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VfB Stuttgart 3 Bayern 6

Thrills galore as holders oust nine-man VfB

Bayern signed off for 2010 with a hard-fought victory over nine-man VfB Stuttgart in a rip-roaring DFB Cup last sixteen tie, featuring nine goals, a penalty save, two sendings-off, and a rare headed strike from Franck Ribery.

The 40,500 full house at the Mercedes-Benz Arena saw Andreas Ottl and Mario Gomez hand FCB a whirlwind start with goals in the first eight minutes, but the home side fought back and Pavel Pogrebnyak netted a brace on the half-hour and in first-half stoppage time to level the scores.

Sub Miro Klose restored Bayern’s lead seven minutes after the restart, before a breathtaking spell in which Khalid Boulahrouz was sent off, Jörg Butt saved a Christian Gentner penalty, and Matthieu Delpierre equalised with a header. But Bayern were not done yet and Thomas Müller made it 4-3 nine minutes from the end of normal time. Klose sealed the outcome with four minutes remaining, before Delpierre's dismissal and Ribery’s final flourish to round off the breathtaking entertainment.

The ultimately emphatic win means Van Gaal’s men remain well on course for a record 16th cup triumph, and also enter the brief winter break with their confidence soaring on the back of three convincing victories with 14 goals for and only six against. The Bavarians’ Bundesliga campaign restarts on 15 January away to Wolfsburg, with the cup quarter-final on 25 or 26 January.