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Road to recovery

League campaign back on track after big win

For almost the first time this season, it was a case of smiles all round at Bayern on Saturday. When Thomas Müller smashed home his side’s fifth with two minutes to play, coach Louis van Gaal threw up his arms in triumph, joy and elation written across his face. Up in the towering East stand, where board directors Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Uli Hoeneß and Karl Hopfner sat side-by-side as VIP guests of home club Borussia Dortmund, the signs of delight were hardly any less obvious. Hoeneß greeted the final whistle with a clenched fist of jubilation, while Rummenigge rubbed his hands in undisguised glee.

After a second emphatic league win on the trot, Bayern have dispelled the gloom prompted by their worst start to a season in 40 years, with only two points from their first three games and a bitterly disappointing 2-1 defeat to promoted Mainz. Nevertheless, Rummenigge was keen to place everything in its proper context. “We weren’t devastated after Mainz, we were disappointed. Today, we’re extremely satisfied, but there’s no euphoria,” the chairman said as he faced reporters after Saturday’s meeting at Signal Iduna Park.