FC Bayern Munich vs. VfB Stuttgart: A Memorable 6-1 Victory for FC Bayern
There are some days when everything goes perfectly; nothing seems out of place. Sometimes, when Mario Gomez scores a hat-trick, he manages to get an assist—and as an added bonus, his hair remains perfectly placed through ninety minutes.
Today was not a perfect day, however. It was just a rather brilliant day.
Javier Martínez shook hands with some of the Bayern crowd as he came out in his orange suit. On the pitch, the line-up shocked quite a few people. In the pre-match build up, there was little said about any injuries concerning Arjen Robben. The Dutchman was left out of the squad and was seen in the stands, watching the match with his family. Bastian Schweinsteiger, meanwhile, was handed a start.
Knowing the patterns of Bayern's seasons, I was not surprised when Martin Harnik opened the scoring. Without a proper left-back, Holger Badstuber had to deputize. Stuttgart spotted him as a weak link and targeted him. Indeed a free-kick in the 25th minute of the match saw Harnik find the net with Badstuber gaping close by.
Nobody could begrudge Stuttgart their lead. Harnik had hit the bar in the opening minutes when Stuttgart looked the better side. They had seemingly arrived with a plan to press Bayern into errors. The blades of grass were a little longer, hence, Bayern's passing was disrupted at times. Jérôme Boateng, Toni Kroos and Franck Ribéry misplaced a few passes.
Every problem seemed to disappear after half an hour had passed.
In the span of two minutes, the entire game changed. Thomas Muller's shot initially was pushed away by Sven Ulreich. The German international was fast enough to tuck in a rebound. Stuttgart was trying to settle once again now. Just then, Muller stole the ball and found Toni Kroos. Kroos' technique was brilliant—soon the ball was bulging in the net thanks to his shot from outside the box.
Bayern, now with wind in their sails, searched for more.
It was Luiz Gustavo's turn next to hit an absolute blinder. Manager Jupp Heynckes was flashing a huge smile as Manuel Neuer jumped out to celebrate with the defensive midfielder. Stuttgart coach Bruno Labbadia was quite angry on the touchlines—he had no idea what had hit his side!
In the second half, in the span of seven minutes, Bayern added another three. Stuttgart's back-line made it easy for them, too. Mario Mandžukić undercooked his first effort when Muller found him but tucked in the rebound. Muller headed in for the fifth. Schweinsteiger hit a sixth.
With about forty minutes to go, Stuttgart decided that six was enough and tightened up at the back.
If Bayern wanted to, they could have added four more. Stuttgart is currently at the bottom of the table following two losses. Vedad Ibišević saw red soon afterwards for pushing Boateng, who collected a second yellow in as many games for provoking the Bosnian.
Amazingly, Bayern had managed to knock in six goals in the span of twenty minutes.
Amongst all the celebrations, Javi Martínez made his debut. Bayern sport director Matthias Sammer already told the fans not to expect "fireworks" from him. GM Uli Hoeness' reasoning behind accepting Martínez's price tag was the buy-out clause. In his book, Martínez was worth €40 million. Martínez might start against Mainz, but today, he just experienced the beauty playing football at the Allianz Arena, with 71,000 people watching.
Competition has seemingly improved this side—Kroos, Müller and company are all running harder and trying harder. Nobody wants to lose their spot on the team. Even Xherdan Shaqiri had to satisfy himself with a place on the bench today after starting the first two matches.
This match reminded me of the Louis van Gaal days—a bit of carelessness mixed with endless attacking brilliance.
Bayern already hit six once this year, against Hertha. They hit seven, of course, against both Basel and Hoffenheim. Stuttgart aided their cause today, but Bayern did come from behind to secure a brilliant victory.
Maybe today wasn't a perfect day, however, it was a highly memorable and enjoyable one.
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