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Heroes’ reception

Unruffled Bayern master Münster mission

Teenagers screamed, kids hunted down autographs, and flashbulbs popped like there was no tomorrow: the scenes of unbridled admiration were remarkable even by Bayern's much-travelled standards. And this was ‘only’ the airport near Münster, where local club SC Preußen had just been knocked out of the DFB Cup by the men from Munich. The holders made it to the second round for the 19th time in a row courtesy of a 4–1 victory over the third division side on a day when fans of both clubs departed for home highly satisfied.

“Congratulations to my players for taking it extremely seriously,” said Pep Guardiola. As expected, the home team launched a wave of early attacks on their illustrious opponents and, as is so often the case in the cup, briefly had the overwhelming favourites on the ropes. “Until the opening goal by Mario Götze our opponents were better,” the Bayern coach respectfully remarked.

But once the diminutive Götze had slipped between the Münster centre-backs to head his side into a 19th minute lead, the match followed its expected course. “The early goal was important,” commented Götze, and the home side were clearly more awed and wary than in the opening exchanges. With the half-hour mark approaching, Mario's fellow World Cup winner Thomas Müller scored his 100th goal in all competitions for Bayern to double the lead - and not before time in the light of the Reds’ unhurried control of the match.

Good game, good feeling

“We could have scored more,” said Müller, reflecting on the chances that went begging as increasingly dominant Bayern loosed off a total of 22 shots at goal. David Alaba banished any lingering doubts in the 52nd minute when he lashed home a loose ball from 20 yards out. FCB were “much better” in the second half, observed Guardiola, who sent on Claudio Pizarro shortly after the third goal and saw his substitute delicately flick a fourth for his side with just over a quarter of an hour to play.

“We always had it under control,” summarised Holger Badstuber, beaming after his first competitive appearance in a year and 259 days. The consolation goal struck by Münster’s Rogier Krohne from the spot a minute from time after a disputed handball incident and Robert Lewandowski’s penalty miss a couple of minutes later, forcing the summer signing to wait at least a little longer for his first goal for the club, merely added to the entertainment value at the end of a festival afternoon.

“I'm satisfied,” Guardiola stated after the final whistle, although he is well aware of the volume of work still to come: “As everyone saw, we still need time.” Captain Philipp Lahm could only agree: “Naturally we’re not at 100 percent yet. We need more matches in order to get there.” But due to the fact Lahm and Co successfully mastered their mission in Münster, the Bayern party set off for home “with a good feeling,” as Badstuber confirmed. The remarkable reception at the airport only served to boost the feelgood factor.