Sep 25, 2012, 6:00 PM EDT
Barcelona isn’t the only perfect team among Europe’s big leagues, though Juventus fell from those ranks with today’s 0-0 in Florence. Germany and France also have perfect teams at the top of their standings, though we’ll have to sing the praises of Marseille’s stinginess another time.
In the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich has gotten off to another torrid start, perfect through five rounds after today’s 3-0 thrashing of Wolfsburg. FCB has scored 17 times while conceding only twice. Thanks to Borussia Dortmund’s draw in Frankfurt, Bayern leads the defending champions by seven points.
Two aspects of Bayern’s hot start are particularly noteworthy:
- FCB already has an impressive road win, defeating Schalke 2-0 this weekend in Gelsenkirchen.
- Mario Gomez, Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben have combined for five appearances and no goals.
Instead, the load is being carried by Thomas Müller and Mario Mandzukic, who’ve combined for nine goals (Mandzukic scored twice against his former team on Tuesday). Bastian Schweinsteiger also appears to have shaken some of the health issues that have plagued him though most of 2012, while new acquisitions Javi Martínez, Xherdan Shaqiri, Mandzukic and Dante have already played significant parts. When linked together, the pieces fit like a picture of one of the two or three best teams in Europe.
Last season, however, offers a cautionary tale. Early in the 2011-12 season, the Bavarians also looked like world beaters. After loosing last campaign’s opener to Borussia Moenchengladbach, Bayern won six in a row and went unbeaten in eight, outscoring their opponents 25-0 in that time. Ultimately, Bayern would finish second to Borussia Dortmund, failing to take a point from BVB in the teams’ two meetings.
Bayern and Dortmund’s first meeting is still over two months away (Dec. 1 at the Allianz in Munich), but early returns are encouraging for FCB. Dortmund has dropped five points in the last four days. Worryingly, BVB’s allowed eight goals in their first five matches. Only Stuttgart and Hoffenheim have been worse. Bayern’s addition of Javi Martínez could also help-to-help, the former Athletic Bilbao midfielder/defender allowing Bayern to better control games without having to commit more players forward (and expose themselves to Dortmund’s counterattack).
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