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Toni and Ribery make the difference

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Toni and Ribery make the difference

Postby FCBayernNews » Mon Nov 10, 2008 7:15 pm

Addressing the 1,700 members present for the AGM last Friday, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was keen to underline and emphasise the club's current thinking on transfers. "We want quality, not quantity. We'd rather have one more Ribéry than three surplus players - this will continue to be Bayern's policy in the future," the chairman declared, receiving applause for his statement. "I'm convinced it'll be a successful policy."

It was hardly required, but Rummenigge's approach was convincingly supported by the players in question not 48 hours later. Luca Toni and the said Ribéry scored the high-quality goals in the champions' vital 2-1 victory away to Schalke 04, Munich's fifth Bundesliga victory in a row.

"Franck makes the difference in a tight game like that, because he's always good for a surprise moment," coach Jürgen Klinsmann reasoned afterwards. Schalke enjoyed territorial domination for practically the whole match, but failed to create clear-cut chances worthy of the name. By contrast, Toni and Ribéry each clinically finished off superbly-executed attacking thrusts.

Bayern raised eyebrows by splashing out unparalleled millions to bring in Ribéry and Toni in the summer of 2007, but any doubts as to the wisdom of the move dissipated extremely quickly. Toni's 24 goals made him the league's leading scorer, on his way to an astonishing 39 goals in 45 competitive outings. Ribéry bagged 15 himself en route to collecting the plaudits as player of the season. His technical gifts, inspired moments and pure skill drew frequent applause even from opposing fans.

Bayern's current streak of five consecutive league wins has a great deal to do with Ribéry. Since the France international's return from injury, Klinsmann and his team have firmly set course for the lead in the standings. "We've caught up a lot of ground and we're hoping to be top at Christmas," Ribéry said after Sunday's Schalke clash, in which he personally netted for the fourth time in four matches.

Toni also took his total for the season up to four, the 13th time the Italian has fired the opening goal in a Bundesliga fixture, with his team going on to win on every occasion. After hitting the target in a 3-0 win against Köln on matchday 4, the striker suffered an unusually long scoring drought, with a long injury lay-off thrown in for good measure. Both afflictions are now history. "We're only a point off the top now. We're heading in the right direction and we're set for success," Toni commented. Monday's mass-circulation Bild newspaper was in no doubt: "Toni and Ribéry - Bayern's guarantee of success."
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