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Biggest win puts Reds in party mood

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Biggest win puts Reds in party mood

Postby FCBayernNews » Mon Dec 18, 2006 12:15 am


Bottom club FSV Mainz were cheered and applauded by their loyal fans after the final Bundesliga fixture of the calendar year, but in truth, the only contingent really celebrating at the Bruchweg stadium on Saturday was the Bayern camp. The champions' thumping 4-0 triumph sent out a powerful signal to their rivals as the league programme signed off for the winter break, indicating the Reds are not about to relinquish their grip on the title without an almighty fight.

"Apart from the first ten minutes, we concentrated hard today," manager Uli Hoeneß enthused. "We deserved to win by four goals. That goes a long way towards making up for a difficult first half of the season. We ran hard, and we were superb when we weren't in possession. And we were really good in the second half. The team's made sure we'll enjoy a relaxing Christmas."

<b>Over by half-time</b>

"Provided we play like that, we needn't worry about he destination of the title. We'll win it," coach Felix Magath smiled after his side's fourth away win of the campaign. "We were top class," the coach continued, arguing that the win had kept his men firmly in the hunt for silverware. "We were on top throughout, always looking to get forward. We looked like a top team today."

"Mainz battled away at the start," Magath conceded, but the 20,300 capacity crowd saw Bayern assume command with barely 15 minutes played. Hasan Salihamidzic (31) and Roy Makaay (45+1) effectively settled the outcome before the break, with Claudio Pizarro (64) and Bastian Schweinsteiger (66) completing the Reds' biggest league win of 2006 over the toothless strugglers.

<b>Masterful display</b>

Magath was especially pleased to see his charges refuse to settle for a 2-0 margin of victory. "That was what we always want to see. For the first time, we kept pushing after taking the lead and scored some fabulous goals," Hoeneß observed. "We looked a top-notch team today," Philipp Lahm commented. "We scored at exactly the right time and we were clever in the second half."

"We dominated for 90 minutes and scored great goals. That's what we've always intended to do," Makaay reflected after moving onto nine goals for the season. The double winners will spend the winter break in third on 33 points from 17 matches, just three off leaders Bremen and second-placed Schalke. "We've missed out on topping the table at Christmas, but we've succeeded in staying right in tough at the top," captain Oliver Kahn remarked after keeping a first clean sheet away from home this term.

<b>More to come</b>

Bayern have one more match before Christmas, but Kahn will not feature as he gives way to understudy Michael Rensing for Wednesday's German Cup last sixteen trip to Aachen. "I think the break will do some of our players a great deal of good. We'll recharge our batteries, work hard in mid-season training, and then go for it. That's what we've pledged to do, and I believe there's still more to come from us," Kahn declared.

Magath's men report back from their seasonal vacation on 4 January to prepare for the unaccustomed task of hunting down the leaders on a quest for a 21st domestic league title. "A decent holiday and mid-season training will set us up to attack. It'll be very tough for the teams above us to take the title," Hoeneß pronounced. "We'll do everything in our power to catch Bremen and Schalke."
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