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'One-way football'

FCB secure perfect finish at home

Pep Guardiola has clocked up an impressive record in his first 50 Bundesliga games at FC Bayern: 42 wins, six draws and just two defeats with 133 goals for and 26 against. The average of 2.64 points per game has never been bettered in the 52-year history of the Bundesliga. No wonder that Guardiola, the players, management and above all the fans of FC Bayern left the Allianz Arena happy after a regulation 2-0 win against SC Freiburg in the last home match of the year.

“We totally deserved to win today. It was almost 90 minutes of one-way football out there,” declared Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in the mixed zone at the Arena after the game. “I like watching our team. They play good, successful and attractive football. There’s nothing better for us,” added the FC Bayern chairman as he happily vouched: “We’re almost playing even better than last season - and that was an extremely successful campaign.”

Freiburg cracked open

The ninth home win of the season was comfortably achieved against an SC Freiburg side that looked inferior in every respect. 80 plus percent possession and 31 shots at goal to two demonstrate FCB’s dominance with Arjen Robben (41) and Thomas Müller (48) scoring either side of half-time. “We did a good job, we were aggressive going forward and we created and took our chances. Two goals are OK but we could have had a couple more,” said Robben afterwards.

“We’re very happy to pick up three points,” said sporting director Matthias Sammer, pleased with nine wins out of nine at home. Playing against the “Freiburg wall,” as Sammer described the defensive formation adopted by the visitors, FCB produced an “absolutely serious and focused performance.” “It’s never easy when there are so many players in the penalty area. Freiburg’s tactics meant we had a lot of possession. Playing 5-4-1 means you sit back and wait for your chance rather than go on the front foot,” said Müller. “But we played well and went home happy.”

Trio take knocks

The 71,000 fans at the sold-out Allianz Arena also went home in high spirits. They celebrated 20 league games unbeaten for FCB as they gave the players a standing ovation and cheered them on into the New Year. “Thank you! You are brilliant!” replied the Bayern pros with the words of gratitude written on a large banner. The festive atmosphere was rounded off with a free Glühwein and a Christmas laser show after the final whistle.

There was one piece of bad news at an otherwise successful final home game of the year: Medhi Benatia, Xabi Alonso and Robert Lewandowski all went off injured. Benatia suffered a groin injury that rules him out of the last pre-Christmas match at FSV Mainz on Friday night. Alonso and Lewandowski should both be fit for the Mainz game.

But, even without the trio, the order of the day for the final away trip in 2014 is clear, as Rummenigge stated: “We’ve still got to play at Mainz. We want to go there and get a result. We want to continue our run. Then we can start to prepare for Christmas.”