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Commanding Bayern outclass hapless Hamburg

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Commanding Bayern outclass hapless Hamburg

Postby FCBayernNews » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:30 pm

Two spells of scintillating football either side of half-time earned Bayern a ninth win of the season on Saturday evening, as the Reds extended their lead in the Bundesliga to seven points and warmed up nicely for the Champions League on Wednesday with a thoroughly convincing 3-0 victory away to northern rivals Hamburg.

The 51,852 filling the Imtech Arena in Hamburg to capacity saw Jupp Heynckes' men steadily take control as the first half went on, Bastian Schweinsteiger handing his side a deserved half-time lead with a header five minutes from the interval.

Thomas Müller and Toni Kroos effectively settled the contest with two fine goals in a whirlwind first ten minutes after the restart, at which point the men from Munich took the heat and pace out of the match and did the necessary to wrap up another three points.

The ninth win from ten matches this term sees Bayern move onto 27 points and extend their lead over Schalke and Eintracht Frankfurt at the top of the Bundesliga to seven points. The Bavarians are next in action on Wednesday at home to OSC Lille in the fourth Group F fixture in the Champions League.

After making a total of nine changes to his side for Wednesday's 4-0 win over Kaiserslautern, Heynckes reverted to his first-choice line-up for the trip to the north, with Jerome Boateng and David Alaba the only survivors from the midweek cup tie. A strong bench included top trio Javi Martinez, Arjen Robben and Claudio Pizarro.

With Holger Badstuber still out injured, FCB lined up with Manuel Neuer in goal and a back four of Jerome Boateng, Dante, captain Philipp Lahm, and David Alaba at left-back. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Luiz Gustavo took the holding roles, with Franck Ribery and Thomas Müller on the flanks, Toni Kroos in the hole, and Mario Mandzukic as the target man.

Hamburg boss Thorsten Fink, an Intercontinental Cup and Champions League winner with Bayern in his day, sent out a team featuring star summer signing Rafael van der Vaart in central midfield, in-form Rene Adler in goal, and ex-FCB man Marcell Jansen out wide.

Once referee Knut Kircher whistled play underway, the match opened at a brisk pace with half-chances at either end in an entertaining first quarter of an hour. Max Beister outfoxed Dante after five minutes and crossed, but van der Vaart could only loop a tame header into Neuer's arms. At the other end, Alaba warmed Adler's gloves with a rifled drive after the HSV defence could only partly clear a Kroos corner.

The home side continued to attack with intent, Jansen seeing his shot blocked and Rincon whistling a low shot narrowly wide of the target. But FCB gradually took control, Mandzukic shaking off the attentions of Jansen to meet Alaba's centre but guiding his nine-yard header wide of the left-hand upright. Müller and Schweinsteiger then exchanged passes to release Ribery, whose rasping dive skimmed the top of the crossbar.

FCB upped the tempo now, Jansen hurling himself bravely to snuff out a Mandzukic effort, and Heiko Westermann showing similar courage to deny Lahm. But a goal seemed inevitable, and it came after 40 minutes when Müller's flicked header released Kroos for a run at Adler. The midfielder's first touch took him a shade too wide but he kept his cool and picked out Schweinsteiger at the far stick, the Germany man stooping to head home the deserved opener.

In the period immediately after the restart, Heynckes' men carried on where they left off at the end of the first half with a superb display of attacking football and two brilliantly crafted goals. On 48 minutes, Müller collected Ribery's chip into the box and, although forced wide and towards the by-line by Adler and Jansen, netted from a seemingly impossible angle with a world-class curler.

Bayern moved three ahead five minutes later when Kroos played a slick one-two with Ribery and cruised to the left edge of the six-yard box before beating Adler all ends up with a fulminating left-foot drive. That more or less settled the outcome and Heynckes sent on Martinez for the limping Gustavo, with the visitors choosing to shift down a gear for a spell.

Alaba curled a free-kick over the bar and Ribery shot straight at Adler, before Van der Vaart did test Neuer from long range in a rare Hamburg chance. Anatoliy Tymoshchuk took over from the excellent Kroos for the last quarter of an hour, before man of the match Ribery gave way to Rafinha at the end. The visitors skilfully ran down the clock now before Mr Kircher put HSV out of their misery with the final whistle.

Live match report for by Chris Hamley
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