Thursday, December 14, 2017

Robben shines in Bayern friendly win

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 17 Aug 2015

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Arjen Robben gave Pep Guardiola plenty to smile about by looking back to his fluent best during a first-half cameo in Bayern Munich’s 3-1 friendly win over Dynamo Dresden.

The Netherlands international netted the opening goal on a rain-sodden Monday evening in Dresden, capping an impressive 45 minutes as he continued to build up his fitness after a muscular problem.

With his work done, Robben was replaced at the break by Arturo Vidal and the Chilean added Bayern’s second, before Juan Bernat completed a comfortable victory.

Guardiola made nine changes from the side that opened the Bundesliga campaign with a 5-0 win over Hamburg, with only Robben and Philipp Lahm retaining their places in the starting XI.

That meant valuable game time for some of Bayern’s squad players, but it was Robben who impressed early on with piercing runs behind the Dresden defence.

After setting Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg up for the game’s first chance, Robben embarked on a personal quest to open the scoring.

His first effort thudded against a post and the second was well saved by Patrick Wiegers, but the Netherlands international made it third time lucky with a calm finish after 17 minutes.

Dresden enjoyed fleeting attacks of their own, Niklas Kreuzer forcing a reflex save out of Sven Ulreich.

With a league clash against Hoffenheim on the horizon, Guardiola withdrew Robben and Lahm at the break but introduced Vidal as one of four changes – and the move paid dividends three minutes into the second half.

The lively Hojbjerg was allowed time and space to roll a pass into the Chile international, who applied the finish – albeit with the aid of a deflection.

Substitute goalkeeper Tom Starke kept Bayern’s two-goal advantage intact with a superb reaction save to keep out Tim Vayrynen’s bullet header on the hour.

Bayern, who also gave David Alaba some playing time in the second half, promptly resumed control of possession and extended their advantage as Bernat converted Thomas Muller’s disguised throughball with 17 minutes to play.

Pascal Testroet sent the Dresden fans home happy with a late consolation, the forward rounding Starke to score with four minutes to play, but Bayern’s win was never in any doubt.

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