FCB delighted with 'perfect cup night'
The mood on the Bayern bench was close to ecstatic during the cup clash in Wolfsburg. About 30 minutes into the contest Rafinha had a lively discussion with Arturo Vidal. Joshua Kimmich, Jan Kirchhoff and Sven Ulreich joked around, Arjen Robben and Mehdi Benatia had fun too. At that point FCB were 2-0 in the lead in the DFB Cup second round encounter between the holders and the record winners. In the end the Reds won by a 3-1 scoreline and comfortably progressed to the Round of sixteen.
"The first half was phenomenal. It was fun to watch," Robben commented after the match, still impressed by what he had witnessed from the touchline in the first 45 minutes: "A 3-0 lead by half-time in Wolfsburg: that's sends out a powerful signal." Sporting director Matthias Sammer agreed, calling the first half "exceptional. We put into practice everything we wanted to do."
Flawless first half
From the very beginning Pep Guardiola's troops left no doubt as to who would leave the pitch as winners. "We were highly motivated. We've often had a tough time here," Manuel Neuer recalled in the light of the two preceding defeats in Wolfsburg this year. This time, FCB were "very calm, cool, proficient, with good ball control. We were well-prepared."
The 30,000 capacity crowd at the Volkswagen Arena saw the hosts being outclassed in every respect. Douglas Costa (15) and Thomas Müller (20) turned the Bavarians' superiority into a 2-0 lead before Müller scored his second (34) and wrapped things up relatively early on. "The first half was flawless, with many quick switches of play. We were in control and our positional play was good. We gave Wolfsburg no breathing space at all and were rewarded," the two-goal man commented: "The first half was magnificent."
Wolfsburg 'had no answer'
After the break the match was more even. Daniel Caligiuri (47, 71, 75) had promising scoring chances for the Wolves. The Bavarians shifted down a gear without losing control. Quite the contrary: Arjen Robben, who came on as a sub after an hour, missed three chances (68, 79, 82) to extend the lead. Andre Schürrle's consolation goal (90) came too late for the dethroned cup holders.
"We had many plans and prepared well," commented Wolfsburg striker Bas Dost after the match, visibly crestfallen. His team had "no answer" to the Bavarians' pressing game, "and that was frustrating." Wolfsburg chief executive Klaus Allofs admitted "there was a gulf in class" and that his team "never got into the match. We made it too easy for Bayern," the former Germany international acknowledged.
Perfect cup night
"We were up against very, very good opponents who have their qualities. But for now it's hard to prevail against us," skipper Philipp Lahm explained, "it's fun at the moment." Despite a "by and large perfect cup night" (Müller) the Bavarians are already focused on the next Bundesliga match away to Eintracht Frankfurt on Friday.
Their next cup opponents are still to be announced -- the Round of 16 draw is on Sunday evening -- but the Reds have a preference: "A derby against 1860 would be nice, the whole city could look forward to it," commented Lahm. Müller added in his trademark way: "We wouldn't mind if we were drawn as the away team."