Three things we learned as Bayern Munich beat Werder Bremen to kickstart the Bundesliga season

Bayern Munich opened their Bundesliga campaign with an emphatic 4-0 win against Werder Bremen at the Weserstadion on Friday night. Goals from Leroy Sané, Harry Kane and Mathys Tel secured three points for Thomas Tuchel’s side as they made amends for their 3-0 defeat against RB Leipzig in the Supercup last weekend.

Harry Kane has an instant impact

Tuchel confirmed during his pre-match press conference that Kane would start against Bremen. It took the Englishman – who arrived for an initial €100m – just four minutes to register his first goal contribution in the Bundesliga. Kane played a neat flick into the path of Sané who had the easy task of placing the ball past Jiří Pavlenka.

Bremen probed early on in the second half and nearly equalised through Leonardo Bittencourt and then Niclas Füllkrug. But it was Kane who not only eased the pressure on himself, but his teammates, as his first Bayern goal gave his side a 2-0 lead on the night. It was a finish we’ve seen many times from England’s top goalscorer, and it’s one we’ll see plenty more of this season.

As Seb Stafford-Bloor noted, Kane used to get the ball on demand at Tottenham but at Bayern, it’s going to be different. The Englishman dropped deep on occasions, found himself in the half-spaces and also as the focal point in attack but as debuts go – as the Bundesliga’s record signing – it doesn’t get much better than that.

Could Bayern Munich’s failure to sign a Manuel Neuer replacement cost them?

With Manuel Neuer unlikely to return until 2024, alongside the pursuit of Kane, Bayern had been actively courting a replacement for the German. They’ve been linked with a plethora of names from Bono to David de Gea and Kamil Grabara to David Raya, but failed to land any of their targets.

That means heading into the 2023/24 season, Bayern Munich will stick with Sven Ulreich (35) as Neuer’s replacement following Yann Sommer’s departure to Inter. Bosses praised Ulreich’s performances in pre-season but conceding three against RB Leipzig doesn’t bode well.

While Ulreich had little to do on the night against Bremen, there was a few moments in possession when his distribution was a little off while Chris Williams notes that Ulreich’s decision to rush out for a ball that he was never going to get is a reason why Bayern were looking to plug the gap left by Neuer in the first place. With games against Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen in their next three league games, it’ll be interesting to see how Ulreich fares.

Niclas Füllkrug and Marvin Ducksch will again prove problematic

At 1-0, Füllkrug thought he equalised with a superb header but the Bundesliga’s top scorer last season strayed offside. A player that Bayern had shown interest in prior to the arrival of Kane, Füllkrug was then centimetres away from an Oliver Burke cross that again again would have had Bremen level on the night.

Füllkrug scored 16 and created five in 28 Bundesliga games last season while Marvin Ducksch registered 12 goals and six assists in 34 games. The duo again showcased on Friday night their excellent understanding and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Füllkrug and Ducksch replicate similar numbers this season, with Bremen looking to exploit the wide areas before firing crosses into the box.

GGFN | Daniel Pinder

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