Canadian star Alphonso Davies, who suffered a cranial bruise after taking a boot to the head last weekend, was back in action Sunday as Bayern Munich blanked SC Freiburg 5-0 in Bundesliga play.
The win at Allianz Arena moved Bayern (5-1-4) up one place into second, dropping Freiburg (5-2-3) to third.
Davies played the full 90 minutes and was clocked at 36 km/h during the match.
The 21-year-old from Edmonton made his presence felt early, blasting a left-footed shot just high from the edge of the penalty box in the fifth minute. At the other end, Davies used his body to block Freiburg’s Japanese winger Ritsu Doan from getting to a cross in front of the Bayern goal in the 10th minute.
And he drew aahs from the Allianz Arena in the 13th minute, when after some tricky footwork, he sent the ball through Doan. Seconds later, Davies was involved in Bayern’s first goal.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting found Davies accelerating into the penalty box and the Canadian sent a low cross to Leroy Sane, whose point-blank shot was stopped by Freiburg ‘keeper Mark Flekken. The rebound went straight to Serge Gnabry who headed it home.
In the 44th minute, Davies came out of nowhere to snuff out an attack after Kevin Schade beat Bayern centre back Matthjis de Ligt to the ball down the right flank. As Schade headed towards the ball, a streaking Davies got to it first — bodying the Freiburg forward out of the way en route.
Davies was chopped to the ground in the 50th minute, a clumsy tackle that earned Freiburg’s Michael Gregoritsch a yellow card.
Choupo-Moting, in the 33rd minute, Sane (52nd), Sadio Mane (55th) and Marcel Sabitzer (80th) added to the Bayern lead.
It was a happy return for Davies, who missed the midweek Champions League win over Czechia’s Viktoria Plzen.
Davies had to be helped off last Saturday just before halftime of the game at Borussia Dortmund after challenging Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham for the ball.
The injury occurred when the English midfielder, shielding the ball from Davies with his body, knocked the ball into the air with his right foot, looking to pivot and knock it away from the Bayern fullback. Davies’ head got to the ball first and Bellingham’s foot connected with the Canadian’s face, not the ball.
Davies then fell to the ground, clutching his face. He received treatment and looked unsteady as he was helped off the field on the eve of halftime. He did not see further action.
Dortmund rallied from a 2-0 deficit with 74th- and 95th-minute goals to tie it 2-2.
The Canadian Press