The winner was the sharper team in the first half
New coach Pep Guardiola shuffled the cards at Bayern Munich as the treble winner beat his former club Barcelona 2-0 in a friendly on Wednesday.
The Spaniard, who won 14 of 19 possible titles in four years at Barcelona, made sweeping role changes as he works his way into the new job after the Bavarians won the Champions League and domestic league and Cup double last season under Jupp Heynckes.
“It was a special game for me,” Guardiola said. “I was a Barcelona player and coach my entire life.
“Bayern have given me a very good team. I have nothing to complain about at the moment. My football is easy to understand,” he said.
Against a second-string Barcelona, missing new coach Gerardo Martino and big-signing Neymar as well as midfielders Xavi and Andres Iniesta among others, Guardiola started the game without a striker.
Captain Philipp Lahm was pushed forward into an offensive midfield role after years of playing as right back and recent signing and former Barcelona talent Thiago Alcantara moved straight into midfield. The move paid off in the 15th minute when the diminutive Germany international headed in a smooth Franck Ribery cross.
“Barcelona were not complete but the win is still a boost in confidence,” said Frenchman Ribery.
Bayern, which crushed Barcelona over two legs in the Champions League semifinal last season, was the sharper team in the first half, with its impressive depth in the squad on full display.
Barca captain Messi came close in the opening seconds with a sizzling shot but was otherwise shut out.
With both teams still in pre-season training, the coaches made many changes in the second half with the game losing its pace and edge.
Forward Mario Mandzukic, who came on as a substitute, added another goal late in the 87th minute of the game, tapping in from close range.
The result: Bayern Munich 2 (Lahm 15, Mandzukic 87) bt Barcelona 0. — Agencies