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VAR Takes Centre Stage As Bayern Begin With Victory

Bundesliga

Result: Bayern Munich 3-1 Hoffenheim

Date: 24 August 2018

Venue: Allianz Arena

The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was a big factor as Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich began the campaign with a 3-1 win over Hoffenheim on Friday evening.

New signing Leon Goretzka had to settle for a spot on the bench, while Kingsley Coman was preferred to Arjen Robben on the flank.

Jerome Boateng, who has been linked with an exit, went close to opening the scoring after 11 minutes but his drilled effort was blocked in the box.

In the 23rd minute, Bayern got the breakthrough goal as Thomas Muller nodded home at the near post following a corner from Joshua Kimmich.

The visitors nearly restored parity on 34 minutes when Schulz's low cross found Joelinton in the box, but the young striker failed to hit the target.

That proved to be the final chance of the half as Bayern went into the break 1-0 up, although Coman limped off just before the break with an injury.

Twelve minutes into the second half, the Allianz Arena went silent as some poor defending by Boateng led to Adam Szalai smashing the ball past Manuel Neuer.

Bayern coach Niko Kovac responded by introducing Goretzka for Javi Martinez, while the visitors threw on Kevin Akpoguma with 20 minutes remaining.

The hosts were then awarded a penalty after 78 minutes when Franck Ribery was brought down in the box. Robert Lewandowski stepped up and saw his spot-kick saved but Robben was on hand to slot home the rebound.

However, the referee consulted with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) and ordered the penalty to be re-taken, which Lewandowski made no mistake with on the second attempt, 2-1.

VAR came to the fore once again with four minutes remaining as Goretzka's strike was ruled out for a handball.

The third goal eventually arrived on 90 minutes as Robben latched onto a through-ball before smashing the ball home from close range to round off the victory.

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