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‘Maybe I'll leave him out’

Lahm delighted with maiden double strike

Bayern thrashed Werder Bremen 6–0 with goals from Xavi Alonso, Thomas Müller and a brace apiece from Mario Götze and Philipp Lahm, but Pep Guardiola still expressed dismay, especially with his captain. “I'm a bit disappointed with Philipp Lahm. I wanted to see a hat-trick,” Guardiola said poker-faced, before issuing a dreadful threat: “Maybe I'll leave him out of the next match!”

Guardiola was naturally joking. The Spaniard was of course delighted for Lahm, whose 321st Bundesliga appearance brought him two goals in a match for the first time, and also his 200th German top-flight victory. The only current players with more wins to their names are Lahm’s team–mates Bastian Schweinsteiger (208) and Claudio Pizarro (209). “I'm thrilled for Philipp. I believe he's one of the five best players in the history of Bayern Munich. It's a great honour to be his coach,” Guardiola enthused.

Lahm made his Bundesliga debut in 2003/04 and has scored a total of 12 goals, three of them against Werder Bremen, but despite the length of his career he had never before managed a double strike. “That's my first brace since I was a youth so it's definitely special,” the player revealed. After retiring from national team football in the wake of Germany's World Cup triumph, the 30-year-old has used the two international breaks so far this term to catch up on fitness training lost to the very short pre-season. The hard work is clearly paying off now.

Manuel Neuer reckoned the captain’s two goals were long overdue. “He's often made his way into the box from the defensive midfield position of late but it somehow didn't work out with scoring. But we're all delighted Philipp has now struck a brace,” the keeper declared. In Saturday's match Lahm duly broke into the Bremen box on two occasions and clinically put away chances with his right foot in the 20th and 79th minutes.

Comeback kid Franck Ribéry was also pleased for Lahm: “It's great for him, he's been such an important player for this team for so long,” commented the Frenchman. Lahm himself said he believed his new-found nose for goal was due to a subtle alteration in his tactical orders against the Bundesliga's bottom club. “My instructions were to play a more attacking role,” he revealed. However, the versatile defensive specialist has no intention of converting to centre forward: “I don't know if it will be my last brace, but I think that could very well be the case.”