FC Bayern picked up where they left off before the international break, downing FC Schalke 2-0 at Gelsenkirchen's Veltins Arena on Friday night. FC Bayern have yet to concede in a blistering opening to the Bundesliga campaign. Schalke aimed to make up for their disappointing start, a 1-0 defeat away to Frankfurt, whereas the visitors wanted to build on their impressive display in the Bundesliga opener against Bremen, a 6-0 thrashing.
Bayern's starting line-up featured Manuel Neuer between the sticks behind a back four of David Alaba, Javi Martínez, Mats Hummels and Philipp Lahm. Renato Saches, Xabi Alonso and Thiago took up station in midfield, with Thomas Müller and Franck Ribéry out wide looking to set up striker Robert Lewandowski. Arturo Vidal replaced Alonso on the hour to supply impetus up front whereas Douglas Costa came on for Ribéry. Joshua Kimmich took over from Sanches midway through the second half.
After veteran match official Manuel Gräfe whistled play underway both sides signalled their intents from the off in an intense first half. Bayern survived a spell of the hosts' pressure after the quarter-hour before Müller set up Lewandowski who miscued his finish. Carlo Ancelotti's troops upped the pressure, but lacked the cutting edge. The sides continued to cancel each other out and the contest remained goalless at half-time.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar laid down a marker ten minutes into the second half, but FCB netminder Neuer performed miracles to direct his drive to the crossbar. Lewandowski failed to convert a Costa cross, putting the ball over the bar with a quarter-hour to go. The Polish striker then atoned for his misses, ghosting past Schalke's rearguard to latch on to a glorious Martínez through-ball and drive home from 15 yards. In the dying embers of injury time the top striker set up youngster Joshua Kimmich to put the game beyond Schalke's reach.
The victory means the Reds retain top spot in the embryonic league table overnight. Friday evening's top clash marked the start to an intense phase of three weeks with seven matches. The German record champions host FC Rostov in only four days, opening their Champions League campaign before entertaining FC Ingolstadt in an all-Bavaria derby on Saturday. Live match report for fcbayern.com by Gregor Salmen SCHALKE 04 - FC BAYERN 0-0 (H-T: 0-0)
Fährmann – Höwedes, Naldo, Nastasic, Baba – Stambouli (Kolasinac 86) – Bentaleb, Goretzka, Choupo-Moting, Konoplyanka (Embolo 55) - Huntelaar (Meyer 67)