Bayern Begin Bundesliga Season with Wolfsburg Win

Bayern Munich began its defence of the Bundesliga title with a hard-earned 2-1 win over Vfl Wolfsburg courtesy of goals by German midfielder Thomas Müller and Dutch forward Arjen Robben.

German champions Bayern were without Franck Ribery, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thiago Alcantara and Javi Martinez – all sidelined by respective knee injuries – as well as a suspended Jerome Boateng for the opening Bundesliga match at the Allianz Arena.

Defender Holger Badstuber however did make a first appearance for the Bavarians since December 2012 while Robert Lewandowski and 17-year old Gianluca Gaudino made their league debuts for Bayern.

The home side were uncharacteristically jittery in the opening minutes and required some last-man defending by Dante in the 16th minute to prevent Wolfsburg from taking the lead after Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer had given away possession cheaply.

That moment seemed to spark the Bavarians to life as Dutch forward Arjen Robben first shot straight at the Wolfsburg goalkeeper Max Grün before seeing a last-ditch tackle prevent a Thomas Müller pass from reaching him.

Grün went on to deny Müller – who had been flagged offside when Lewandowski found the net with the rebound just before the half-hour mark – and was alert to deny Lewandowski two minutes later as Bayern began to assert itself on the visitors.

The surge in chances soon reaped reward for Bayern as Müller finally broke the deadlock after 37 minutes with a slight touch to steer in a Robben pass across the face of the Wolfsburg goal.

The Dutchman went on to double Bayern’s lead two minutes into the second half, robbing Josuha Guilavogui of possession in midfield, bearing down on goal and curling an effort past Grün.

Out of nothing however, the contest was kept alive five minutes by former Bayern player Ivica Olic, who took a throw-in, received a return pass from Vieirinha and found the back of the net via the Bayern crossbar.

Lewandowski could have restored Bayern’s two-goal advantage just two minutes later when he was sent through on goal by a David Alaba pass but Grün again denied the Polish forward a league debut goal.

The frenetic pace of the second half continued at the other end as Kevin de Bruyne got a clear sight of goal after managing to beat an onrushing Neuer to the ball in the 62nd minute, only to himself be beaten to the ball by Bayern defender Juan Bernat.

The match then witnessed a bit of a lull until 10 minutes from time when Neuer turned a goal-bound cross onto the crossbar, with the ball falling to Wolfsburg substitute Junior Malanda who somehow failed to convert from a yard out of the Bayern goal.

Bayern then thought they had taken a 3-1 lead seven minutes from time off an effort by substitute Sebastien Rode, only for the referee to rule out the goal after consulting with his assistant as Müller – who got a faint touch of the goal-bound ball – was in an offside position.

That third goal remained elusive for Bayern as Robben saw an effort come off the crossbar a minute from time while Grün denied Bernat in stoppage time as Bayern claimed the win in a thrilling encounter.