BERLIN -- Bayern Munich's expensive new
talent failed to impress on Saturday as the 16-times German
league champions escaped with a lucky 0-0 draw away to Borussia
Moenchengladbach in their opening game of the season.
But their main rivals for the championship fared little
better, with only Schalke 04 able to collect three points after
a last-minute goal from Sven Vermant against Wolfsburg.
With three games to be played on Sunday, the top performers
on Saturday were newly-promoted Bochum who triumphed 3-1 away at
With all eyes on Bayern, it was the home side's modest
450,000-euro signing from Anderlecht -- Joris van Hout -- and
Markus Muench who combined to keep Oliver Kahn busy.
Muench appeared to have put van Hout through in the 20th
minute but he was ruled offside as his shot hit the back of the
net, while Muench forced Kahn to make a number of saves.
Van Hout, standing in for Borussia's injured top scorer Arie
van Lent, had to leave the field on 76 minutes after sustaining
a cut to his left thigh in a tackle.
Bayern had several chances but did not take them. Their new
9.5-million euro signing Brazilian Ze Roberto was set up in the
box in the 63rd minute but managed only to trickle the ball
across Moenchengladbach's goal and was substituted in the 67th.
Midfielder Michael Ballack, the six million euro signing
from Bayer Leverkusen and the pundits' pick to be this season's
sensation after a good World Cup, also had just one clear shot.
Kahn said Bayern's performance proved that successful
football was about fighting to win and not just benefiting from
top players but he denied he was disappointed with the result.
"The team tried everything that was possible. We had several
chances...nil-nil is completely okay," said the goalkeeper.
"This team has great potential. Naturally it's a question of
time. We still need to integrate (the new players)," he added.
Nearly 39 percent of readers of Bild newspaper said they
expected Bayern to be champions this season in a poll published
Only 28 percent voted for last year's winners Dortmund, who
drew 2-2 at home to Hertha Berlin on Friday.