Bayern munich 3-1 Bayer Leverkusen
Bayern Munich’s newcomers opened the Bundesliga in style as the defending champions beat Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 in heavy rain on Friday night.
Niklas Sule and Corentin Tolisso scored their first goals for Bayern since joining the club this summer, before Robert Lewandowski added a third from a penalty that was only given after a video review.
After Tolisso saw a hard shot saved at the near post in the opening stages, Sule opened the scoring in the ninth minute as he rose highest to head home Sebastian Rudy’s cross from a set piece.
Leverkusen nearly equalised three minutes later but Sven Ulreich, still deputising for the injured Manuel Neuer, stuck out a boot to deny Admir Mehmedi.
But the hosts quickly regained control and doubled their lead on 18 minutes following a corner.
Leverkusen keeper Bernd Leno could only punch the ball out as far as Arturo Vidal, who immediately lofted the ball back into the six-yard box for Tolisso to head in.
The former Lyon man nearly added a second goal five minutes later only for the ball to come back off the post.
By that time the rain was coming down in sheets, and half-time was extended by 15 minutes to wait out the inclement weather.
A video assistant referee (VAR) system was available for the first time in Bundesliga history, and it worked perfectly to award Bayern a penalty early in the second half.
Lewandowski was clearly pulled down by Charles Aranguiz as he chased a cross into the box, and the referee on the pitch awarded a spot-kick after consulting with the off-site VAR.
The striker converted it himself to put Bayern 3-0 up in the 53rd minute.
Leverkusen squandered a gilt-edged chance soon afterward as Ulreich saved Julian Brandt’s shot and Dominik Kohr’s follow-up was cleared off the line by Joshua Kimmich.
But the visitors were able to convert on their next opportunity in the 65th minute as Mehmedi launched a first-time rocket into the top corner inside the near post.
Kohr flicked a header just wide after a set piece that could have reduced the deficit to one, but Bayern held on to begin the season with three points.
Bayern have won 18 and drawn five since losing to Mainz in March 2016.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side, who were missing a host of key players through injury, extending their unbeaten home run to a 23rd league match. Bayern have won 18 and drawn five since losing to Mainz in March 2016.