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Double double strike

Robben and Lewandowski in glittering form

The Allianz Arena clocks showed 74 minutes had already been played and FC Bayern were leading Hannover 3-0 thanks to goals from Robert Lewandowski (6, 38) and Arjen Robben (13), but the Dutchman was taking nothing for granted: Robben lost a challenge with Hannover’s Christian Pander out on the right and the linesman gave a throw to the visitors, but the FCB player disagreed with the decision and loudly gave vent to his feelings.

It was typical of Robben, because the 30-year-old was simply not prepared to cruise at 3-0 up. He ran, chased and fought for every single loose ball as if the one-sided match could still suddenly go wrong. And five minutes later he crowned a superb personal display with his second goal and his team’s fourth. Robben loosed off ten shots at goal in the 90 minutes against Hannover, who as a team mustered a mere six.

Instigator Arjen

“I’m more pleased with the team performance than I am with my own,” Robben modestly declared afterwards. “It was a good game from us and for the crowd. We played really good, attractive football and all of us enjoyed it. We can be pleased with our recent matches,” continued the winger, the inspiration for much of Bayern’s attacking play in the last three weeks. In laying on FCB’s second, Robben moved on to 100 scorer points (goals plus assists) in his 110th Bundesliga appearance.

Arjen featured in the opening day win over Wolfsburg but was then sidelined for four weeks with a series of minor injuries, returning for the Champions League opener against Manchester City and spearheading a run of five consecutive victories with 12 goals scored and none conceded. In the four Bundesliga matches with Robben in the team, FCB won the lot and scored 12 times, with the Dutchman having a hand in five goals. The three games without him yielded a win and two draws with three goals scored.

Praise from the chairman

“He’s in unbelievable form, as we saw at the World Cup. He really seems to have looked after himself. He’s been unplayable at times for every defender, including Sergio Ramos, who’s known as one of the best defenders in the world. He’s superb at the moment,” declared Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. But the chairman singled out another FCB player for special praise too, namely Robert Lewandowski, who scored his first brace for Bayern on Saturday.

“Robert had a great game, not just because he scored twice but for the way he took his goals, like a world-class striker,” said the former world-class goal-getter after watching the Polish international and Robben combine brilliantly at times. “Robert is a very good player. He doesn’t just hang about up front and score, he joins in the team play. He’s a terrific footballer and it’s a pleasure playing alongside him,” Robben commented.

The 26-year-old centre-forward has emerged from a short period of acclimatisation and now leads the scorer point charts with four goals and two assists. “Every player needs time to settle at a new club. You never expect him to play like he’s been doing for many years right from the first day. I’m happy,” said the Pole, looking forward to his maiden Oktoberfest visit: “I’m curious. I think it’ll be a good day out.”

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