He came, saw and conquered: João Cancelo could hardly have imagined anything better at Bayern Munich.
The Portuguese international, one of the best wingers in the world, showed what he can do straight away in Munich's 4-0 win in the DFB Cup round of 16 game at Mainz 05, although he was loaned to the German champions from Manchester City on Monday.
With his enthusiasm for the game, his goal-oriented actions, his feeling for the right action at the right time, the new player, for whom Munich is said to have secured a purchase option of a rumored 70 million euros for the next season, immediately brought Bayern's last tight game on Wednesday evening on tour.
The professional with the fine foot, used by coach Julian Nagelsmann in a 3-1-4-2 formation from the start on the right wing, almost logically initiated the first goal of a one-sided evening at the Bundesliga rivals on Wednesday evening.
The Cameroonian from Hamburg headed his precisely timed cross to the head of center forward Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting to make it 1-0 (17th minute).
The other goals for the team, which was far below its potential in the last three 1-1 draws in the Bundesliga against RB Leipzig, 1. FC Köln and Eintracht Frankfurt, were the inevitable consequence of a Bayern performance that was extremely dominant, especially in the first half .
In Mainz, the team rediscovered the joy in their game that had only been dimly visible recently.
In addition to the celebrated Bayern debutant, Jamal Musiala, the greatest talent among young German stars, also blossomed again after a rather mediocre performance recently.
The national player made it 2-0 (30') with a diagonal shot against the right inside post, which Leroy Sané, also a football magician on good days, increased to 3-0 (44') after artistic preparatory work by Choupo-Moting with an outside instep ball.
Shortly before the end, Alphonso Davies, who came on for Cancelo after 71 minutes, headed the ball to make it 4-0 (83rd).
The business trip to Rheinhessen was a complete success for Bayern, who had been hesitant at the end of the day. They saw it as the starting signal for a new series of successes in the Bundesliga and soon also in the Champions League, in which Paris-Saint Germain was going to play in the round of 16.
"There are worse crises," Nagelsmann commented in a good mood on what did not go so well at the start of the new football year.
But now the champions can travel with a high dose of optimism to the difficult away game at Bundesliga seventh VfL Wolfsburg on Sunday evening.
"We had a very good attitude on the field and played some very respectable football," was the coach's assessment at the end of an evening that was only enjoyable for the people of Munich.
It goes without saying that Nagelsmann was happy to praise the debut of his dream player Cancelos ("he played very well").
Svensson versus Aytekin
Mainz, who had already been defeated at half-time, only became a braver opponent of Bayern in the second half with the courage of desperation.
The yellow-red card after repeated foul play by substitute central defender Alexander Hack (84th) was more of a side note on this evening of unequal balance of power.
More embarrassing was the red card that referee Deniz Aytekin showed coach Bo Svensson, who was once again at odds with the decisions of the referees, who in turn commented: “I didn’t use a swear word and because I didn’t agree with some decisions , just saying, 'are you all blind'?"
The impulsive football coach, who was suspended after four yellow cards in January 2022, will now have to sit in the stands at least for the next Mainz Cup game next summer.
Aytekin, to whom Svensson apologized shortly after the end of the game, made it clear in the aftermath of the unpleasant episode on the sidelines that he and his fellow referees were "not the nation's garbage can".
Bayern, on the other hand, tasted their high spirits from Wednesday.
In João Cancelo, who has twice been voted best full-back in the Premier League, they have gained a competitor of exquisite class.
This opens up new perspectives in a squad of exquisite quality.
The Portuguese was just as happy about his debut on Wednesday as he was about the appearance of his new colleagues.
"It was a great game from the whole team," he said, "my teammates tried to get me involved as soon as possible." João Cancelo and Bayern - it could be a worthwhile success story for everyone on the way to new victories and triumphs .