After a less than ideal start to the new season, Bayern Munich and head coach Niko Kovac secured a comfortable win against Schalke. The win came thanks to a brilliant performance from their number nine.
Schalke 0-3 Bayern Munich
(Lewandowski pen. 20', 50', 75')
Bayern Munich have their first win of the season. Robert Lewandowski delivered an inspired performance against a Schalke side that were somewhat controversially denied two penalties.
Lewandowski opened the scoring from the spot after a needless foul from Jonjoe Kenny. After the break, the Pole struck a superb free kick into the net to end the contest before Schalke had a chance to launch a comeback. Nevertheless, the home side did their best and were denied when, perhaps somewhat confusingly, the VAR did not intervene after Benjamin Pavard's outstretched arm was hit by Matija Nastasic's header. Not long afterwards, Daniel Caligiuri curled a free kick round the wall only for debutant Ivan Perisic's arm to deflect the ball wide. Again, VAR did not step in and play went on.
Alongside Perisic, Philippe Coutinho also came off the bench to make his debut although both made little impact. Lucas Hernandez, who started, enjoyed a solid first game in red.
With 15 minutes left, Lewandowski completed a dream performance when he fired low past Nübel having beaten Salif Sane into position thanks to an excellent first touch. The result means that head coach Niko Kovac is 16 games unbeaten in the Bundesliga now. The real focus will be on Lewandowski though. The striker, who in the week has reportedly closed in on signing a new contract at the club, has reminder both the Bundesliga and Europe of his quality. Schalke will be left wondering what might have been had those penalty decisions gone their way.
Lewandowski's first came from the spot, but it was the two penalties Schalke were not awarded that proved more controversial
As it happened:
— Lewandowski is now on the mic. "I know I can be better," scary thought from the Lewandowski. "The Bundesliga is no easy league. You have to be physical. You always have to push on."
"It looks really, really good," Lewandowski says about how the squad looks now. This comes after critical words earlier in the summer. That'll please Bayern.
In truth, what a performance. That was the ninth game in a row that Lewandowski has scored against Schalke. Loves it.
"We know that Dortmund will attack. We must be ready for it."
— Coutinho is speaking after the game. He already says he loves the city, that he is happy at the club and was full of smiles. Easy.
The end of the game drifts away, but Lewandowski's brilliance stays. What a performance. He was the difference tonight, and how. Three magical goals from the Pole - he has all five of Bayern's this season - and Niko Kovac has his first win. Bayern are up and running. Schalke are, well, still Schalke.
82' Burgstaller is saved by the offside flag, but he still won't want to see that again. He goes around Neuer and even though the angle is tight, he still hits the post rather than finding the back of the net. Ouch. A tough day in one moment for Schalke right there.
75' GOAL! 3-0 Bayern (Lewandowski) A world-class striker has his hat trick. Coman gets a low cross to Lewandowski on the edge of the box. His first touch leaves Sane for dead, and then he does so well to get the ball out from under his feet without touching it before firing low into the near corner. Brilliance, every part of it and his performance today. Game over.
73' "Forward, forward" shouts David Wagner from the sidelines. If Schalke can get one soon... In truth they could have had two. Enough. The handball conversation remains never-ending. Coutinho has looked bright, as has Perisic, but not as game-changing as prophesied. Burgstaller gets a good glancing header towards goal, but Neuer saves.
67' We appear to have approached a moment of calmness, perhaps before the storm of the final 15/20 minutes. Hard to say Schalke don't deserve something from the game today - even if it's just a closer scoreline - but it's equally difficult to protest that Robert Lewandowski has been anythnig other than match-winning. Stunning from the Pole.
62' Caligiuri wins a free kick on the edge of the box after Hernandez is late. The Schalke fans are loud and proud and desperate to see their club put something on the board. Caligiuri stands over the free kick, just to the right of the dee on the edge of the box. It clips the wall, Perisic's outstretched arm to be precise. No VAR and then Nastasic heads over from the corner. Does anyone know what a handball is?
60' Kutucu, who came on for Raman straight after Lewandowski's second (I was still reeling from the goal) is making all the difference. He drills a shot wide after a dribble, but the intent is there. Then there's an appeal for a handball in the box, but Caligiuri is offside. Nothing doing there for Schalke, but the question can be asked why did they need to concede two goals to get into the game?
56' Schalke want a penalty, but it might be asking too much. However, a header from a corner against Pavard's outstretched hand is not even discussed on VAR. All a bit desperate, but I think that handball had some legs. Then comes the moment. Coutinho and Perisic come on, with Müller and Gnabry making way. Perisic is on the left, Coutinho is in the 10.
50' GOAL! 2-0 Bayern Munich (Lewandowski) After a quick look at where Nübel was, Lewandowski curls it over the wall and in. A truly brilliant goal. No blame on the keeper, just a spectacular strike. What a special striker he is. He is winning this game for Bayern on his own.
50' A slow start to the second half bursts into life, but then McKennie gets a light tug on the shoulder of Tolisso and it's a free kick for Bayern, central spot, 30 yards out. Lewandowski and Alaba over it...
46' Schalke get the game restarted.
No added time. Well, we've been here before haven't we? Bayern lead, but haven't been convincing. Schalke have looked like doing something once or twice but have been far too passive. Can the second half take us somewhere we haven't been before? Back in 15 to find out!
42' After Gnabry is caught just offside, Schalke get another chance but Harit curls it straight at Neuer. This is better from Schalke, but it's a little late from the hosts. Just as I write that, Bayern break, Coman sets up Tolisso in the box and he fires just wide. Odd to say, but halftime now wouldn't do the game any good.
40' That was Schalke's chance. Burgstaller gets space down the right, and the cross is troubling but the man crossing is really the man you want on the end of it. Hernandez and Pavard have looked tidy, although they haven't really been called on that much.
34' Earlier than expected, Bayern can't find a way through (perhaps not being brave enough) and Schalke can't find an idea (perhaps too keen on defending first). We're stuck in midfield. Bogged down I think is the expression.
28' Kenny is working hard, but might be a little overwhelmed. Bayern are in control now, spraying possession around. Schalke need to unsettle them. Harit nearly does, but Neuer gets to the ball first. Suddenly, it feels very familiar. The question is whether Bayern can or will end the contest sooner rather than later - that is what undid them last week.
20' GOAL! 1-0 Bayern (Lewandowski) Lewandowski does that stutter thing which means he just has to direct it in the opposite corner once Nübel has committed. Classic Bayern. They lead despite not really convincing in the opening passage of play.
19' PENALTY TO BAYERN! Kenny gets this all wrong. I've just talked about his tackling was looking strong, but he combines a trip over his own feet with the clattering of Coman's legs and that's a clear pen.
18' SAVE! Corner to Bayern, Lewandowski gets to it and powers it goalwards. Nübel makes a brilliant reflex save to keep it out. That'll do the captain the world of good, and it keeps Schalke in the game.
16' Jonjoe Kenny crunches Coman. Fair tackle, but a strong one. The Everton lad isn't afraid here. Thiago, out with a spine injury, is next to the lads on the bench and chats away. He won't be happy, nor will Niko Kovac.
11' Schalke probing, asking questions. A bit similar to Cologne last night with a touch less intensity says a colleague. There's some truth to that. Bayern haven't put their foot down, much like in the first game when it took them time to get going.
4' Gnabry is fouled wide right, Bayern swing in the free kick but drop it a little short. It's perfect for Lewandowski, but his shot is easy for Nübel. Home crowd are loud, and will be keen to have seen out the early stages without conceding. One thing about David Wagner's teams that is for sure is that they don't tend to concede a lot.
1' Bayern get us underway!
— Here's a question for you: when was the last time both goalkeepers were captains? I genuinely don't know. If you do, get in touch (via Twitter - @dw_sports or send us an email). The teams are out. Kimmich comes out pounding his chest. Bit much.
— Leon Goretzka is out again today, which has frustrated the former Schalke player. If he's not careful, he'll miss the cup game against Bochum (where he really started).
— Loud and proud! Schalke are keen to put last season behind them. A new group, a new head coach, and new dreams.
— TEAMS! Bayern Munich hand a debut to Lucas Hernandez and move Joshua Kimmich into midfield. Coutinho and Perisic are on the bench. As for Schalke, while the sight of Benito Raman and Jonjoe Kenny is encouraging, the team still has some question marks. There's a lot of pressure on Weston McKennie to carry the midfield, and can that defense give enough protection to Alex Nübel. The new Schalke captain has 21 Bundesliga appearances. The other captain, a former Schalke man, has 373. Experience, as often is the case, is key.
Schalke XI: Nübel - Oczipka, Nastasic, Stambouli, Kenny - McKennie, Mascarell - Caligiuri, Harit, Raman - Burgstaller
Bayern XI: Neuer - Pavard, Hernandez, Süle, Alaba - Tolisso, Kimmich - Gnabry, Müller, Coman - Lewandowski
— Schalke fans are gathering in the sunshine before making their way through the city towards the stadium. What a sight.
— Worth remembering that although Schalke lost 3-1 in Munich last season, they actually looked pretty good in the first half. Youth talent Ahmed Kutucu tucked away a tidy finish in a game that might have gone another way had Schalke taken their chances. In the home fixture, Schalke lost 2-0 thanks to a great James goal and a Robert Lewandowski penalty. At least one of the goalscorers won't be repeating the feat later on today, but perhaps Ivan Perisic, Philippe Coutinho (off the bench?) or Michael Cuisance might instead?
— Good afternoon and welcome to a classic Bundesliga fixture. Schalke, one of the most traditional sides in Germany, face the most successful team in the country. David Wagner's debut didn't inspire much, so Schalke fans will be hoping for something more in their home opener. Against Bayern, a club desperate to record their first win of the season after drawing the opener against Hertha Berlin, that might prove a bit tricky though. Do join us for live updates of the game.