Werder Bremen 0-2 Bayern Munich: Gustavo and Mandzukic strike late to preserve visitors' perfect start to new season

Bayern Munich made it six wins out of six to start the new Bundesliga season with two goals in the last 10 minutes to seal a 2-0 win over Werder Bremen at the Weserstadion on Saturday.

The Bavarian giants were met with a spirited performance from the home side, but should have put the game to bed much earlier had they found the target with one of their many chances.

However, just when their 100 percent record looked ready to end, Luis Gustavo struck gold with a 20 yard drive to send them into the lead with only nine minutes remining.

The points were made safe three minutes later by substitute mario Mandzukic, who converted a simple tap-in to send Bayern to victory and into a five-point lead at the top of the table.

Xherdan Shaqiri made way for Thomas Muller in the visitors’ XI, while Claudio Pizarro was chosen to lead the line ahead of Mandzukic from the start.

There was also interesting news for Bremen up front, as on-loan striker Nils Petersen started alone in attack against his parent club.

Bayern fired an early warning shot after only six minutes. Franck Ribery created the danger, wriggling free down the left before planting a cross onto the head of Claudio Pizarro, who missed by inches.

The visitors ere at it again moments later when a flowing move saw Bastian Schweinsteiger tee up Toni Kroos at the top of the box, but his powerfully struck effort was blocked bravely by Sebastian Prodl.

Bremen weathered the early storm though, and behind the raucous crowd inside the Weserstadion, began to bring the game back onto a more even foothold by fiercely contesting matters in midfield.

The home side soon fashioned their first chance, as Marko Arnautovic sent a lovely cross towards Zlatko Junuzovic, who could not get enough purchase on his header and missed the target.

However, despite the passion shown on the field, chances remained at a premium as neither side seemed able to channel their eagerness into any concerted pressure on the opposition goal.

Pizarro had already spurned a great chance in the opening minutes of the half, and he ended the period in the same fashion as he missed another close range header, this time nodding Kroos’ delivery the wrong side of the post.

Bayern though nearly stormed into the lead minutes after the restart. A delightful display of nimble feet from Ribery left on Bremen defender on the turf, giving the Frenchman a sight on goal, but his finish rebounded agonizingly off the post.

Aaron Hunt sent a solid drive into the arms of Manuel Neuer not long after, but Bremen were almost carved apart by Ribery again. The French international drove past Gebre Selassie and squared towards goal, but Sebastian Mielitz spread himself well to block at a tight angle.

Ribery seemed to be at the end of everything for Bayern, and went close yet again with a snap shot from the edge of the area that bounced the wrong side of the post, as this time, Mielitz could only look on helplessly.

Bayern’s profligacy nearly told in the 70th minute, as a great run and cross from Kevin De Bruyne was directed just off target by Arnautovic, who arrived unmarked at the far post.

However, just when it looked like neither team would break through, Gustavo found his range with nine minutes to go, bending a well-struck effort past Mielitz from 20 yards out.

Within moments, Bayern struck again as Mandzukic latched onto a cross from fellow substitute Shaqiri to poke home the second goal from an unmarked position and wrap up the points for the visitors.

Schweinsteiger: Dortmund push Bayern to new heights

Bastian Schweinsteiger has voiced his opinion that the re-emergence of Borussia Dortmund is one of the reasons behind Bayern Munich’s progress this term.

The Bavarians were pipped to the Bundesliga title by BVB in 2011 and 2012, and the Germany international believes missing out on the domestic title has pushed Bayern to new heights.

“I believe that Dortmund have played a key role in our results so far. If they had not been around, we would probably no have made the progress we have made now,” Schweinsteiger was quoted as saying by SZ.

“Winning the Bundesliga is our top priority at the moment. However, I think that we can aim even higher this season.

“Going all the way in the Champions League is very hard, but there are no extraordinary teams except Barcelona.”

Bayern currently hold a seven-point lead over Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga table.

Robben ruled out of Werder Bremen clash

Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has received some disturbing news from the treatment table ahead of Saturday’s Bundesliga match away against Werder Bremen as he will have to make do without the services of Arjen Robben due to injury.

The Netherlands international picked up a knock in his side’s 3-0 win over Wolfsburg in midweek, and he was forced to leave the pitch halfway through the second half.

Bayern were initially hopeful that Robben would be match fit in time for the match against Werder, but the Bavarians have now confirmed on their official website that the winger has been left out of the match squad as a precaution.

Meanwhile, Thomas Muller and Javi Martinez are fit again after a cold and a dead leg, meaning they will be in the 19-man squad, which also includes Daniel van Buyten for the first time in three matches as the Belgian has recovered from an illness.

Saturday’s encounter at the Weserstadion is due to kick off at 15:30CET.

Bayern Munich not taking any risks with Gomez

Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes will have to make do without the services of Mario Gomez for a few more weeks as the Bavarians are not taking any risks with the Germany international forward.

Gomez sustained an ankle injury early in August and Bayern were initially hopeful that the prolific striker would be fully match fit again within six weeks.

However, the 27-year-old only just resumed individual training action, and club doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt has stressed that Bayern won’t rush the attacker’s comeback.

“We have to be careful. We are taking things one step at a time in his recovery process. We want him to be able to make a risk-free comeback without having to worry about anything,” Muller-Wohlfahrt was quoted as saying by Bild.

Gomez is expected to resume regular training action in two weeks’ time, and could return to match action by early November.

Werder Bremen – Bayern Munich Preview: Bavarians look to continue winning streak

WERDER BREMEN

Mielitz

Gebre Selassie, Prodl, Sokratis, Fritz
Junuzovic, Hunt
Arnautovic, De Bruyne, Elia
Petersen

BAYERN MUNICH
Roma

Neuer

Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Badstuber
Martinez, Schweinsteiger
Robben, Muller, Ribery
Mandzukic

Werder Bremen boss Thomas Schaaf will have a near-full set of players from which he can pick for the visit of the Bavarians on Saturday.

Assani Lukimya, who is suspended, is the only player who is certain to miss the clash. Elsewhere, Theodor Gebre Selassi will return at right-back for Lukas Schmitz, who deputised for the Czech Republic international for the Tuesday’s win over Freiburg.

Meanwhile, Bayern are also likely to make minimal changes to the team that cruised past Wolfsburg with a 3-0 win in midweek. David Alaba is still building up his fitness after a pre-season foot injury, meaning that Holger Badstuber will continue at left-back, with Philipp Lahm on the opposite side of defence.

Bastian Schweinsteiger will continue alongside Javi Martinez in the deep-lying midfield positions, but Xherdan Shaqiri could make way for Thomas Muller, despite his impressive performance against Felix Magath’s side.

Finally, Mario Gomez has started training after undergoing ankle surgery shortly before the start of the season, leaving Mario Mandzukic to continue up front after making a flying start to his Bayern career.

  • Werder Bremen striker Nils Petersen is currently on loan from Bayern Munich. He moved to the Allianz Arena last summer from Energie Cottbus, but failed to break into the first team, prompting his switch to the Weserstadion during the recent transfer window.

  • Otto Rehhagel coached Bremen for 14 years, winning two Bundesliga titles in the process, but left the club for the Bavarian giants in 1995. He failed to last one season at Bayern.
  • Thomas Schaaf’s side have endured a poor record against Bayern in recent years. They have lost their last three home league encounters against the Bavarians.
  • Bayern Munich striker Claudio Pizarro swapped Werder Bremen for the Allianz Arena this summer, repeating a transfer that he had previously made in 2001.

  • Roten stalwart Bastian Schweinsteiger (pictured, right) has scored four goals this season in his seven appearances. He managed just one more throughout the whole of last season.

  • Summer signing Mario Mandzukic has scored in all but one of his five appearances in a Bayern jersey to date.