Bayern v. Beijing Guoan recap
And so, in earnest, began the 2012-2013 FC Bayern preseason campaign. Die Roten (Infraroten?) saw a chunk of the core of their team return from their post-Euro 2012 break with Holger Badstuber, Toni Kroos, Jerome Boateng, Mario Gomez, Manuel Neuer and Thomas Müller included in the team at various points.
As you might recall, over the weekend the German players who were just returning had to pass something called the “Lactate Test”, where they were apparently checked for lice, among other things. Anyways, besides the physician’s comb being designated a possible site of an oil contamination by the Umweltbundesamt after one pass through Mario’s hair, the lads ran a few laps and passed a general physical, supervised by something called a Dr. Peter Spitzenpfeil. Later that day the whole team (minus Basti, Lahm, Rafinha and Alaba) hopped on their very own Lufthansa and jetted to China’s capital, Beijing, who you may recognize from such performances as the 2008 Summer Olympics and the Tiananmen Square “Incident.” Beijing is also one of only seven cities in the world with three consecutive letters that have dots above them that are symmetrically placed in the middle of said city’s name.
On to the match. The Startelf looked like this:
Boateng - DvB - Dante - Contento
Tymo - Kroos
Robben - Shaqiri - Ribery
I guess it was expected that Bayern would strike early and often. Hell, Beijing Guoan probably didn’t think they stood much of a chance. They didn’t. In fact, they were so intimidated, they decided to score for us before we even could. An attack that started with Robben and Shaqiri ended with a Claudio Pizzarro header bouncing off a defender, off the left post, and finally, as the ball appeared as if it wasn’t going to make it across the ever-so wide white, painted line, in came another Chinese defender to the rescue. In what can only be described as a Chicharito-esque poach; the defender thrashed the side and the roof of the net harder than an in-form Glenn Hoddle. One-nil to the Reds, Seventh minute.
As if that goal didn’t already scream “FC Bayern China Tour 2012,” the second goal was an Arjen Robben header in the tenth minute of play. Yes, that happened. The cross came from Boateng no less. In truth, it was a graceful header, just barely beating the keeper.
Following that, Shaqiri was trying bicycle kicks moments after being tackled from behind. Slightly later on, Ribery decided, for some reason, to dribble at the goalkeeper until the perfect pass was open, only to make said pass straight to the keeper. Van
Buyten, who had been making decent passes for a change, had a good look at goal, but came up empty. In the minutes that ensued, Toni Kroos began to make his first impressions of the campaign, having two medium-range shots come inches away from being goals, one that was saved and another that just barely rose above the crossbar.
Just when you thought they would set the FC Bayern-mobile on cruise control until halftime, Ribery raced down the left flank in the 43rd minute with no support at all, except a lone attacker in the box, Claudio Pizzarro. Franck then made an effortless, sublime cross that met the glancing head of the Pizza Man, and in to the net it went. FCB 3-0 Beijing Guoan at halftime in front of 42,000 screaming fans.
During the break, those of us that are too poor/cheap to have an FCB.tv subscription were subjected to a dizzying, low-res, migraine-inducing cocktail known as the Chinese State-run channel’s advertisements. One of which even featured the other Shaq, this one of the O’Neal variety.
The second half began with a quick quiz of the FC Bayern uniform numbers, as all of the names were in Mandarin, and there was a nearly completely new lineup on the field. Every player was replaced, save for Dante, Contento and Shaqiri.
Here was the lineup that completed the match from halftime, now a 4-4-2(!):
Weiser, Dante, Badstuber, Contento
Muller, Gustavo, Can, Shaqiri
Mario M., Gomez
(Yes, that’s right, the left flank was Contento and Shaqiri. Do not adjust your computer screen.)
Early on, substitute Mario Mandzukic fired far-post only to be denied by the upright. The other Mario (who got to be the captain for the half, but is always the captain of our hearts) missed several sitters, something that is usually extremely indicative of regular-season play. After those near-misses, the passing seemed to slack off, and without Robbery to slash down the wings, it wasn’t totally clear that Bayern were going to score again. Either that or the stream wasn’t totally clear. One of the two, or both. More on that later.
Of the three players that played with both units, Contento had the biggest drop in quality of play from the first half to the second, Shaq and Dante seemed to be solid, even if it turns out that nobody should ever let Xherdan shoot with his left foot ever again. Hey, the duo of Shaq and Dante. That sounds like an awful piece of early 2000’s American sports fan fiction.
Our wait for another goal came to an end some time later when, for a change, Gomez set up Thomas Müller for the goal in the 74th. I actually didn’t see this one, mainly because my stream was on something resembling an early 1960’s educational film’s depiction of what an LSD trip is like. So for that one, we’ll say that pretty red rainbow scored on the pretty green rainbow. Okay? Okay.
The final goals came within a minute or so of each other, with Mandzukic finally collecting his goal in the 78th, and the other half of the Mario Bros rocketing a header in that took a deflection two minutes later. I argue it was going in anyways. There you have it. Full Time: FC Bayern 6-0 Hertha BSC Beijing Guoan.
Odds and Ends
- Two Bavarians were nutmegged. Yeah, you, Tymo and Dante.
- You knew we were going to win, we were in the red kits. Those are lucky July-April.
- The alternate GK kit looks like the infamous “Weissbier” kits from 2004-2006.
- Manu, stunning as ever, looks like a teddy bear in it.
- Speaking of kits, the players on the bench wore the “Infrared” training shirt on top of their “Dunkelrot” game shorts and socks. Not the most fashionable combination.
- I think the TV station that the match was on is the very same one that was caught using “Top Gun” footage when attempting to show off China’s new fighter jet.
- Always fun to explore the Captaincy Triage in matches like this.
- Why wasn’t this match at the Bird’s Nest? I miss that place. Here at FC Bayern, we’re no strangers to odd outer-stadium design.
Next match is on Thursday against Vfl Wolfburg from Guagnzhou at 14:00 Bavarian time. Should be fun.
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