Julian Green scores in Bayern win
ESPN FC: Better Bayern?
Julian Green was on target as Bayern Munich kicked off 2014 with a 2-0 friendly win against Sudanese champions Al-Merrikh.
Green, 18, started the match as part of a four-man attacking lineup. The Florida-born youngster played on the left, with Switzerland international Xherdan Shaqiri starting the game on the right. Germany international Mario Goetze and Ballon d’Or candidate Franck Ribery, meanwhile, played in the middle.
Bayern coach Pep Guardiola played Germany internationals Toni Kroos and Philipp Lahm in the holding positions and, for the first time, tested a new 4-2-4 formation.
The European champions were without the injured Bastian Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben, with the pair continuing to work on returning to fitness.
In a one-sided match, Bayern were not able to find a way past Al-Merrikh goalkeeper Akram El Hadi Salim until the 35th minute, when Green opened the scoring after being assisted by Mario Goetze.
At half-time Guardiola made wholesale changes, with only backup keeper Tom Starke playing the full 90 minutes.
Striker Claudio Pizarro doubled the score after 53 minutes, but Bayern were not able to add more goals in the remaining 40 minutes.
“It was one of those training camp matches,” Bayern attacker Thomas Mueller told TZ. “We’ve won 2-0, but really should have scored a few more, and we’ll be back on the training pitch the day after tomorrow.”
Bayern are seven points ahead of second-placed Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga and have one game in hand. The German champions will resume their campaign with a difficult away game at third-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach on Jan. 24.