Bayern lay down early marker

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"Super Bayern, super Bayern, hey, hey," most of the 75,000 crowd chanted late on Friday evening at the sold-out Allianz Arena. Exactly 83 days after FC Bayern celebrated their 25th German championship title at the same location, the record champions once again gave their fans a reason to party in the opening match of the new Bundesliga season. Pep Guardiola's men won 5-0 against Hamburg, who were outgunned in every respect as FCB celebrated the biggest victory in the official opening match since its introduction in 2002.

"5-0 in the first match is outstanding," Arjen Robben commented, making no secret of his satisfaction after the final whistle. "If you start like that, it lays down a marker. We wanted the other teams to notice too," declared the Dutchman. "That was a super team performance, as so often," added Thomas Müller, happy with a "decent result" and a successful start to the 53rd Bundesliga season, for which the Reds have declared a fourth title in a row as their target.

Patience pays off

In the first half FCB were unable to create many chances against extremely defensive Hamburg. "When eleven opponents defend 30 metres from their own goal it's not easy," said skipper Philipp Lahm. "They played with six defenders at times, so we needed to be patient. But the team did it well and scored the goals in the second half," chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge enthused afterwards.

It was Mehdi Benatia who scored the first goal of the season after a 27th-minute set-piece. At half-time "we made a few corrections," Lahm revealed later. After the restart FCB did better and better against an increasingly weary HSV. Robert Lewandowski (52), Müller (69, 72) and impressive new signing Douglas Costa (87) netted to make it an utterly deserved 5-0 victory.

FCB can still improve

"I don't like coming to Munich," lamented HSV keeper Rene Adler, who prevented an even higher defeat with a string of good saves. "A wave comes at you, it's brutal," Adler continued, reflecting on Bayern's relentless attacks in the second half. After half-time the home team loosed off 14 of a total of 23 shots and enjoyed more than 77 percent of the possession. "There was nothing in it for us," Adler acknowledged.

As for Munich, the Reds were happy but by no means euphoric: "It's the attitude that was impressive," said two-goal Müller. "We're 2-0 in the lead but still score and score and score. We keep going even though we've won trophies in the recent past. We're more motivated than ever, so we go on." Of course the Reds could "still improve in every respect," added Boateng.

"If we're all at 100 percent we're a very strong team. That's what we need to win trophies," Müller reflected. There is still a long way to go, but the Bavarians have taken the first step with the clear-cut victory in the opener. "We're one step ahead, we lead the way. We could be top of the table, and that's our goal," said Müller. Lahm added: "We wanted a good start today, that's always crucial. It won't be easy to knock us off the top now."


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