Fortuna Dusseldorf 0-4 Bayern Munich: Flick's revival continues in style

By Sports Desk November 23, 2019

Bayern Munich maintained their 100 per cent record under Hansi Flick and closed the gap on Bundesliga leaders Borussia Monchengladbach to one point with a dominant 4-0 win over Fortuna Dusseldorf.

The champions had suffered a shocking 5-1 defeat in their last away game three weeks ago - a result that brought an end to Niko Kovac's tenure as head coach - but they were on the right side of a thumping victory on this occasion.

Goals from Benjamin Pavard, Corentin Tolisso and Serge Gnabry put the game beyond Dusseldorf inside 34 minutes and ensured a superb first-half performance from Bayern was suitably rewarded.

With three points secured, the Bavarians did not hit the same heights after the interval but Philippe Coutinho added a fourth goal and they have now won each of their three games under interim coach Flick, scoring 10 and conceding none.

The only surprise was Robert Lewandowski's failure to score for the first time this season in the Bundesliga, the striker having managed 16 goals in Bayern's first 11 games.

Flick's men were ahead inside 11 minutes. A short corner from Thomas Muller found Joshua Kimmich all alone and his low cross towards Pavard found its way into the net, with uncertainty over whether the full-back or Dusseldorf's Alfredo Morales had got a touch.

Both Lewandowski and Coutinho went close before a dismal error from Dusseldorf goalkeeper Zack Steffen enabled the visitors to score a second. Under little pressure, Steffen passed the ball straight to Muller and Dusseldorf's scrambling defenders were unable to recover as Gnabry's cross was converted by Tolisso.

The game was effectively ended as a contest when Gnabry scored himself, after the influential Muller had turned Pavard's low cross into his path.

After the hosts' best spell of the game, during which Rouwen Hennings spurned a great opportunity, Lewandowksi diverted an effort wide at the near post and then saw a powerful header tipped away by Steffen.

The Poland forward did claim an assist with 20 minutes remaining, though, as he beat his man on the left of the area and clipped in a cross that narrowly evaded Muller but left Coutinho with a tap-in.

 

What does it mean? Flick making strong case to keep control

Speaking during the international break, Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed Flick would remain in charge "at least until Christmas and possibly beyond". The response of the club's players to his appointment suggests there is no need to rush the search for a full-time successor to Kovac. Put simply, Bayern look like Bayern once again and Gladbach's 2-0 loss at Union Berlin means they are now right on the leaders’ heels.

Magnificent Muller on song

Having been in and out of Bayern's starting XI under Kovac this season, Muller has started all three games under Flick and was integral to this win. The experienced forward was involved in all four goals, while a glorious first-half flick to Lewandowski summed up his confident display.

Steffen shocker punished

Steffen will not want to see replays of Bayern's second goal. His sloppy pass put Dusseldorf in all sorts of trouble and the visitors were in no mood to pass up such a golden chance.

What's next?

Bayern will look to maintain their momentum under Flick when they face Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League on Tuesday. Their next league game is at home to Bayer Leverkusen next Saturday, the same day Dusseldorf travel to Hoffenheim.

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