Darmstadt 0-3 Bayern Munich: Coman and Vidal open Bundesliga account

The new signings scored their first league goals for the club before Sebastian Rode rounded off a comfortable win


Kingsley Coman and Arturo Vidal scored their first league goals for Bayern Munich as they swept aside Bundesliga new-boys Darmstadt 96 3-0 on Saturday afternoon.

The hosts’ enthusiasm was spectacularly punctured by Chile midfielder Vidal, who rifled home a spectacular long-range opener after 20 minutes.

Coman, who followed Vidal in making the journey from Juventus to Bayern during the summer transfer window, was handed a maiden start as Pep Guardiola shuffled his starting XI with an eye on Tuesday’s showdown against last season’s runners-up Wolfsburg.

And the 19-year-old Frenchman marked the occasion memorably by slotting in from Sebastian Rode’s pass in the 62nd minute, shortly before the midfielder got on the scoresheet himself.

Bayern move on to 15 points, three ahead of Borussia Dortmund, who can extend their own 100 per cent start against Leverkusen on Sunday.

Coman darted infield from the right in the 10th minute to play in Vidal, who flashed his first attempt of the match wide of the near post.

Douglas Costa rippled the side-netting with a 19th-minute free-kick and the Brazilian provided his sixth assist of the season when the hosts opened the scoring a minute later.

Costa cut inside from the right and laid off a square pass to Vidal, who took a touch before burying a thunderous 25-yard strike via the inside of the right-hand post.

Darmstadt responded impressively as Dominik Stroh-Engel burst through, only to be denied by Manuel Neuer, and Marcel Heller spurned a better chance in the 32nd minute as he blasted wide at the far post after excellent work by Jerome Gondorf down the left flank.

Costa flashed a left-footed effort wide and Coman was off-target with a back-post header as Bayern were unable to add to their advantage before the break.

Guardiola’s side maintained their customary grip on possession early in the second half and Darmstadt goalkeeper Christian Mathenia saved well when David Alaba made a foray forward from defence.

Stroh-Engel made way for Sandro Wagner and the substitute almost had instant impact with an hour played, heading Marcel Heller’s cross over.

But the game would soon be beyond Darmstadt as Rode was allowed room to advance down the right channel and pick his pass for Coman to finish.

It was somewhat negligent for the Darmstadt defence to allow the same situation to develop a minute after restarting, Rode going alone this time and converting when his initial attempt came back off the post.

Darmstadt struggled to recover their composure after that double blow – a last-ditch challenge from Aytac Sulu to thwart Mario Gotze indicative of their desperation.

Coman missed his kick and a chance to pile on further misery in the final minute but the earlier encouraging signs suggest Dirk Schuster’s team will enjoy plenty more fruitful days on their Bundesliga return.

Guardiola warns of 'awkward' Darmstadt threat

The former Barcelona manager has injury worries over three key players ahead of his side’s Bundesliga clash and believes their upcoming opponents will provide a difficult test


Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has warned of the “awkward” threat he expects from Darmstadt on Saturday amid fitness concerns over Xabi Alonso, Robert Lewandoski and Arturo Vidal.

The trio are all carrying knocks following Wednesday’s Champions League victory over Olympiacos as Bayern prepare to face a Darmstadt side who have made a strong start to their first Bundesliga campaign in 33 years.

Last season’s 2.Bundesliga runners-up welcome the German champions off the back of a 1-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen and following draws with Hannover, Schalke and Hoffenheim, Guardiola warned of the physical test his side will face.

“They’re not badly injured but I don’t know if they can play tomorrow,” he told reporters regarding Alonso, Lewandowski and Vidal, before turning his attentions to this weekend’s action.

“They’re awkward opponents due to the way they play. They are compact and are strong in the tackle. They do what they do very, very well,” he continued.

“They take a completely different approach compared to other teams. We have to adapt to Darmstadt.

“They have won in Leverkusen, where we have failed recently and I have tremendous respect for Darmstadt, which is a big task for us.”

Darmstadt – Bayern Munich Preview: Bundesliga champions aim to maintain perfect record

The Bavarians will be hoping to make it five wins from as many Bundesliga games this term when they meet the newly-promoted side

Bayern Munich will be looking to maintain their 100 per cent record when they take on Darmstadt at the Stadion am Bollenfalltor on Saturday.

The reigning champions have had some difficulties over the past few weeks, yet remain one of only two teams to have won all four Bundesliga games so far this campaign, Borussia Dortmund being the other one.

Thomas Muller has been Bayern’s main dangerman in the opening weeks of the new season with his six goals in four league appearances and he once more showed his class in the Champions League win over Olympiacos in midweek.

The Germany international scored twice to lead his team in the way and his first goal in particular was proof that everything Muller touches seems to turn into gold, with a failed cross ending up in the top corner.

“It feels nice when things are going well,” Muller commented modestly.

“I wanted to pass the ball to Robert Lewandowski with a sharp cross. When the ball was in the air I could see after five metres that it wouldn’t be a cross. Actually it was a dangerous shot into the far corner. It went in, it was a bit lucky – the ball just bobbled.

“I do my best in every game, but at the moment I’m enjoying a little luck as well.”

Pep Guardiola will once more be relying on Muller on Saturday, but the Spanish coach will possibly have to make do without the services of Robert Lewandowski due to injury after he limped off on Wednesday.

Furthermore, Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben remain unavailable as well, while Medhi Benatia and Holger Badstuber are still recovering.

Darmstadt, meanwhile, have few injury problems of note as head coach Dirk Schuster will pick from a near full strength squad.

“They’ve all reported fit,” the 47-year-old told reporters two days prior to the match.

Schuster is only without two long-term absentees, midfielder Yannick Stark (ankle) and back-up goalkeeper Patrick Platins (hamstring).

That won’t make Darmstadt’s challenge of getting a good result against FCB any less difficult, though.

They remain unbeaten so far this Bundesliga campaign, recording three draws before bagging the full three points against Bayer Leverkusen last weekend, but their record against Bayern gives little reason for optimism.

Darmstadt last took on Bayern in 1981-82, when the Munich side won 4-1 at home and 2-1 away. Darmstadt managed a draw on one of their other two encounters, yet they were beaten at home in May 1979, meaning they still await their first Bundesliga win over FCB.

Thiago sends heartfelt message to injured brother Rafinha

Following Barcelona midfielder Rafinha’s serious knee injury, his brother Thiago, who plays for the Bundesliga champions, has sent him a profound message of support


Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara has sent a heartfelt message of support to brother Rafinha following the Barcelona man’s injury.

Rafinha was taken off on a stretcher in the second half of the 1-1 Champions League draw with Roma on Wednesday with what was later confirmed as a ligament tear in his right knee and is expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the campaign.

The 22-year-old received a number of encouraging messages following surgery this week, including team-mate Lionel Messi, and Thiago, who suffered a similar injury last year, has posted his own tribute via his official Instagram page.

“Now I finally understand when mum said ‘I wish it was my knee and not yours’. Because that’s what I’m feeling right now when I think of you and I’m sure mom will be feeling the same thing,” he wrote.

“People have always told us that we’d have to fight for our dreams, to put in the effort and persevere. But they never said the walls on the road would be this tall and slippery.

“But I still want to climb one more wall with you, see how tall it is, and go through it together. This dream you were living was nothing but a dream, because what awaits you is bigger than you’ve ever imagined. I LOVE YOU”
 

Guardiola: I love Gotze

The Germany international has started just one Bundesliga game thus far this season but scored in the 3-0 victory over Olympiacos in the Champions League on Wednesday


Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has lavished praise on Mario Gotze and admits he understands the midfielder’s frustration with his playing time.

Gotze has only started one Bundesliga match so far this season but scored Bayern’s second goal in the 3-0 win over Olympiacos on Wednesday after being named in the starting XI for their opening Champions League Group F fixture.

Guardiola insists he has no doubt over the World Cup-winning midfielder’s ability or attitude but says it is hard to find a place in his regular line-up given the form of Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller, who scored twice against the Greek champions.

“I love Mario Gotze, he’s a top player. He has massive quality and a good attitude,” Guardiola said.

“But I have Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller. I can understand that he is disappointed, but I’m here to help him.”

Gotze himself believes Bayern can be hugely satisfied with their victory, even though they led by a solitary goal until the 89th minute.

“Three points against a good opponent, so we can be really happy,” said Gotze. “Muller obviously scored an outstanding goal.”

Bayern return to Bundesliga action against Darmstadt on Saturday.