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Six goals make perfect festive present

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Six goals make perfect festive present

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:15 pm

20.12.2007

At the end of a memorable evening at the Alianz Arena on Wednesday, crowd favourites blasted out of the PA system as the players paraded the field bearing a long banner with the message “To all our fans, thanks for 2007“. A few songs and cheers later, and the night sky was lit by a spectacular fireworks display, a suitably impressive climax to a rousing evening of European football.

“I’m delighted we’ve signed off in front of our loyal fans with a festival of goals,” commented head coach Ottmar Hitzfeld after his side’s crushing 6-0 victory over Aris Salonika. “The crowd’s been treated to everything they could possibly want : great goals, and a team playing as if they didn’t have a care in the world,” a beaming Uli Hoeneß added after the club’s biggest win since moving to the Allianz Arena: “We can be extremely happy with the way we’ve ended the first half of the season.”

<b>One defeat in 28 games</b>

Bayern will spend the mid-season break on top of the Bundesliga, are through to the next round of the German Cup, and comfortably won UEFA Cup Group F with the thumping win over Aris. “We’ve hit all the targets we wanted to hit,” Mark van Bommel remarked with a broad smile. “One defeat in 28 matches is a tremendous record,” Hitzfeld marvelled.

More was at stake on Wednesday night than simply a place in the last 32 of the UEFA Cup. After a disappointing run in recent weeks and a predictable media backlash, “it was important to send out a signal. We go into the winter break with our heads held high,” Franck Ribery observed after claiming the unofficial man of the match honours alongside four-goal Luca Toni (25, 38, 64, 66). The fifth and sixth goals came from full-backs Christian Lell (78) and Philipp Lahm (81).

<b>Making it up to the fans</b>

The result almost tangibly lifted a heavy weight off the Munich camp’s shoulders. “We’ve given the right answer today, and now we’ll enjoy an untroubled mid-season phase. We can set ourselves up to strike hard in the second half of term,” commented Hitzfeld, who spent almost the entire period until Toni’s 25th-minute opener gesticulating from the touchline and issuing instructions to his players. “It was a huge relief when the first one went in, and the second goal not long after,” the General confessed.

“We all knew what was at stake,” remarked Lell after scoring his first senior goal for the club. The team had played for their coach, the defender revealed: “He was under huge media pressure. We wanted to release the tension, and I think we’ve succeeded.“ By the by, the men in red also amply compensated the crowd for a couple of drab goalless draws in recent matches.

<b>Willy back in business</b>

“We all wanted to wish the fans happy holidays with a decent performance, and send them away happy again. I reckon the six goals probably did the trick,” concluded Lell. Willy Sagnol’s post-match announcement he had reversed his desire to quit the club was the proverbial icing on the cake of an upbeat evening in Munich. “It’s been a great day for Bayern,” the Frenchman declared, voicing the innermost thoughts of most of those present.
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