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Match-winner Bastian

Schweini’s double strike seals Bayern joy

Life as a head coach is hard at times, as Louis van Gaal knows all too well. Back in September 2009, Franck Ribéry leapt into his arms to celebrate a goal. Last January he slipped and fell as Arjen Robben smothered him in celebration. On Tuesday night, Bastian Schweinsteiger chose to test the boss’s 97 kilogram frame for sturdiness and solidity.

The midfielder hurled himself at the Dutchman, but Van Gaal stood firmly upright, sharing his player’s joy. Once Schweinsteiger had released him, the coach let loose a cry of triumph. Schweinsteiger had made Van Gaal a happy man, as the DFB cup evening had been hard work for FCB up to that point.

“He scored no goals last season and was very down about it, but I told him it wasn’t important. It's fine if other players are scoring,” related Van Gaal, “but today he’s scored the goals.” The midfielder netted on 27 minutes to cancel out Bremen’s early opener, before thumping home a magnificent drive on 74 minutes to win the match and send Bayern into the last sixteen.