything positive Bayern had to offer, getting on the scoresheet, going close twice more and central to two other goals.
Frankfurt: Trapp 4, Toure 4, Tuta 4, N’Dicka 5, Knauff 5, Sow 5, Rode 4, Kostic 5, Lindstrom 5, Gotze 5, Borre 5.. subs: Alidou N/A Hasebe N/A, Lenz 6, Jakic 6, Muani 7.
Bayern: Neuer 5, Pavard 7, Upamecano 6, Hernandez 6, Davies 6, Kimmich 8, Sabitzer 7, Gnabry 8, Muller 8, Musiala 9, Mane 9*.. subs: Ulreich, de Ligt N/A, Sane 7, Gravenberch 5, Tel 5, Mazraoui N/A.
5’ – GOAL! FRANKFURT 0-1 BAYERN MUNICH (JOSHUA KIMMICH): That didn’t take long! Bayern are ahead in the fifth minute – and what a memorable goal it is too! Kimmich tries an ambitious shot from a free-kick, bending a low shot past the one-man wall and beating the unsuspecting goalkeeper Trapp as the ball sneaks in at his near post.
10’ – GOAL! FRANKFURT 0-2 BAYERN MUNICH (BENJAMIN PAVARD) Robert who? Bayern are two goals to the good inside 10 minutes! Frankfurt’s defending is all over the place as they struggle to clear Kimmich’s corner. It bobbles around and after Muller sees his shot blocked, Pavard leathers an arrow into the far corner; a striker’s finish!
29’ – GOAL! FRANKFURT 0-3 BAYERN MUNICH (SADIO MANE): A goal on his Bundesliga debut for Sadio Mane! And it’s a terrific goal as well. The ball is switched to Gnabry on the left flank and he lofts a delicate and inch-perfect cross into the path of Mane, who somehow finds the near post with a sublime header.
35’ – GOAL! FRANKFURT 0-4 BAYERN MUNICH (JAMAL MUSIALA): This is becoming embarrassing! Mane is running riot out there. He easily shrugs off his marker and he drives towards goal, dragging defenders out of position right, left and centre. There’s an overload on the right as he switches it to Muller, who rolls it across the face of goal and leaves Musiala with the simplest of finishes.
43’ – GOAL! FRANKFURT 0-5 BAYERN MUNICH (SERGE GNABRY): Bayern are absolutely rampant! Five goals, five different goalscorers – and it’s not even half-time! Mane is instrumental again with his driving runs, Muller takes control and picks out Gnabry. Cool as you like, he slides it underneath Trapp.
64’ – GOAL! FRANKFURT 1-5 BAYERN MUNICH (KOLO MUANI): A rare mistake from Neuer reduces the deficit! The Bayern Munich goalkeeper is caught in possession by Muani, who steals in and slots the ball into an empty net. Complacency slipping into the visitors’ game?
83’ – GOAL! FRANKFURT 1-6 BAYERN MUNICH (JAMAL MUSIALA): Musiala at the double! He controls Sane’s perfectly weighted pass and does well to keep his balance under pressure, rolling the ball past Trapp from point-blank range.