Bayern Munich’s 2022/23 preseason campaign has begun with a bang.
Julian Nagelsmann’s star-studded squad defeated DC United 6-2 in the early hours of Thursday morning UK time.
Sadio Mane started the scoring from the penalty spot after five minutes, and goals from Marcel Sabitzer and Serge Gnabry had the German side up 3-0 at halftime.
Bayern scored their fourth goal two minutes after the restart, thanks to half-time substitute Matthijs de Ligt, who joined from Juventus less than two days before the game.
The 22-year-old defender also delivered an incredible belter.
De Ligt exhibited lightning-fast reflexes when the ball was flicked on at the near post from a corner kick and proceeded to nearly break the net with a perfect volley.
Any striker in the world would have been proud of the effort…
Not terrible, is it? But that was only the beginning of De Ligt’s wild debut.
The defender, who was most likely jet-lagged after having to go to the US on short notice, had a bit of a nightmare just seven minutes after scoring, as he assisted Skage Simonsen of DC United.
De Ligt’s headed clearing hit the post and fell sweetly to Simonsen, who made no mistake from a few yards away. Fortunately, Bayern was already 5-0 up thanks to Joshua Zirkzee’s 51st-minute strike.
Shortly after his error, De Ligt was issued a yellow card by the referee for a very cynical foul, and he then had to depart the field of play with an injury, capping off an exciting start.
Well, he was certainly in the thick of things…
“So MDL came on, scored a banger, made an error leading to a goal, got a yellow, and went off,” one commenter summed up De Ligt’s performance well. In 30 minutes. Legend.”
A memorable debut.
After De Ligt was replaced, Wayne Rooney’s DC United equalized by Theodore Ku-DiPietro, before Thomas Muller completed the scoring in the second minute of stoppage time.
Bayern’s next and last pre-season game is against Premier League winners Manchester City on Sunday in Green Bay, Wisconsin, which promises to be a thrilling match – and could be where Erling Haaland makes his long-awaited debut for the Citizens.
Nagelsmann’s team will face RB Leipzig in the German Super Cup on July 30th, followed by a trip to Eintracht Frankfurt in the 2022/23 Bundesliga on August 5th.