Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich looks an awful lot like Jupp Heyneckes' Bayern Munich in Friday's season opener. The defending treble winners were dominant against Borussia Monchengladbach, starting their campaign in form with a 3-1 win at the Allianz Arena.
As if often the case in the first match of the season, both teams came out with plenty of energy and little composure. It took 10 minutes for the match to settle down and when it did, it was all Bayern.
Arjen Robben put the home side in front in the 12th minute, but it was Franc Ribery's ball that stood out. The Frenchman hit a perfect 40-yard ball over the top of the Gladbach defense, right onto the foot of the streaking Robben, who used his first touch to flick the ball over Marc-Andre ter Stegen and in.
Three minutes later, Bayern were celebrating again. Ribery got on the end of a Robben cross, which forced a great save from ter Stegen, but the rebound went right to Mario Mandukic, who buried the rebound.
With a 2-0 lead and all of the ball, it looked like Bayern would cruise. Ribery was absolutely phenomenal, terrorizing the Gladbach defense time and time again, while the movement of Mandzukic and Thomas Muller, who pushed high, caused problems for the visitors. But for all of Bayern's pressure, they couldn't break through and find a third.
It looked like Bayern would have to settle for a 2-0 lead at the break, but Gladbach made it a match again in the 40th minute, albeit with some help. Dante redirected a cross into his own goal, bringing Gladbach within one.
The visitors almost leveled at the start of the second half, but Manuel Neuer denied them and from then on, it was all Bayern again.
The match would have gotten out of hand if it wasn't for ter Stegen, who made fantastic saves on Kroos and Ribery to keep his team in the match. He went a step further in the 68th minute when he saved a Muller penalty, but fortune did not favor Gladbach after that. Seconds later, Alvaro Dominguez was whistled for a handball, granting Bayern another penalty and this time David Alaba buried it to make it 3-1.
With a 3-1 lead, Bayern put the back on cruise control. It was easy as can be for the defending champions from then on, who started off the Guardiola era with all three points.
Bayern Munich: Neuer, Alaba, Dante, Boateng, Lahm, Schweinsteiger (Kirchoff 73'), Robben, Muller (Rafinha 77'), Kroos (Martinez 85'), Ribery, Mandukic.
Goals: Robben 12', Manzdukic 15', Alaba 69'.
Borussia Monchengladbach: ter Stegen, Jantschke, Stranzl, Dominguez, Daems, Herrmann (Hrgota 70'), Kramer (de Jong 85'), Xhaka, Arango (Younes 70'), Kruse, Raffael.
Goals: Dante OG (40')