Guardiola’s Bayern beats Barcelona 2-0 in friendly
MUNICH (AP) — Bayern Munich defeated Barcelona 2-0 on Wednesday in a preseason friendly that pitted Pep Guardiola’s new side against his former team.
Philipp Lahm scored with a header in the 14th minute and halftime substitute Mario Mandzukic added another goal three minutes from time, giving Guardiola a victory in his first game at Bayern’s stadium.
“It was a special game for me. I spent my whole life as a player and coach at Barcelona,” Guardiola said. “I’m happy, I don’t have anything to complain about at the moment.”
In typical fashion, Guardiola had started without a striker, preferring the attacking trident of Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Thomas Mueller up front.
His former protege, Lionel Messi, almost put the visitors ahead seconds after kickoff, only to fire just wide after running through the Bayern defense. Toni Kroos then stung Barca keeper Jose Pinto’s hands with a driving shot at the other end.
Ribery set up Lahm to score with a cushioned back-header over the goalkeeper. Lahm, normally a defender, was deployed in midfield along with Thiago Alcantara, an offseason signing from Barcelona at Guardiola’s request.
Adriano twice made vital goal-line interceptions to deny Robben, first from Ribery’s cross and later when Mueller pulled the ball back.
Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer did enough to put off Sergi Roberto and Cristian Tello also went close, but the visitors were clearly missing the caliber of players like Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and new signing Neymar.
“Barcelona weren’t complete, but the win is important for confidence and (to get into) rhythm,” said Ribery, who was impressive throughout.
Barcelona changed all 11 players at the break, leaving what was effectively a third string side to frustrate the home team in search of more goals until Diego Contento crossed to give Mandzukic an easy finish.
Guardiola, who steered Barcelona to 14 titles over four seasons, has taken over Bayern from Jupp Heynckes, who led the side to Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup triumphs last season.
Barcelona’s new coach Gerardo Martino is due to be presented on Friday, and the team was led in the Argentine’s absence by Jordi Roura.
Martino was appointed after Tito Vilanova, Guardiola’s successor, stepped down to concentrate on his fight against throat cancer.
Bayern plays Borussia Dortmund for the German Supercup on Saturday in a rematch of last season’s Champions League final.