Bayern Munich 0 Liverpool 3
Mane 7, Salah 34, Sturridge 74
As you know, Jurgen Klopp’s style of play is very proactive, intense and competitive.
He believes that gegenpressing is the best playmaker: win the ball high up the pitch and go from there, pass it forward, not sideways, scoot into shooting positions as fast as you can.
Myself, I happen to think that speed is exciting, that energy and momentum are exciting, that Sadio Mane is a phenomenal defence-wrecking powerhouse, that pacy little Mo Salah is a very sharp weapon on the right flank.
The match at the Allianz last night suggested that both these wide raiders have found the perfect foil in Firmino, a very mobile and unselfish centre forward with a good range of skills.
Coutinho, the Brazilian coveted by Barcelona, played a deeper role.
The first goal was pure Klopperpool.
Firmino pinched the ball off a dozing midfielder on the halfway line and made a killer pass into Mane’s run.
He took one touch and fired a left-foot scorcher across the keeper into the net.
One of my favourite players had scored a fine goal in 6 minutes and 56 seconds.
In 34, Mane flicked the ball into the overlap of Alberto Moreno and when his cross-shot was palmed to the far post by keeper Sven Ulreich, Salah headed in for 2-0.
Bayern’s response was a vicious late tackle by right back Rafinha on Mane.
Perhaps the Bavarian giants expected the visitors to show them a bit more respect. But they should have known better. Klopp never did that when he coached Dortmund, so why would he do it now?
Later on, sub Daniel Sturridge spurted away from the halfway line and made it 3-0 with a left-footed dink over the keeper. But Sturridge pulled something and immediately limped off.
At the end, Thomas Muller walked off the field looking absolutely distraught and disgusted.
VERDICT : I thought it should have been 4-0, since a sidefoot shot by Marko Grujic had hit the post and rebounded into the net off the keeper’s leg in 71. I wasn’t sure why that goal was disallowed. Apparently Lallana, a sub, was offside.
On this evidence, Liverpool could have a very good season.
Their appetite is huge.
George Graham used to call it desire.