Bayern Munich made to work hard for DFB Pokal win

Drawn against SV Drochtersen/Assel in the DFB Pokal, Bayern Munich were made to work hard for their 1-0 win against the fourth-tier side. A poor performance was rescued by Robert Lewandowski’s 81st minute winner, which will surely give fans many concerns ahead of the coming 2018/19 Bundesliga season, which kicks-off next weekend against Hoffenheim.

Niko Kovac fielded arguably his strongest possible XI, with James Rodriguez the only noticeable absence. As we’ve seen for much of pre-season, the Croat opted for a 4-1-4-1 with Thomas Müller in midfield and Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery once again occupying the flanks.

It was a dire performance and one that will give Kovac plenty to think about ahead of their opening Bundesliga fixture against Hoffenheim on Friday night. There didn’t seem to be any urgency for Bayern Munich against SV Drochtersen/Assel and it wasn’t until the midway through the first half when the introduction of Leon Goretzka and Kinglsey Coman livened up proceedings. The duo had been at the heart of every Bayern Munich move in the final 30 minutes and credit where it’s due, SV Drochtersen/Assel defended well.

It was Goretzka’s long-range effort that was deflected in via Lewandowski that put Bayern into the next round and it’s a game that could well have gone the other way, despite Bayern’s dominance.

Both Goretzka and Coman’s performance on Saturday afternoon has surely put the duo in contention with a starting birth against Hoffenheim. In just 35 minutes, Goretzka controlled much more of the game than Thiago did in 90 while Coman wasn’t afraid to take on his opposing marker, showing he’s once again looking healthier with every passing week following an injury-plagued campaign last year.

And despite advancing to the second-round, it was a lacklustre display from Bayern Munich while there’s plenty of work for Kovac & Co. to work on in the coming days.

How did the other Bundesliga teams fare?

Winners of the competition last season, the 2018/19 campaign couldn’t have got off to a worse start for Eintracht Frankfurt. Under the guidance of Adi Hütter, they suffered a 5-0 defeat to Bayern Munich last weekend in the DFL Supercup and a 2-1 defeat to SSV Ulm 1846 on Saturday, meaning they’re now unable to retain their crown.

Bayer Leverkusen inched past fifth-tier club 1. CfR Pforzheim with a 1-0 win while VfL Wolfsburg also picked up a narrow 1-0 win against SV Elversberg, who play their football in the Regionalliga Südwest.

There was also wins for Bundesliga clubs, Hoffenheim, Nürnberg, Werder Bremen and Mainz while 2. Bundesliga’s Duisburg and Hamburg picked up wins, while there were defeats for Dynamo Dresden and St. Pauli.

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