FC Bayern Munchen were made to work harder than they would have expected for their 2-0 win over 1. FSV Mainz 05 in the Bundesliga at Opel Arena on Saturday.
Mainz 0 Bayern 2
Ribery opens scoring for Bayern
James doubles their lead
Hosts give good account of themselves
After a very nervy start to the match from both teams, Bayern broke the deadlock on 33 minutes through Frank Ribery before James Rodriguez made it 2-0 just 11 minutes later.
Mainz can feel aggrieved at the scoreline after actually having more shots on goal, but Jupp Heynckes’ side showed tremendous grit to grab a win despite not playing particularly well.
The visitors dominated possession from the outset but were unable to do much with it. They seemed unwilling to over commit going forward and risk getting caught on the counter.
Mainz came within inches of taking the lead in the 20th minute through Alexandru Maxim, but his shot went just wide of the post.
Bayern were limited to long-range attempts, but in the 33rd minute the home defence gave Ribery a little bit too much space on the edge of the area and he fired a low drive past Robin Zentner to break the deadlock.
Just 11 minutes later Corentin Tolisso threaded a delightful ball through for James, who took his shot first time and slid the ball into the bottom-right corner to double Bayern’s advantage.
After the break, the hosts tried to fight back and Robin Quaison had a good chance seven minutes after the restart, but was denied by a tremendous save from Sven Ulreich.
Yoshinori Muto, Abdou Diallo and Gerrit Holtman all wasted chances to get them back in the game, but the worst miss was another one by Quaison in the 74th minute. The midfielder was one-on-one with Ulreich, but wasn’t even able to hit the target as he pulled the ball inches wide of the left post.
Ultimately, the league leaders hung on for a 2-0 win, but they will not be pleased with their performance on the day.