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Flawless defence and deadly Toni seal win

The Säbener Strasse on Sunday morning, with regeneration-oriented yoga and stretching for the starting line-up from the previous day, and a gruelling training session for those who only played minor roles, namely captain Mark van Bommel, superstar Franck Ribéry, substitutes Massimo Oddo, Tim Borowski and goalscorer Lukas Podolski, and youngsters Breno, Jose Sosa and Toni Kroos.

Taken together with injured duo Willy Sagnol and Hamit Altintop, the list of starlets and proven internationals who were not fully required on Saturday indicates the depth in the FCB squad this season. The weekend second-string would surely walk into most of the other 17 Bundesliga line-ups.

Coach Jürgen Klinsmann is understandably pleased that his team has now won twice in a row, and that with plenty in reserve. “Obviously we’re delighted. We deserved it, and it was the right score too,” the boss declared after a comfortable 3-0 win away to promoted 1. FC Köln in front of a 50,000 full house at the Rhine Energy stadium. “We’re satisfied and we’re happily taking the three points home with us,” commented Zé Roberto, a model of trickery and invention on the day.