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Reshuffled Bayern ease into cup third round

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Reshuffled Bayern ease into cup third round

Postby FCBayernNews » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:32 pm

Captain for the night Arjen Robben and proven marksman Claudio Pizarro scored a brace apiece and finished with three assists between them as a Bayern side showing nine changes to the previous match comfortably overcame second division Kaiserslautern in a DFB Cup second round tie on Wednesday night.

The 71,000 full house at the Allianz Arena saw veteran Pizarro hand Jupp Heynckes' men an 11th-minute lead, but although FCB were well in charge for the rest of the first 45 minutes, the next goal failed to arrive until four minutes after the restart, when Robben doubled the advantage with a fulminating drive. Pizarro added a third with a header before the hour, and then rounded things off by laying on the fourth for his captain a couple of minutes from time.

The Bavarians are next in action on Saturday away to resurgent Hamburg in the Bundesliga, before entertaining OSC Lille in the Champions League the following Wednesday, a week from today.

True to his policy of keeping his whole squad sharp and ready for action, Heynckes took the opportunity to hand a host of his players some valuable match practice and made no fewer than nine changes to the team beaten 2-1 by Leverkusen last Sunday, with David Alaba and Jerome Boateng the only survivors from the starting line-up for the Bundesliga fixture. That also meant it was a big evening for Robben, who wore the armband for the first time in a competitive match for FCB.

Back-up keeper Tom Starke made his debut for the club in goal, behind a reshuffled back four of Rafinha, Javi Martínez, Boateng and Diego Contento. Young Emre Can and seasoned warhorse Anatoliy Tymoshchuk teamed up in central midfield, with Robben and Xherdan Shaqiri out wide, and Alaba tucked in behind centre-forward Pizarro.

FCK supremo Franco Foda, whose team started the evening as the only undefeated first or second tier club this term, included two ex-FCB men in his line-up. Alexander Bugera is a Munich youth product who made three first-team appearances in the late 1990s, the same number as Alexander Baumjohann in a six-month stay with Bayern in 2009.

Once referee Daniel Siebert whistled play underway, the home side seized the early initiative and Robben loosed off a range-finder, but fired an 18-yard drive narrowly over the bar. Lautern had by no means parked the bus though, and Mo Idrissou shot over Starke's goal after a fine defence-splitting pass from Greek international Konstantinos Fortounis.

Captain for the night Robben then set up the opening goal after 11 minutes with a fine piece of control to bring down a long ball and feed Pizarro. The onrushing Peruvian took one touch to control before blasting an angled drive across FCK keeper Tobias Sippel and in at the far corner.

Foda's men refused to capitulate at this early stage as Idrissou collected a long ball from Bugera, brushed off Boateng's challenge and drew a diving save from Starke. But Sippel was by far the busier of the keepers, scrambling away a swerving Alaba free-kick, and smothering a Can effort after the midfielder exchanged passes with Robben. Steven Zellner did hit the outside of Starke's left-hand post with a deflected drive, but the bulk of the action was at the other end as Shaqiri sent a free-kick only just too high, Rafinha earned a round of applause from Robben with a speculative shot, and Alaba shot straight at Sippel from Robben's lay-off.

The pattern remained the same after the restart, but FCB were now a shade more ruthless with their chances. Robben made it two after 49 minutes with a rasping left-foot drive after Pizarro reacted fastest to a poor clearing header by Danish defender Leon Jessen, before the unmarked Pizarro completed his brace on 58 minutes with a firm header from Shaqiri's well-flighted set piece.

The outcome was essentially settled now but the lively action continued, with Idrissou steering a header wide, Alaba narrowly missing the target from distance, FCK sub Mimoun Azaouagh prompting Starke to turn the ball around his near post, and Zellner also warming the Munich's man's gloves.

There was another senior debut for FCB ten minutes from time when young Mitch Weiser replaced Rafinha after the full-back fell awkwardly in an aerial challenge. The sub made an immediate impact with a dinked cross for Shaqiri to dive and head home, but although the Swiss star was offside, Robben did add the fourth from the persistent Pizarro's lay-off to wrap up a comfortable win with two minutes to play.

Live match report for by Chris Hamley
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