presented by
Record start

‘Our motto: Keep calm and carry on!'

Was it all just a dream? The way to remove any lingering sense of disbelief on the morning after the night before was to cast an eye over the morning sports pages. “Bayern’s show of strength” declared the Deutsche Presse-Agentur, while kicker’s headline read “Demonstration of power”. FC Bayern’s 5-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund really happened – and was the crowning glory of a superb start to the campaign with eight league wins on the spin and a goal difference of +24, equalling the club’s Bundesliga record from the 2012/13 season. “It’s just crazy,” acknowledged Pep Guardiola, “I’ve never known anything like it in my career.”

Bayern now lead second-placed Dortmund by seven points. “It was always our dream to have this lead at this point in time,” commented Thomas Müller, describing the victory over BVB as a “big point” and “a signal. It was just super today and we’ll enjoy it.”

No champagne

“We’ve made a wonderful start,” Karl-Heinz Rummenigge agreed. However, headlines congratulating the Reds on winning the league, including “Champions in October!” in Munich tabloid Abendzeitung and “Only FC Bayern will be German champions” in the FAZ, left the FCB chairman cold. “We’re not that far yet. There are 26 matches to go.” The champagne will remain firmly packed away, he insisted. “Our motto is: Keep calm and carry on!”

The 5-1 success against Dortmund was the fruit of focus and hard work, the players agreed. “Throughout the match, Dortmund weren’t bad,” said Müller, “but we took our chances.” Müller (26, 35 (pen)) and Robert Lewandowski (46, 58) netted four goals from their first four shots at goal. Mario Götze (66) rounded off the scoring in an enthralling contest both on and off the field, as both coaches switched formations during play on a number of occasions.

Third goal made the difference

The tension only rose briefly after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pulled one back to make the score 2-1 after 37 minutes. Lewandowski’s second goal, just 23 seconds into the second half, banished any doubts as to who would win. “Our third goal made the difference,” stated Guardiola. Sporting director Matthias Sammer felt the decisive factors were a “winning mentality” and “goalscoring mentality”.

Despite the healthy lead in the league, the Reds have no intention of easing back after the international break. “You surely don’t believe we’ll let up even a millimetre,” said Sammer. “We’re not going to go out and lose games deliberately,” observed Manuel Neuer. Quite the opposite in fact: “We won’t ease off from now until the winter break. Instead, we’ll try and extend our lead.” As Müller said: “No-one here is about to doze off.”