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Davies, Bayern begin quest for Champions League repeat with win over Atletico

#FreePhonzie needs to start trending as Bayern’s depth pays dividends in a rout over the side from Madrid

One month and four weeks ago, Bayern Munich were crowned champions of Europe after defeating Paris Saint Germain in the UEFA Champions League final.

The celebration for that trophy, however, would not last long. Due to the much delayed final, the reigning champions had to go up against Atletico Madrid in the first match of the group stages Wednesday afternoon less than two months since winning the competition.

With all the dominance they have shown early in the season, it looks to be a confident quick turnaround in the cup.

Through four matchdays in the Bundesliga, Bayern have bagged an astounding 17 goals. Three wins and one strange loss saw Europe’s best team enter the match against Atletico Madrid in a comfortable second place in the early German league standings. In addition to the start of the domestic league , Die Roten have also added two pieces of hardware in the UEFA Super Cup and the DFL-Super Cup.

In the squad that faced Madrid was Canadian youngster Alphonso Davies. Though there was no start for the teenager on the day, he shall be an important piece of the dominant puzzle that is Bayern Munich.

At the age of just 19, the former Vancouver Whitecap is coming off a successful 2019-20 campaign on an individual level, along with the team honours. En route to Bayerns first UCL win since 2013, Davies made a name for himself as one of the best youngsters, best left-backs, and best North-American players in world football. His three assists in eight appearances, including two world class assists against Barcelona and Chelsea, made him a household name.

Davies has been named in the final 20-man shortlist for the 2020 Golden Boy award, a prestigious trophy he will be looking to add to the five he has already won with the team this year.

Though with all the encouraging signs from the youngster, Bayern head coach Hansi Flick has limited his amount of playing time due to how congested the early part of the season has been.

“It’s not easy for a young player like Alphonso Davies because of the many games last season and the short break,” Flick said, per Bild. “It’s important that he gets back on track and can bring his strength back into play. But for that he has to have a certain fitness and mental freshness.”

Fitness and freshness will be easy to come by at the quintuple-winning Munich team due to the depth that was on display against their first UCL opponent.

With Davies starting on the bench, Lucas Hernandez, formerly of Atletico Madrid, was able to flex his ability in what was a comfortable match against his old side. There was not much that really troubled the German back-line, as all the focus was on the attack they presented from start to finish.

Bayern Munich began their defence of the crown with a Statement victory defeating the Spanish side—4-0 in the empty Allianz Arena. Kingsley Coman opened the scoring before Leon Goretzka doubled it with a brilliant strike. The dominance continued into the second half when Corentin Tolisso struck a brilliant effort from distance into the top bins. The final and arguably best goal of the day came with Comans’ second goal, a brilliant solo run from the half way line before slotting it calmly in to the net.

The game was done and dusted when we finally got to see Alphonso Davies inserted into a left wing position. 10 minutes of essentially ball watching was what we Canadians got to see on our fellow Canucks first outing in this Champions League season. An interesting takeaway from the small cameo, however, is that he was not brought on to replace a full-back, but instead for a winger, restoring him to the position he was nurtured in at Vancouver.

With Bayern Munich in form in all competitions, it looks to be another season full of commanding victories from the side, with hopefully some more phenomenal Phonzy moments.