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Building up momentum

Van Gaal’s Christmas wish: 11 more points

Bastian Schweinsteiger spoke calmly, but it was clear he was raging inside. “He spat at me. I’ve never had that happen before,” the midfielder said. The perpetrator was Nürnberg schemer Javier Pinola, and the incident was confirmed by TV footage. “No-one’s ever spat at my face before. That's disrespectful and there’s no place for it in football. That's not fair play, that’s disrespectful.” It had been hard to control his emotions out on the field, the midfielder admitted. “I could have given him a clip round the ear, but how would that have helped the team?”

Schweinsteiger and Co exacted revenge in a much more conventional and satisfying manner. Bayern beat Bavarian neighbours 3-0, and the margin of victory could have been considerably more. “We can be pleased it was only three goals,” agreed FCN keeper Raphael Schäfer. “We were outstanding right from the start today and deserved to win,” summarised director of sport Christian Nerlinger after an entertaining 90 minutes.