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Rib & Rob spearhead Bayern's charge

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Rib & Rob spearhead Bayern's charge

Postby FCBayernNews » Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:00 pm

Bayern's attacking crown jewels, Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben or 'Rib & Rob' as they have been dubbed by the German press, were too elusive for the Gladbach defence on Saturday, so the stats will have to tell the story. Robben topped the shots at goal chart with six efforts, followed by Ribéry on four. The Frenchman also laid on six chances for his team-mates, another top score. "Yet again, Robben and Ribéry made the difference," commented Louis van Gaal after his side's 1-0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach. Robben netted the golden goal from a Ribéry assist.

Rib & Rob have been involved in 16 of Bayern's last 18 Bundesliga goals. Ribéry is the league's top provider, overall (15 assists) and since the midpoint of the campaign (8). Robben's nine goals make him the top marksman since Christmas. FCB have taken an average of 2.3 points per game with Arjen in the starting line-up (1.58 without the Dutch ace), the same as Borussia Dortmund - a strong hint of how the champions' season might have gone had Robben not missed the whole of the first half of the programme.

So it was no accident that Rib & Rob settled the issue against Gladbach. With 77 minutes on the clock, Robben picked up a loose Borussia pass in midfield, and found Ribéry in the box. The France star beat three defenders and square for Robben to net from six yards. "It was a well-made goal. It wasn't hard to score from there," said the Dutchman, now on nine goals for the campaign thanks to another Ribery assist.

Robben now has an astonishing 25 goals in just 34 Bundesliga appearances, a strike rate which would have made him top scorer in five of the last six seasons. However, injury problems mean the 34 outings have been spread over two seasons. Nevertheless, it is a superb record, especially as he has contributed 12 assists as well, giving the player 37 scorer points in total.

Ribéry is not far behind, with 27 scorer points (eight goals and 19 assists) in 27 games this term. He almost added another to his total, but sub Miroslav Klose hit the post from his 83rd minute pass. Ribéry had accepted the ball from Robben, who had switched to the left flank at that moment - just as he did for the goal.

The FCB forwards have taken to swapping positions frequently in recent weeks. Especially when deep-lying defences are snuffing out chances before they arise, "it's good to keep on the move," opined Robben, "we've done it a little more in the last two or three matches. It takes our opponents by surprise." The measure worked to perfection against Gladbach.

Winning run required

"We were better in the second half," said Ribéry, the crucial figure in Bayern's attacking efforts after the interval, "there was more movement and pace, and we could have won by more at the end." That was not the case, partly because the match official declined to whistle when Gladbach keeper Logan Bailly felled Robben in the box. "It was a penalty," the FCB man confirmed.

The Netherlands ace soon put aside his dismay about the ref's decision, concentrating on the result and what it meant for the league standings. "We're third at last," said Robben, "what we need now is a winning run through until the end of the season." That would ensure Bayern's Champions League qualifying sport. "We need to win the last six games and make it into the Champions League," agreed Ribéry. Rib & Rob will go flat out to achieve that.
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