German winger Thomas Muller scored two sublime goals as Bayern Munich capitalised on a fast start to edge Chelsea 3-2 in the opening match of the International Champions Cup Singapore friendly tournament on Tuesday.
Bayern manager Carlo Ancelotti had implored his side to show improvement following a 4-0 drubbing by AC Milan in Shenzhen last week and his players answered the call with a scintillating opening spell as they raced to a 3-0 lead in 26 minutes.
Chelsea adopted the 3-4-3 formation that had served them well on their way to the Premier League title in May but new Bayern signing James Rodriguez, Muller and Franck Ribery were able to unlock the English champions’ defence with alarming regularity.
After a fairly pedestrian opening, Bayern full back Rafinha struck for the German champions in the sixth minute, cutting in from the right wing and drilling home a low drive into the opposite corner past a sprawling Thibaut Courtois.
Bayern were looking irresistible and doubled the lead six minutes later when Ribery skipped past Cesar Azpilicueta on the left side of the penalty area, then dinked over an inviting cross for Muller to volley home his first goal from close range.
Rodriguez appeared comfortable in a roaming role behind striker Robert Lewandowski and although the Colombian spurned several chances to extend Bayern’s lead, Ancelotti would have been pleased with what he saw of his new recruit.
Muller then made it 3-0 with a spectacular long-range effort after 26 minutes when the German international strolled forward from halfway towards a passive Chelsea defence and unleashed a curling shot past Courtois from 25 metres.
“It was a really nice reaction by the side after the result against Milan so we are very happy and everything is going good,” Muller said in a pitchside interview.
Chelsea had been completely outclassed but managed to haul themselves back into the contest on the stroke of halftime when left back Marcos Alonso latched on to Victor Moses’ low cross from the right and beat Tom Starke with a low, crisp shot.
Both sides made regular substitutions in the second half with Chelsea replacement David Luiz going closest after the break with a deflected long-range shot that hit the base of the post in the 72nd minute.
Michy Batshuayi then stabbed home from close range following a corner in the 86th minute to set up an exciting finale but Bayern held on for victory in front of 48,500 fans packed into the Singapore National Stadium. (Reuters)