With new signing Joao Cancelo in the starting XI, FC Bayern are playing like a different player. After three league slip-ups, everything is going according to plan in the DFB Cup. The Portuguese leaves a powerful impression, not only because of a fantastic cross to the redeeming 1-0.

The FC Bayern footballers knew what the hour had come. And they clearly had no desire to expose themselves to another storm of malice and mockery. That would have happened if the Munich team had failed in the DFB Cup at FSV Mainz 05. “Of course we all have pressure if we don’t win,” said sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić before kick-off at Sky. So the stars from Munich straightened their crowns, which had clearly slipped, pulled themselves together and thundered 4-0 over their Bundesliga rivals. A statement against all the anthems of doom that had been softly intoned. The sustainability check for the awakening of the record champions is on Sunday when it goes to VfL Wolfsburg, which failed in the round of 16 of this competition with the isco-less party Berliners from Köpenick (1: 2).

The Munich side, who could certainly be attested to be knocked out after a botched English week in the Bundesliga with three draws, denied any feeling of relief after the sovereign victory in Mainz. Relief, that would have meant that worries would have built up. But the collective wanted to avoid such an impression at all costs. First and foremost Joshua Kimmich. He had recently sounded the alarm and dragged the barrel of mentality, which was actually in Dortmund, at Borussia there, to Munich. The national player’s wake-up call had triggered positive vibes, as he himself observed: “We showed from the start that we really wanted to leave the pitch as winners.”

Kimmich found that the implementation of the project had been very successful. “The win was important, as was the way we won. It’s fun to win.” A realization that should carry the record champions through the next few weeks, when, among other things – or above all – in the Champions League there will be a giant summit with the weak 889.5 million euro ensemble around world champion Lionel Messi, Neymar and the possibly seriously injured Kylian Mbappé (Bayern’s total market value is 995.70) comes from Paris St. Germain. One who is set to play a key role in the coming weeks is new signing Joao Cancelo. He has just arrived on loan from Manchester City and should be very expensive in the summer if he is to be signed on. The purchase option is said to be 70 million euros.

He put his gigantic value, always spoken in the uninhibited dimensions of football, into a wonderful cross from the right side in the 17th minute. With a little wobble and a surprising increase in speed, he made enough space (his coach actually wanted to see a back pass), looked up, spotted ex-Mainzer Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting at the far post and finally lobbed the ball exactly there. The striker refined the cross from an acute angle. The prelude to the redemption, pardon, fun performance of Munich. The men of trainer Julian Nagelsmann suddenly lost their craft loosely and easily. The mountain of problems that began at Spitzingsee (with Manuel Neuer’s fatal ski tour) and grew to Paris (to Serge Gnabry’s trip to Fashion Week) was forgotten. Forgotten were the reminders that the team received from the management floor on Säbener Strasse and Tegernsee (where Uli Hoeneß grumbled). Jamal Musiala (30th), Leroy Sané (44th) and Alphonso Davies (83rd) increased with some well played hits.

“It was an important step for us,” said Nagelsmann, who couldn’t hide his tension when the chances were missed, “not only in the competition, but also to start the new year with a win.” It was, as we remember, actually the first. His team had “a very good attitude on the field”. As a symbol, the coach named his newcomer: “He has a big heart, great passion.” And one really wonders what happened between him and Pep Guardiola that the star coach was willing to let this outstanding full-back go. There is speculation in the English media that a red card against Fulham in November could have led to the big break between the Catalan and his regulars. Guardiola then publicly criticized the player. What should be a small warning for Bayern: He also lost his regular place in the Portuguese national team in the knockout round at the World Cup in Qatar. Parallel to superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

These what-was scenarios are nothing for the Munich present. There was only room for happiness and admiration. “It was a pretty good performance for the first game with a new team,” said Thomas Müller in his typical Thomasmüller manner. “The first two or three actions were incredibly creative. He’s just very calm on the ball, which we need against deep opponents,” praised Nagelsmann: “He also defended well and was extremely hard-working. He made a lot of deep runs , which we’ve been missing a little lately.” Cancelo, who was hugged and cuddled several times by his teammates, did not want to overdramatize his much-sung debut. It was a good cross, “but the way Choupo-Moting completed it was even better”. All doubts cleared. for now.