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'At a different level'

'Outstanding' FCB seal top spot at Xmas

A derby win, the run continues and top at Christmas for the 20th time - FC Bayern refuse to let up in the run-in to the winter break as they go from one win to the next. The league leaders earned a convincing and deserved 4-0 win in the top-of-the-table clash away to surprise package FC Augsburg to take the tally of games unbeaten in the league to 15 for the season. Furthermore, the Reds go into the winter break in top spot for the fourth year in succession. It is no wonder the FC Bayern camp is on cloud nine going into the festive season.

“The team and the coach have done brilliantly and they deserve great credit for their efforts,” said Karl-Heinz Rummenigge after the match in front of a capacity crowd at the SGL Arena. FCB are certain of finishing top at the winter break with two games to go and the chairman of the board was keen to praise everybody for their performances over the past weeks and months: “You’ve got to take your hat off to them with results like that. A big thumbs-up from me.”

'At a different level'

Sporting director Matthias Sammer praised the “positive and outstanding character” of the team after a tough first 45 minutes against a confident Augsburg side. “The first half wasn’t easy. Augsburg were very solid, well organised and strong in the tackle. They were excellent,” declared Sammer. At half-time it was clear to see “the players and coaches definitely wanted to win the game. That was great.”

Augsburg made life difficult for FC Bayern almost up to the hour mark with their pressing game and work rate. However, FCB hit back with four strikes in 13 minutes as Mehdi Benatia (58) scored his first goal for FC Bayern, Arjen Robben (59, 71) netted his seventh and eighth of the season and Robert Lewandowski (68) again found the back of the net. “Bayern Munich are playing at a different level. They have so much quality and the victory was absolutely deserved,” conceded FCA coach Markus Weinzierl.

Guardiola raves

“I’m surprised by the mentality of these players after two seasons where they’ve won everything. They’re in a great mental state playing every three days and winning, winning and winning. It’s fantastic,” raved Bayern coach Pep Guardiola after his team clocked up win number twelve in the current league campaign. “I’m very, very proud of my players because I know how hard it is to win here,” said the Spaniard, remembering last season’s 1-0 defeat in the previous away game at Augsburg. His team came out on top “against excellent opponents”.

“Augsburg are third for a reason. They’re very committed, very aggressive and were tactically very good in the first half,” said captain for the day Bastian Schweinsteiger after his second start in four days. “We stepped it up after the break and played really well. Four goals in a half is a good performance,” added Lewandowski before stating: “Being top at Christmas doesn’t mean a thing. We have to be in first place at the end of the season.”

Two games to go

Lewandowski & Co do not have much time to rest. FCB are back in action on Tuesday night when SC Freiburg visit the Allianz Arena in the last home game of 2014. Bayern then travel to FSV Mainz three days later. “We need to keep calm and carry on looking to pick up points in the next two games,” said Rummenigge. And Robben added: “We need to do well in the last two games - and then we finally get a good break.”

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