Bayern Munich continued their winning start in the Bundesliga with a 1-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.
Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic struck on 13 minutes, his second of the season, to separate the sides at the Commerzbank Arena.
Frankfurt’s 6-1 trouncing against new-boys Hertha Berlin last week left boss Armin Veh with a group of players in desperate need of a confidence boost.
He was also without reliable right-back Sebastian Jung who was replaced by the make-shift Stefan Schroeck.
Schroeck’s inclusion in the side created a mis-match against the effervescent talents of Franck Ribery who tore the fiery midfielder to shreds.
Yet in the opening exchanges, it was Eintracht’s own left-sided star Takashi Inui who showed the first glimpses of goal.
A bright, in-field dribble and a right-foot strike towards Manuel Neuer’s near-post forced the German into a palmed save after four minutes.
Bayern’s possession-based strategy kept the ball with them for the longest spells of the opening half, as Toni Kroos’s late-midfield run, matched with a perfect cross from Ribery, beat Kevin Trapp - but not his left-hand post.
Three minutes later, Bayern’s lopsided formation with Thomas Mueller on the right-wing had a hand in breaking the deadlock.
Mueller held a wide position to receive the ball, crossing for the off-balance Mandzukic who acrobatically scissor-kicked the ball high into the roof of the net.
Alexander Meier, who was Eintracht's top scorer last season with 14 goals, posed a threat in the non-accustomed lone striking role, especially in the air.
On 22 minutes, Meier forced Neuer into a smart stop from a well-placed, deep header and he was involved in the match’s talking point near the end of the half.
A corner-kick was met by Johannes Flum at the far-post who glanced a headed cut-back towards the far-post – and goalwards – only for Meier to move in the direction of the ball.
Replays showed the Frankfurt frontman was actually in an onside position, leaving the Bavarians with an element of fortune in their half-time lead.
The Eagles were encouraged forward by a vociferous home support and they were more than a challenge for the champions after the break.
A few sights of goal came via Stefan Aigner and some inventive set-plays – but there was little to challenge the Bayern rearguard.
Thiago Alcantara and Arjen Robben entered the fray midway through the second period, as Guardiola dipped into his array of stars on the substitutes' bench.
Without controlling possession in the second half, Bayern’s closest effort to beating the impressive Trapp was from left-back David Alaba who shot over the bar on 65 minutes.
Robben smashed two long-range free-kicks in the direction of Trapp in the last 20 minutes, but the former Kaiserslautern keeper was his equal on both counts.
As the game headed towards a Bayern victory, Frankfurt’s Srdjan Lakic became a nuisance to Guardiola’s back-four in a more direct approach from the hosts.
The Croatian had an immediate impact as Flum’s deflected right-foot volley rolled across the six-yard box, missing Lakic and the committed Neuer.
But a frantic final few minutes, including a penalty shout for the hosts, was survived by the champions who broke a club record with 27 games unbeaten in the league.
- Sports & Recreation
- Bayern Munich
- Eintracht Frankfurt
- Mario Mandzukic
- Franck Ribery
- Kevin Trapp