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Bayern revel in ‘historic evening’

For the duration of this special evening Karl-Heinz Rummenigge just could not stay seated. He wandered from table to table in the festively set sala farnese in the team hotel, welcomed guests and was in an excellent mood, clapping the players heartily on the shoulders. In his speech the FC Bayern chairman, who became a European champion in the Stadio Olimpico in Rome back in 1980, said that he had lived to see another “near-historic evening” on the very same site, 34 years later. “To win 7-1 against one of the best Italian teams is a huge result and a great achievement. Congratulations to the team!”

7-1 against AS Roma! No German team has ever scored as many goals in Italy before! FC Bayern had never won an away match in Europe by such a big margin! At the halfway mark in the Champions League group stage, just one more point will be enough to seal FCB’s place in the last sixteen! “We've got to enjoy this evening,” Arjen Robben said – and that is exactly what Bayern did as they dined on rigatoni amatriciana, stuffed veal and tiramisu – and they were joined by 350 guests, including the board and the complete FC Bayern executive committee.

Magnificent first half

Rummenigge was pleased because the players were delighted with their night’s work yet did not celebrate exuberantly. After the game there was not the slightest hint of a party mood in the dressing room. “Our players just sat there, incredibly responsible, almost focused,” the FC Bayern chairman reported. To enjoy the moment without being big-headed – that is what is so special about this team, according to Rummenigge. “I like that.”

Yet on this occasion, Bayern would have had every reason to enjoy themselves to the full away from the pitch. “It was a fantastic game, especially the first half,” said Thomas Müller, who put Bayern into a 5-0 lead before half-time from a 36th-minute penalty. “Being 5-0 up in Rome at half-time – madness!” Robben commented.

The Dutchman (9,30), Mario Götze (23) and Robert Lewandowski (25) also scored before the break. In the second half Franck Ribéry (78) and Xherdan Shaqiri (80) rounded off a result which no Munich player would have dared imagine beforehand. In the meantime Gervinho scored a consolation goal for the Italians, who only made any meaningful impression on the game for a short period after the restart.

Feet on the ground

“We were very well prepared and knew what we had to do. Roma did exactly what we had discussed. We put the coach’s instructions into practice,” Müller concluded about the winning formula for “stratospheric Bayern” (Corriere dello Sport) in the Eternal City. However, the goal-getter added a warning: “We have to watch out and not let results influence expectations.”

“There can be no delusions,” agreed Lahm, “the team always has to go on the pitch highly motivated, go for it and play football with focus.” Manuel Neuer emphasised: “We’re very confident now. We can be proud and satisfied with what we’ve achieved. But we must never feel too sure of ourselves.”

The scoreboard will display 0-0 again on Sunday before kick-off against Mönchengladbach. “It goes on,” says Robben, seeing opportunities to get even better. “It sounds silly, but there are always things that can be improved.” The winger proved during the banquet that he has the best staying power. After two in the morning he was still sitting at the table with his parents, practising the evening's motto: enjoy!