Leon Goretzka put an injury scare firmly behind him to score his first goal for Bayern Munich as the defending Bundesliga champions enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 win at Stuttgart.
Goretzka limped out of Bastian Schweinsteiger’s testimonial match against Chicago Fire on Tuesday but showed no ill effects at the Mercedes-Benz Area with a superb performance.
The 23-year-old summer signing from Schalke opened the scoring with a superb finish late in the first half, with Robert Lewandowski doubling Bayern’s lead in the second period before setting up Thomas Muller to complete the scoring.
After a largely uneventful opening half hour, Bayern eventually made the breakthrough in the 37th minute when Goretzka received the ball on the edge of the area following some neat build-up play from Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben.
Goretzka immediately created space by switching the ball from his left foot to the right before curling a shot into the bottom corner, leaving goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler with no chance.
The goal belatedly sparked Bayern into life and moments later Goretzka glanced an ambitious header well wide before shooting off target from the edge of the area as the visitors pushed for a second goal.
It almost arrived in the 41st minute when Mats Hummels, who had been restored to the starting XI after being rested on the opening day of the season, rose highest to head a corner from Joshua Kimmich towards goal, but Zieler dove to his right to pull off a good save.
Unfortunately for the home side, the interval did nothing to interrupt Bayern’s dominance and Niko Kovac’s side almost doubled their advantage in spectacular fashion just four minutes into the second period.
It was debatable whether David Alaba was too far from goal to attempt a shot on target after Goretzka had been fouled, but the 26-year-old was undeterred and struck a dipping free-kick which struck the base of the post and rebounded to safety.
Stuttgart were unable to handle the threat posed by Goretzka and the 23-year-old headed wide from another Kimmich corner before Hummels found space at the back post only to head straight at goalkeeper Zieler from Robben’s delivery.
With an hour gone the home side were somehow still in the game but that changed a minute later when Lewandowski struck with his first genuine chance of the contest.
Muller’s pass was superbly laid off by Goretzka into Lewandowski’s path and he took one touch before swivelling to fire left-footed into the bottom corner.
Stuttgart had a penalty appeal turned down in the 66th minute on a rare foray into the Bayern box before Muller made absolutely certain of the win with his side’s third, collecting a delightful flick from Lewandowski before beating Zieler with ease.
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