FC Bayern returned to competitive action for 2024 by beating Hoffenheim 3-0 in the Bundesliga thanks to a Jamal Musiala brace and another Harry Kane goal on a night where the Bayern family honoured Franz Beckenbauer, who passed away earlier in the week.
The players warmed up in jerseys bearing Der Kaiser’s iconic No.5 and wore black armbands, while the Allianz Arena observed a minute’s silence before kick-off as they paid their respects to a legend.
Manuel Neuer started in goal for his 500th competitive Bayern appearance, becoming the 11th player to reach the landmark. The back four consisted of Konrad Laimer, Dayot Upamecano, Matthijs de Ligt and Alphonso Davies. Joshua Kimmich and Raphael Guerreiro sat in midfield, with Thomas Müller, Musiala and Leroy Sane ahead. Kane led the line while new signing Eric Dier was not in the squad.
After a calm start to proceedings befitting Beckenbauer’s own unique style of play, the first attempt of note came from Hoffenheim’s Maximilian Beier but was off target.
However, it was the champions who struck first as Laimer and Sane played a short corner on the right. The latter fed Musiala, who fired on the angle beyond goalkeeper Oliver Baumann and in off the far post for his fourth goal of the league campaign.
The victory took Bayern onto 41 points from 16 games, one behind Bayer Leverkusen who visit Augsburg on Saturday.
Thomas Tuchel’s men will now head to their training camp in Portugal on Sunday until Thursday. They are next in action a week on Sunday when Werder Bremen come to the Allianz Arena.