Bayern clean up Clover Leaves

Thomas Müller opened the scoring as the Reds cruised to victory in Fürth. Photo courtesy FC Bayern Munich.Bayern Munich chalked up a comfortable 3-0 victory away to newly promoted Greuther Fürth in their opening Bundesliga fixture. The record German champions were made to work hard by Mike Büsken's side before Thomas Müller broke the deadlock shortly before half time. New signing Mario Mandzukic and Arjen Robben added gloss to the scoreline in the second half.

Bayern and Fürth came into this match almost polar opposites as the Reds looked to build on their cup victory against Regensburg last week, and mount a challenge to regain the Bundesliga title during its 50th anniversary year. However, Fürth are new arrivals to Germany's top division and entered their home game on the back of an embarassing cup defeat to third tier Kickers Offenbach.

Bayern did not get everything their own way in the opening exchanges in front of a capacity crowd of 18,000 at the Trolli Arena. Whilst the 'Clover Leaves' had few clear chances of their own to speak of, they battled hard, closed down space and restricted Heynckes' side for most of the first half.

Jupp Heynckes juggled his line up with Bastian Schweinsteiger only on the bench and a start for Dante at the back. Swiss new signing Xherdan Shaqiri replaced the unwell Franck Ribery. Both replacements played a part in the opening goal as Shaqiri's corner found Dante whose header was only partially blocked on the line by Fürth Captain Mergim Mavraj only to be bundled home by Thomas Müller.

While the goal itself had an element of fortune about it Fürth could hardly complain having been dominated by Bayern until that point. To concede so close to the break though was a bitter pill to swallow for the home side, who up until then had frustrated the away side with their physical approach.

The goal for Bayern forced the home team to open up and attack in the second half and while they asked questions of Heynckes' side the space that Bayern were afforded on the counter attack would prove their undoing with Mandzukic capitalising on another rebound, this time from a Robben strike to double the lead on 59 minutes.

Bayern's second goal sucked the last of the fight from a crestfallen Fürth side and the third was only a matter of time. This too had an element of luck about it as Arjen Robben's curling effort was deflected past unlucky keeper Max Grün to make it three for the visitors in the 78th minute.

There was still time for new signing Claudio Pizarro to come off the bench to replace what looks to be a promising purchase in Mandzukic and slide an effort wide in the last ten minutes. Chances for Schweinsteiger and Tymoschuk were squandered, but 3-0 was as good as it got as the Reds went home happy.

Next up for Bayern is a mouth-watering 'Southern' derby clash against VfB Stuttgart on Sunday (1730 kick-off) at the Allianz Arena.

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