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Guoan hit for six in German master class

Editor’s note: Last night’s friendly between Beijing Guoan and Bayern Munich was a very one sided affair, but that’s to be expected when Guoan starts a reserve side against Bayern’s stars. I attended to participate in the pre-match ceremony for those who died in Beijing’s flooding, particularly in Fangshan, but have nothing more to say about the match. Our new contributor, Peter Davis,offers up some thoughts on the match.

Beijing was submerged in the biggest rainfall in 60 years on Saturday and basking in sunshine on Sunday. Similarly, Beijing’s faithful football team have been up and down like a yo-yo; a respectable 3-2 loss away at Guangzhou Evergrande, then a 1-0 win at home to Guangzhou R&F, a 3-1 loss away at Shanghai Shenhua, a confidence boosting 6-0 victory over Qingdao Jonoon and in the weekends downpour a 2-0 loss at Worker’s Stadium to Hangzhou.

Championship quest de-railed to say the least; it’s hard to say whether the arrival of Schweinsteiger, Robben, Muller, Gomez, Ribery and co would be a welcome fixture for Beijing Guoan or an unwelcome distraction at a moment when stability is greatly needed.

Just two summers ago a masterful Messi-powered Barcelona took on Beijing at the Bird’s Nest and within 20 minutes the score was 2-0. Messi, surrounded by five Beijing players, worked his magic and dazzled onlookers before supplying a goal and allowing Zlatan Ibrahimovic to stride
on and provide a goal himself in the second half. The final score was 3-0 and most of the crowd knew that had Barcelona firmly applied the foot to the gas the score could have been incredibly different. Similarly, with the Workers Stadium two thirds full, 42,000 fans turned out with
anticipation of a battling performance but most admittedly did not expect anything but a loss.

Guoan started a young reserve side which was under attack from the start, it took less than ten minutes with a barrage of play from wide men Robben and Ribery for Bayern to break the deadlock. A surging Robben run left the Guoan defense dead and Claudio Pizzaro was there to guide the ball home with help from Zhang Junzhe.

Robben turned scorer just moments later with Jerome Boateng swinging a quality ball in to be dinked home with a well placed header. At 2-0 with just over ten minutes gone you can see why Manuel Neuer had roughly a dozen camera’s waiting for action behind him and Yang Zhi, back from injury and playing his first competitive match since December 2011, in the Beijing goal had half of China’s media at his back.

Ribery was in the thick of it again on 35 minutes as he beat four Guoan defenders but was greeted with a gutsy save from Yang Zhi diving to his feet. The save gave the hosts some life but Reinaldo could do very little against a seasoned back four marshaled by Daniel van Buyten.

Pizarro was in the mix again on 43 minutes to glance home another Ribery cross for 3-0 and a fourth was close as Swiss star Xherdan Shaqiri blasted over facing an open goal.

After wholesale changes which brought Gomez, Mandzukic and Muller on to name a few, Jaime Pachedo must have been wishing for such depth as he rested his entire starting eleven. The second half started cautiously, Beijing having very little chances and Bayern coming close but
when the goals came again they came ruthlessly.

Muller scored the 4th with a lovely tap in from a Gomez lay-off with 15 minutes to go, Mandzukic added the 5th as Muller turned the provider four minutes later and the rout was completed with Mario Gomez turning home a Shaqiri cross. A 6-0 final score, a demolition that could have been a massacre.

The Munich side, many of whom are wounded from Euro 2012 exits which in this writers opinion were shocks, Dutchman Robben and Frenchman Ribery in particular, had a point to prove. Was Beijing the stage to release the tension? Perhaps not but it gave them a decent run out. Yingli
Green Cup in hand, Bayern Munich head to another friendly in Guangzhou against Wolfsburg. Beijing, that’s eight conceded and none scored in the last two at the Worker’s Stadium, they hardly had the ball and the gulf in class was obvious. Where do they go from here?

Whilst second and third spots are a possibility as is a successful cup campaign, Guoan perhaps didn’t need this tie which while helping promote Bayern Munich, does not seem to benefit a stuttering league performance in what was more an exhibition match than a friendly. Two big ties within the next week; away at rivals Tianjin Teda and a taxing home outing facing Guizhou Renhe in the Cup, two wins are what Guoan should aim for, anything less will severely dent the remainder of a close season.

Pete is from Sheffield, England and came to China in 2008 initially living in Shenyang where he witnessed his first CSL game, Liaoning Whowin v Chengdu Blades. Pete is a fanatic Sheffield Wednesday fan but has picked up football allegiances from various trips, Galatasary in Turkey, Piacenza in Italy and Muangthong United in Thailand. In early 2009 he moved to Beijing and after a brief time started attending Guoan games regularly. Pete graduated in Journalism in the UK and has written for several educational publications on Chinese education for his day job as well as Chinese football for WEF which he wishes was more developed but avidly follows the Imperial Guards on their quest for CSL supremacy regardless.



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