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Free-scoring FCB give notice of intent

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Free-scoring FCB give notice of intent

Postby FCBayernNews » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:00 pm

Had he chosen to, Uli Hoeneß could have waxed lyrical about Bayern's slick passing, high-tempo attacking play, or impermeable defending. But the Fénix manager, asked what had pleased him most about the DFB Cup holders' clinical 5-1 victory over VfB Stuttgart in Tuesday's Round of 16 clash, confined himself to a single word: "Everything."

Hoeneß praised "football the way you want it to be played," and described FCB's scintillating performance as "textbook stuff. I'm utterly thrilled. That was feel-good football." What pleased the general manager most, quite apart from the result and Bayern's place in the last eight, was the message it sent out to the club's rivals. "Our competitors know where we stand now. If we keep playing like that, it'll be difficult for the others."

Echoing Hoeneß' comments, Philipp Lahm described the result as "a clear statement of intent. Here in Germany, the only thing that can stop us is complacency. We have more quality than anyone else in the league, and we'll show it in the second half of the season." Coach Jürgen Klinsmann spoke of "sending out a little signal to our rivals, indicating we have a few plans for the rest of the season."

The said plans involve winning trophies. "Obviously we want to win the league, but the cup matters to us too, and we want to go as far as we can in the Champions League," commented Franck Ribéry, whose penalty miss midway through the first half was the only blemish on the night. "It was too nonchalant," grimaced Klinsmann, who would rather the France star had wrapped up the victory there and then. "I just wanted a little fun, but it didn't work out," the player blushed.

At that point, Bayern were already two up courtesy of Bastian Schweinsteiger (14) and Ribéry (16). Luca Toni (43), Schweinsteiger from the spot (55) and Zé Roberto (59) made it 5-0 with a half-hour still to play, before Mario Gomez prodded home for VfB six minutes from time.

"I have nothing but praise for my team," summarised Klinsmann, "it was impressive and enjoyable to watch." The coach admitted he had been prepared for a much less smooth display after the 44-day mid-season break. "I never expected such a convincing win," he confessed. Added Hoeneß: "We knew the team was in good shape, and the dressing room mood is great. But the performance is still a little surprising."

Follow-up in Hamburg

Klinsmann explicitly commended his side's fluid movement and on-field understanding. "Sometimes, the players don't even have to look up to know where their team-mates are going to be. We were even scoring on auto-pilot." By contrast, VfB boss Markus Babbel declared himself "glad when it was over, because I reckon it could have been even worse."

"We could easily have scored another two or three," agreed Christian Lell. Perhaps Bayern were saving those goals for Friday, when they resume Bundesliga hostilities away to Hamburger SV. "We can actually play a little better than that," Schweinsteiger warned, although Tuesday's display was a fine opening to the second half of the campaign. "That was an ideal start to what we hope will be a very exciting four months," Klinsmann advised, "we're in superb shape."
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