Created on 18-08-2007 at 00:00 AM
Franck Ribery pulled the strings as an increasingly rampant Bayern put four past injury-hit rivals Bremen in a show of strength on Saturday.
A capacity 42,100 crowd at the Weser stadium saw an enthralling blend of attacking football with a physical edge from both sides in the first half, the visitors claiming the reward for withstanding Werder's early pressure and steadily gaining the upper hand when the outstanding Ribery nonchalantly converted a 31st minute penalty following a foul on Luca Toni.
The less palatable face of an otherwise hard but fair encounter was Brazil stopper Naldo’s early reducer on former home favourite Miroslav Klose. The striker had to be substituted at the break, but his replacement Hamit Altintop soon raced clear to tee up Toni for his second of the season and ease Bayern into the comfort zone.
Ribery’s sublime moment of skill ten minutes from time launched another clinical counter-attack ending in a fine finish by Altintop, before late sub Andreas Ottl set the seal on a dazzling Bayern display with a thumping drive after 87 minutes, rounding off a cracking afternoon for the star-studded visitors.
Lell in for injured Jansen
Bayern showed just one change to the side from the opening day victory over Rostock, Christian Lell coming in for the injured Marcell Jansen. Philipp Lahm switched flanks to free up the right-back berth for Lell, a man on a roll after dispossessing Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi at various points of Wednesday’s prestige meeting with Barcelona.
Despite his fitness deficit after a four-week lay-off during pre-season, there was another start for Toni alongside Bremen old boy Klose, whose official farewell presentation before the match passed off with a lot less recrimination and acrimony than many observers had feared.
The relative calm threatened to go out of the window after Naldo’s borderline early tackle on Klose, a clattering challenge which earned the Brazilian nothing more than a booking from seasoned match official Dr Markus Merk, but which forced the striker to remain in the dressing room after half-time.
Once the sides turned their attention to football, Ribery’s drive had Werder keeper Tim Wiese scrambling across goal to palm round the post, before new Bremen signing Boubacar Sanogo failed to get the better of Oliver Kahn from Jurica Vranjes’ neat pass.
The visitors steadily upped the ante following the midpoint of the half and there was almost an air of inevitability when Petri Pasanen, increasingly out of his depth against the wiles of Ribery and his team-mates, clumsily felled Toni in the box on the half-hour. The France star stepped up to clip the award cheekily over Wiese’s diving body and open the scoring.
Pasanen whistled a drive past the post before half-time, but it was an isolated moment of danger from the home side, who were caught cold six minutes after the restart when Altintop hared clear with the Bremen defence stranded upfield for a corner. The Turkey international picked out the totally unmarked Toni for the Italy striker to finish with a flourish.
The giant number nine gestured to the skies in anguish a short time later after nodding Ribery's chip past Wiese's left-hand upright, before Mark van Bommel whacked a volley wide of the target following a free-flowing move involving half the Bayern team.
The Reds were free to play to the gallery now against their disconsolate opponents, Altintop himself making it three after Ribery sent Toni clear on another perfectly executed counter-attack, before late sub Ottl got in on the act with a thunderous drive three minutes from time to wrap up an imposing away win for the dominant Bavarians.
Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley