Created on 26-09-2013 at 14:09 PM
Bayern have cruised into the third round of the DFB Cup with a 5–0 victory over Rehden and a 4–1 defeat of Hannover, the best possible start as the holders launch their trophy defence. The victory against Hannover means the most successful club in the competition's history are through to the last sixteen for the 13th time in a row, and have also won their last eight games in the cup. FCB's own record in that respect was ten straight victories between August 2009 and January 2011.
However, it is not just the team that is smoothly continuing where they left off last season, because a handful of the stars are also on excellent streaks. Thomas Müller is top of the competition scoring chart this term with five goals, a brace against Hannover on Wednesday to go with a hat-trick against Rehden in the first round.
“He said to me: it's easier to finish top scorer in the cup than in the league, so I'm making more of an effort in the cup," joked captain Philipp Lahm after the midweek match. Lahm was not surprised at the unconventional way Müller took his goals. “I've been playing with him for years, and I know that's just the way he is," the utility man commented. “He's shown again today that he’s incredibly dangerous in front of goal, with his head, his chest, his shoulder or whatever."
“It was neither my foot nor my head," explained Müller when asked to describe his opening goal, where he beat Hannover centre-back Marcelo to the ball and somehow found the net, mainly off his chest. “It's not magic, it's just utter determination to get to the ball before my marker. Sometimes, something comes of it," Thomas commented. By contrast, his second goal was a classic poacher's finish as he stole in to convert a Xherdan Shaqiri free-kick and effectively settle the outcome by making the score 3-1. Müller is now up to 23 scorer points (15 goals, eight assists) in 23 cup appearances.
Apropos Shaqiri: the Swiss international is becoming a genuine cup specialist. Since joining Bayern in summer 2012, he not only lifted the trophy in his first season, but now has a remarkable 11 scorer points in seven cup appearances so far. He has scored four and laid on another seven, including both Müller's strikes on Wednesday.
Thomas and Shaq are only beaten by Claudio Pizarro. The veteran has already won the cup four times with Bayern, and his goal against Hannover takes him onto 27 in the competition. The Peru hitman is the leading scorer among all current players and now lies 11th in the all-time roll of honour, level with his coach of last season Jupp Heynckes. In his last five cup outings, Pizarro has had a hand in eight goals (six goals, two assists). All in all, the stats will strike fear into the hearts of Bayern's third-round opponents.