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Champions start firing on all cylinders

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Champions start firing on all cylinders

Postby FCBayernNews » Mon Oct 16, 2006 12:30 am


Bayern have finally begun firing on all cylinders, nicely in time for a demanding schedule featuring pivotal matches in the domestic championship, the German Cup and the Champions League. Saturday's 4-2 home victory over previous leaders Hertha BSC Berlin represented a marked improvement on recent dour displays and included moments of sweet, flowing play.

"That's what we want to see. We were really impressed down on the bench," a delighted Felix Magath commented, after watching his side thrill a 69,000 capacity crowd at the Allianz Arena with a verve and panache the Reds boss felt was "outstanding", especially in the first half. "Our confidence will be sky-high as we head for Lisbon. Hopefully we can come home with the same outcome."

<b>Rip-roaring display</b>

Magath's upbeat mood ahead of the crunch Champions League group fixture in the Portuguese capital was largely fuelled by the success of his decision to deploy the three-man forward line of Roy Makaay, Claudio Pizarro and Lukas Podolski for the first time this term. Superbly supported by a resurgent Bastian Schweinsteiger, the trio pulled the visitors' hapless defence this way and that in a devastating first-half display.

"Bayern took us apart before half-time," Hertha keeper Christian Fiedler acknowledged afterwards. Podolski brilliantly teed up Makaay for the ninth-minute opener before Willy Sagnol provided the Dutch ace with his second six minutes later, after which only Fiedler stood between Bayern and an even more crushing lead. "That was definitely our strikers' best game so far," Magath summarised.

<b>Touch of over-confidence</b>

After the restart, the Reds continued where they had left off and Pizarro made it three on 53 minutes, but the double winners eased up on the hour and the men from the German capital clawed their way back into it with goals from Malik Fathi (58) and Marko Pantelic (73). "We were over-confident at 3-0 up. We thought it was all over," Magath remarked, not entirely sparing his side from criticism on the day.

However, Podolski opened his Bundesliga account for his new club after 78 minutes, to kill off Berlin's rally and crown his best showing in a Red shirt since his arrival in the summer. "I liked the way we still managed to impose ourselves on the game," the Munich coach commented. "The formation with three strikers really paid off today. We were flexible, we switched positions a lot, and made sure our opponents had few openings."
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