The players Bayern Munich were missing – Bastian Schweinsteiger, who didn’t start, but did come on in the second half. The players Barcelona were missing? Xavi, Iniesta, Neymar, Fabergas, Pedro, Dani Alves, Busquets, Pique, Puyol, Victor Valdes, and that’s not it, not to mention their new head coach nowhere to be seen. Their streak of winning possession in matches, lasting more than five years is over, but it doesn’t really mean anything.
Friendly matches aren’t about wins. It’s about giving a newly constructed team the time to start gelling together and getting to know each other. While winning the matches you play is nice, it really doesn’t prove anything with the opposition going through the same ordeal, and not taking it in the most serious of ways as well.
Bayern Munich will be impressive against everyone this season, there’s no doubt. This team rampaged its way through the Champions League (except for a minor glitch against BATE and Arsenal) and won the German Bundesliga breaking almost every record in the book. Without the lineup changing too much, we shouldn’t expect that to be that different this season.
But to make too much of the 2-0 win (goals by Philipp Lahm and Mario Mandzukic) and in Bayern Munich winning the possession game (53-47) would be be deluding yourself that this has any implication on the regular season, especially when it comes to Barca. Bayern have been on their preseason tour a bit longer by now, and should be looking more prepared, with a more fleshed out lineup.
Barcelona? The Spain & Brazil players are still on vacation. Lionel Messi did play, but wasn’t very effective, having only one worthwhile mentioning chance. At some point, it looked like the Barcelona C team was out there. It might have given Guardiola some satisfying “revenge” win, but it couldn’t have been any less meaningful.