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Successful return to favourite hunting ground

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Successful return to favourite hunting ground

Postby FCBayernNews » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:30 pm

It's a long trip from Munich to Stuttgart, especially by bus, so the Bayern stars had plenty of time to prepare mentally for Tuesday's cup clash with VfB Stuttgart. Some will have played cards, others used books or music to while away the time. There's a suspicion Bastian Schweinsteiger might have watched a motivational CD - a replay of the 2006 World Cup third-place play-off, perhaps.

Germany beat Portugal 3-1 in Stuttgart that day. The 24-year-old FCB man, now on 62 caps for his country, scored twice and set up the third in one of his best performances on the international stage. That all took place two-and-a-half years ago, but there was a strong sense of deja-vu following Tuesday evening's DFB Cup encounter.

Bayern outclassed VfB in a thumping 5-1 triumph, Schweinsteiger turning in a display strongly reminiscent of his outing on 8 July 2006. Strong-running, alert and determined in the tackle, the midfielder was a consistent threat down the right flank.

"We told him beforehand we thought he'd find space down his wing," FCB coach Jürgen Klinsmann revealed afterwards. "We ordered him to head for the by-line or cut inside and shoot."

Great team display

Schweini took the first option after ten minutes with a pinpoint cross to the unmarked Martin Demichelis, only for the defender to plant his header over the bar. Six minutes later, Schweinsteiger chose the second option, to stunning effect. Capitalising on an error by Stuttgart left-back Arthur Boka, the Munich midfielder thrust into the box and smacked an unstoppable drive across keeper Jens Lehmann and in at the far corner.

"I'd normally have crossed it, but there was no-one in the middle and the corner was open. I once scored like that in Mainz, and last night I thought I'd just give it a go," Schweinsteiger later explained, quickly moving on to praise a fine overall performance. "It was a very good team display, and it proved we're in great form."

First cup goals since 2003

In the second half, Schweinsteiger added another with a cleanly-struck penalty to make the score 4-0. Franck Ribéry shot tamely into Lehmann's arms with a first-half spot-kick, so Klinsmann transferred the responsibility to the Germany star. "I insisted," the FCB coach declared, underlining his faith in the Munich youth product.

Schweinsteiger, who signed a contract extension through to 2012 shortly before Christmas, ended a 22-game scoring drought in the national knockout competition. His last DFB Cup goal dates back to 2002-3 in an 8-0 thrashing of Köln. "I do enjoying scoring here," he quipped at the Mercedes Benz Arena on Tuesday, thinking back to that third-place play-off in 2006.
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