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Deserved debut

Starke thrilled with maiden league outing

“It's the kind of game you just have to win," Mario Gomez tersely summed up after Bayern grafted their way to victory away to Hoffenheim, and the majority of his team-mates will have agreed with him. For keeper Tom Starke, the contest in front of a 30,150 sell-out crowd at Rhein-Neckar-Arena meant considerably more than just another three points.

The Bayern keeper ran out of the tunnel for the warm-up a half hour before kick-off to be greeted by banners and placards saluting his name. The Hoffenheim fans warmly welcomed the 31-year-old back to the ground he called home for two seasons until switching to Munich last summer. Tom made 58 Bundesliga appearances for TSG – and in a delicious twist of fate, his first for Bayern was on his former stamping ground.