German Bundesliga: Bayern off to winning start
Last Updated: 22/08/14 10:40pm
Bayern Munich got the defence of their Bundesliga title off to a successful start with a 2-1 win over Wolfsburg in an entertaining encounter at the Allianz Arena on Friday night.
Thomas Muller put Bayern ahead before the interval with Arjen Robben adding a second just after the break.
Ivica Olic made things interesting shortly afterwards with a superb effort to reduce the deficit and Wolfsburg had chances to level. Bayern also wasted opportunities to increase their lead with the game remaining on a knife edge right to the final whistle.
Most of Bayern's World Cup winners were selected in the starting XI by Pep Guardiola, who chose 17-year-old Gianluca Gaudino as the solution to his problems in midfield.
The son of former Bundesliga great and Germany international Maurizio Gaudino showed no sign of nerves and set up the first big chance on the half-hour mark with a lofted pass which Robert Lewandowski managed to reach at full stretch, but Wolfsburg goalkeeper Max Grun palmed the ball behind.
Moments earlier, Grun had denied Lewandowski in another one-on-one situation having saved from Muller's low shot.
The Wolfsburg custodian was coming under increased pressure and his resistance was broken when Robben tricked his way past Luiz Gustavo down the right and sent in a cross which Muller just had to stick a foot out to guide into the far corner from close range.
Wolfsburg could perhaps count themselves lucky to be just one goal behind at the interval, but Bayern needed only a minute of the second half to double their advantage.
Robben robbed Wolfsburg debutant Josuha Guilavogui of possession inside his own half and, just one quick exchange of passes involving Muller and Lewandowski later, the Dutchman was presented with only Grun to beat, and he placed his shot beyond the keeper's reach.
Five minutes later, and after a good spell of possession, Wolfsburg pulled a goal back with Olic taking advantage of the first time all night that Holger Badstuber had given him an inch, looping a 20-yard shot over Manuel Neuer and in off the underside of the crossbar.
Lewandowski then wasted his third gilt-edged opportunity when put through by David Alaba in the 57th minute, Grun coming out on top of that duel once again.
It looked like it could prove to be a costly miss when Wolfsburg started to gain the upper hand, creating numerous chances to level as they threw caution to the wind.
The best fell to Junior Malanda with just over 10 minutes to go when his shot was turned onto the underside of the crossbar by Neuer, and from just a yard out, the Wolfsburg substitute turned the rebound wide of the unguarded goal, collapsing to the ground in disbelief.
It was Sebastian Rode's turn not to believe his eyes when he had a goal ruled out for an offside decision against Muller, who jumped over the ball on its way past Grun, before Robben struck the top of the crossbar as a pulsating game entered stoppage time.