Created on 24-07-2009 at 00:00 AM
The fanatic loyalists in Cologne had waited 1168 days for the moment Lukas Podolski came home. On Friday evening, the 24-year-old ran out at the Rhein-Energie-Stadion in an FC Köln jersey for the first time since leaving Bayern in the summer – and a 50,000 full house turned out for the match between the clubs arranged as part of the striker's transfer deal. "Lukas's roots are buried deep in this town, and this is where he belongs,“ FCB general manager Uli Hoeneß commented.
However, Podolski's legions of fans only had reason to celebrate prior to the action getting underway, as Germany internationals Mario Gomez (19) and substitute Bastian Schweinsteiger (73) handed the visitors a 2-0 victory, suggesting Bayern are running nicely into form with a week to go until next weekend's DFB Cup first round tie away to Neckarelz. "I'm very satisfied," coach Louis van Gaal said afterwards.
The Bayern boss was without longer-term absentees Luca Toni and Franck Ribéry, and the newly-injured Ivica Olic. The 57-year-old supremo started with Thomas Müller in the playmaking role, while Daniel van Buyten returned from injury alongside Holger Badstuber at centre-half.