Bayern started their title defence with a comfortable 4-0 win over Atletico Madrid in their season opener. Goals from Tolliso, Goretzka and a brace from Kingsley Coman constituted an utter annihilation of Atletico Madrid.
Hansi Filck's men deployed their customary 4-2-3-1 formation with Coman on the left flank, with Tolliso and Muller interchanging between the right side and the central position. Initially Bayern were under the pump and were unable to escape out of their own half as Atletico forwards aggressively pressed them. To counter that Bayern players collectively stretched the pitch, dutifully hugging the sidelines to distort Madrid's pressing formation thus distracting them from central players like Kimmich and Tolliso. This strategy worked to a tee and Bayern slowly but surely started dominating possession and picking passes between the lines of Atletico's press.
The second half was a carbon copy of the first. Once again, Bayern seemingly let Atletico dominate the game for the first few minutes of the second half and once again they found their footing. Kingsley Coman in particular put in a devastating display, causing all manner of problems for Trippier and Savic with his timely runs and ability to carry the ball with supreme precision and unpredictability. In this mood, he is pretty much unmarkable one v one and arguably even two v one. Another standout performer was Kimmich who consistently broke through enemy lines with clever give and goes - yet it would prove to be the ever improving Goretska who got himself on to the scoresheet. With Atletico's pressing formation in disarray there was increasing pockets of space in front of the backline and this encouraged the Bavarian midfielders to gamble with forward runs.
Bayern without possession maintained their 4-2-3-1 and as always played with a high back lines. Without the presence of a quick fast paced forward to make those runs behind defenders it was a relatively easy game for Bayern players defensively. Suarez is simply not the same lethal forward he once was and thus tactically he didn't present much of a threat for Bayern. Furthermore Bayern’s pressing was on point and whenever it looked like Atletico were close to establishing a rhythm in possession, Bayern players forced them to make errors and successfully disrupted the play.
Atletico started with 4-4-2 with Felix playing just behind Suarez in the space between Bayern's midfield and defenders. Atletico players started with much intensity compared to the rest of the game. This made Bayern change their strategy but when the tide changed into Bayern's favour, Atletico went back to playing on defence. Historically this would not be a problem for Atletico but they no longer have the dynamism on the counter to turn defence into potent attack. Carrasco, Lodi and Felix made headways through the left flank but due to the lack of precise and fast decision making from their forwards, Bayern simply snuffed them out.
In the second half Atletico pushed higher up the pitch in pursuit of a goal. Felix was the one who started the half on the brighter side and made good runs deep into the Bayern half with the ball. But other than that there was no one worth mentioning despite enjoying a respectable 42% of possession, Atletico were not able to conjure anything else, managing to get just 6 shots on Bayern’s goal.
Atletico players were aggressively pressing from the word get go, trying to win possession higher up the pitch. Players were able to win back possession quickly but once Bayern got into their groove, Atletico's defenders were not able to cope up with the runs of Coman or Tolliso. The same story continued in second half with an aggressive start which petered out and Madrid were made to look lacklustre by the end.
It was a great start for Bayern who will be looking to defend their title this season. There were concerns raised whether or not Bayern could keep their intensity for one more season when they lost 4-1 to Hoffenheim, but 8 goals in 2 games and two consecutive victories means that it was just one off day for them which is acceptable considering the games teams are going to play this season to compensate for the time they lost previous season due to virus. After such a start one cannot bet against Bayern winning the Treble this season again.
Atletico Madrid who were sloppy today paid a heavy price. The Los Rojiblancos has not been able to put a major impact in recent years after reaching the final in 2014 and 2016. There has a been a lot of talks about Diego Simeone's negative style of football but today we saw something different from Atletico. Even though they were battered 4-0 today in fairness it is a team in transition. With inclusion of Carrasco, Felix and Suarez Atletico are playing more attacking football and there was positive signs in terms of their willingness to take the game to the Bavarians albeit in patches. Nevertheless one can't feel that they're a club that no longer looks likely to win 'Big Ears'.
Bayern Munich: M. Neuer, L. Hernandez, N. Sule, D. Alaba, B. Pavard, L. Goretzka, J. Kimmich, K. Coman, C. Tolliso, T. Muller, R. Lewandowski.
Atletico Madrid: J. Oblak, S. Savic, R. Lodi, F. Luis, K. Trippier, H. Herrera, Koke, M. Llorente, Y. Carrasco, J. Felix, L. Suarez.