Jamal Musiala looked down in a warm parka and accepted the congratulations of his Bayern colleagues after the next gala. The Munich star ensemble, led by the 19-year-old exceptional talent at FC Schalke 04, was already in World Cup form and consolidated the Bundesliga lead. When walking in the direction of the fan curve, it sounded like Musiala
Coach Julian Nagelsmann's team deservedly defeated the bottom of the league 2-0 (1-0) on Saturday. In front of 62,271 spectators in Gelsenkirchen, Munich's attacking artists showed all their skills - even if Torfabrik didn't manage to win this time. Serge Gnabry in the 38th minute and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting in the 52nd minute scored for FC Bayern against Schalke who fought bravely but were mostly harmless up front. "It was important that we stay focused, that we keep our heads there and don't exaggerate with any flourishes," said Bayern national goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, once a Schalke player.
Tenth win in a row
"This is Bayern Munich," emphasized goal scorer Choupo-Moting, who isn't bothered by the comparisons with former Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski: "We look at ourselves, I look at my performance. We work hard for it." And Nagelsmann looked forward with the hope "that things will continue in the same way in the new year after Christmas".
It was the tenth competitive win in a row for the front runner. At least until Sunday, the lead over second place and RB Leipzig is six points. Schalke, on the other hand, is already five points behind the relegation place, but the players were still celebrated by their fans for minutes. "You can see it's something special to play here," said Bayern's former Schalke striker Choupo-Moting.
As expected, Bayern took command from the start. The Nagelsmann team let the ball run well through their own ranks, but initially couldn't get through against the well-organized Schalke defense. The hosts compensated for footballing disadvantages with a lot of commitment and compactness in the game against the ball.
Nagelsmann had chosen an offensive line-up. Right-back Noussair Mazraoui, ruled out of the starting XI with a hamstring problem, was replaced in defense by midfielder Joshua Kimmich. Of the seven German World Cup participants, only the ailing Thomas Müller was absent, as announced.
"He has extremely lively feet"
Bayern showed the better game, but Schalke had the first really good chance. Marius Bülter rushed Kimmich on the flank, moved to the middle, but failed from an acute angle at national goalkeeper Manuel Neuer (24th). On the other side, Tom Krauss cleared a Gnabry header just before the line.
The pressure from Bayern now increased. Choupo-Moting was unlucky when he headed off the post. A co-production by two German World Cup drivers gave Bayern the lead: Musiala, who was again very enthusiastic about playing, put his heel down in the penalty area, and Gnabry shot in to make it 1-0. "It's magic, it's Messi-like," enthused ex-world champion Lothar Matthäus as an expert on the Sky broadcaster about Musiala. "He has extremely lively feet," praised Nagelsmann and said: "He's just extremely talented."
And Bayern followed suit. There was nothing to be seen of a possible World Cup overhaul. Choupo-Moting completed a textbook counterattack to make it 2-0 - again Musiala had prepared well.
Without a break for the World Cup
Schalke didn't give up. Will and commitment were not to be denied in the team coached by Thomas Reis. But that wasn't enough to seriously endanger the sovereign Bavaria again. Gnabry missed it clearly in front of Schalke goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow to make the victory even higher. A goal by Musiala, who was celebrated by Bayern fans when he was substituted ten minutes before the end, was ruled offside.
For the World Cup travelers, the journey continues practically without a break. National coach Hansi Flick is already gathering his Qatar squad in Frankfurt this Sunday. The Bayern players should appear in a good mood.