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Place in the history books

Records tumble to all-conquering Reds

None of Juventus, Barcelona, Dortmund, CSKA Moscow, Man City or Victoria Plzen have been able to prevent Bayern winning their last nine Champions League fixtures. By beating the Czech champions 1–0 on Tuesday night, the treble winners have equalled yet another record, as nine straight wins in Europe’s elite club competition has only ever before been achieved by Barcelona (2002/03).

“Normally you might say that wasn’t a match worthy of an entry in the Champions League history books - but in fact it was,” Karl-Heinz Rummenigge declared in his speech to the traditional post-match banquet, expressing “warm congratulations” to the team. Pep Guardiola said he was “very, very happy we’ve taken this record.”

The achievement is a product of a remarkable Champions League season so far, as 12 points from four matches with 12 goals scored and only one conceded is Bayern’s best-ever performance at this stage of the group phase. The holders are through to the knockout round with two games to spare, something they have only achieved once before(2010/11). History suggests FCB have a very good chance of winning Group D, as the 24 teams who have previously won their first four matches in the group stage have all gone on to top their group.

Chairman: Go do it

And that is exactly what Guardiola wants. “We want to finish first, so we’ll have to beat Moscow and Man City,” the head coach declared. The men from Munich have no intention of shifting down through the gears, especially as another club record beckons: if FCB take four points or more from their last two matches, they would beat their own previous best of 15 points in the preliminary stage. The treble winners also extended their own record of five consecutive away victories in Europe thanks to Tuesday’s triumph in the Czech Republic.

“It seems that it’s a season when every record can be challenged or beaten,” continued Rummenigge, although he soon turned his attention to Saturday’s Augsburg clash at the Allianz Arena, where FCB can smash Hamburg’s 30-year-old record of 36 league games without defeat. “We can break the next record on Saturday, and my recommendation would be to go out and do it!“ That would have a very welcome side-effect, as Rummenigge concluded: “It would be good to stay top of the table.”