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‘Classy’ displays from FCB internationals

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Louis van Gaal would have preferred his players not to report for international duty, as they would then have been available for training in Munich instead. “Yet again, the players are away for two weeks, and I can’t help them recover,” he said after the most recent league fixture. However, the coach will have been delighted to see so many Bayern men performing with credit for their countries on Friday night.

Daniel van Buyten, captain for the night in the absence of the injured Thomas Vermaelen, led Belgium to their first Euro 2012 qualifying win, a 2-0 success away to Kazakhstan. The Netherlands and their skipper Mark van Bommel went top of their group with a 1-0 victory in Moldova, and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk sealed a thrilling Ukraine fightback against Canada with a late goal to earn a 2-2 draw.

Klose back on the goal trail

The most impressive form of the lot came from Bayern’s Germany contingent in a convincing 3-0 win over Turkey. Miroslav Klose stood out from the rest with a brace at the Berlin Olympic stadium, taking him to five goals in three qualifiers so far. Puzzlingly, he has yet to open his account in the Bundesliga.

The 32-year-old is as mystified by the discrepancy as everyone else. “I haven’t a clue. It sounds a bit odd, but there are many similarities – the system and formation are the same. I try and achieve just as much for my club as for my country, but I’m having no luck with Bayern,” he said, pointing to the incident leading to his opening goal: “The ball hit the post and happened to rebound onto my head. At Bayern it would have gone either side of me.”