Created on 04-03-2013 at 00:00 AM
“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.