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Comfortable win

In-form FCB maintain successful streak

The Bayern stars returned to Munich on Saturday evening pleased with their day’s work, as the German champions maintained their successful run and extended their lead at the top of the Bundesliga standings, overnight at least. An assured and ultimately comfortable 4-0 victory over hosts Eintracht means the nation’s most successful club are now undefeated in 17 games and are seven points clear in the standings prior to Sunday’s fixtures.

“We’re very happy indeed,” Matthias Sammer said approvingly after the final whistle. Especially in the high-calibre recent matches against AS Roma, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Borussia Dortmund and the cup trip to Hamburger SV, the sporting director felt he had seen “another step forward in the process of our coming together as a unit. The machinery is better oiled and smoother.”

Müller’s second hat-trick

Thomas Müller, the undisputed Man of the Match in the contest witnessed by a 51,500 capacity crowd at the Commerzbank Arena, came to the same conclusion. “We’ve taken another small step forwards in recent weeks. Our moves and plays are all more solid,” said the striker, whose second Bundesliga hat-trick effectively ended the initially stubborn home side’s resistance. Our football’s not bad at the moment. We’re playing well, we have a plan and a concept, and we know what we have to do regardless of who’s in the team.” Sub Xherdan Shaqiri added the fourth goal at the end.

The home team certainly made life “uncomfortable” for FCB in the first hour or so, as Eintracht coach Thomas Schaaf noted afterwards. “Especially in the first half, Frankfurt put us under intense pressure very high up the field,” commented Mario Götze. “We had problems in the first half because we couldn’t get the ball to our free men in the middle,” analysed Bayern boss Pep Guardiola. “It’s always hard to play against Thomas Schaaf’s teams. They defended very aggressively.”

No parked bus

“Frankfurt were very aggressive and it was a different kind of game than we’ve been used to recently, but as usual it was very nice not having to batter away at a 15-man defence plus the bus in their own penalty area. It did mean we had to adapt a little,” said Müller, whose 22nd-minute opener was crucial to the course of the match. “It’s always tough for us until the first goal. We have to work, graft and create chances, but we did it well,” added Götze.

The men from Munich steadily strengthened their grip on the game after half-time as the immense defensive effort took its toll on Frankfurt legs. “Eintracht pressing us high up the field gave us a few problems in the build-up, but once we’d played it past their first line of defence we had space in the final third, and we made use of that a couple of times,” Müller observed. By the final whistle FCB had wrapped up a fully merited eighth win in 11 league matches.

“It’s going very, very well at the moment. We’re enjoying it and that’s clear for all to see,” said captain Philipp Lahm, who is now looking forward to the two-week international break. “It’s good timing because some of the players need a rest,” commented Sammer: the club’s long injury roster means the burden on the fit players has been harder than normal. “And after that,” concluded Lahm, “we have four or five weeks until the winter break. We need to go for it all over again and maintain our concentration. If we do, we can go into the winter break with a good conscience.”