FCB wingers make the crowd go wild
Long chants rang out across the Allianz Arena on Saturday evening, hailing Arjen Robben and recalling his goal in the 2013 Champions League final at Wembley. The Dutchman turned in a blistering display in Bayern's 4-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund, one of the best players on the pitch.
The 33-year-old left his opponents rooted to the spot again and again, a devastating menace throughout, and early after the restart he scored in his trademark manner. Robben cut inside from the right and curled the ball into the net, all but wrapping up the victory.
Home sweet home
"If you're up against strong opponents and play like this, with lots of intensity and passion and you win convincingly, it's fun and you can be happy," a pleased Robben commented after another gala in his living room. The Dutchman feels at ease at the Allianz Arena as no player has taken more shots on goal in Fröttmaning than Bayern's number ten. Robben has taken no fewer than 314 shots in 90 Bundesliga home matches so far.
He took eight of them against Dortmund on Saturday, and one of them found the net, handing Robben his 57th league goal at the Allianz Arena. No player has made the south stand go wild more often than Mr Wembley. But his performances do not only impress the FC Bayern faithful. "His dribbles are incredibly pacy, which makes it difficult for any opponent. Make a hint of a move and he's gone," Philipp Lahm praised, and hastened to add: "It's the same thing with Franck on the other wing."
'Perfect birthday weekend'
After all, the Frenchman turned in a similarly strong performance. Ribéry opened the scoring after three minutes, the fastest league goal under Carlo Ancelotti, and was awarded a free-kick as he could only be stopped by a foul after a strong combination with Thiago. Robert Lewandowski netted the set-piece, but the fans hailed Ribéry.
Bayern's number seven, who turned 34 on Friday and spoke of a "perfect birthday weekend," received a huge compliment when he left the pitch to thunderous applause after 73 minutes. Ancelotti hugged the crowd-pleaser and kissed his cheek. "Franck turned in a superb display, it was his birthday yesterday, so he deserved a small kiss," declared the Italian.
Ready for Madrid
Bayern are in an upbeat mood, and their wingers are in top form before Wednesday evening's Champions League quarter-final first leg against Real Madrid. "I feel we're ready. This match has to boost our confidence," Robben commented, turning his focus to Real: "We have to play like we did today, with lots of passion and aggression. We have to demonstrate from the off that our opponents won't have a chance, and that we want to win the match."
Supported by the fans, the two wing wizards aim to turn in another gala on Wednesday. If they succeed the south stand loyalists will once again hail their heroes with classic chants.