Created on 10-03-2012 at 00:00 AM
Mario Gomez cracked a hat-trick, Arjen Robben fired a brace and Franck Ribery sparkled again as Bayern warmed up in scintillating style for Tuesday’s crunch Basel clash with a 7-1 demolition of woeful Hoffenheim on Saturday afternoon. The men in red played their timid opponents off the park for the whole afternoon, and there was even the bonus of Bastian Schweinsteiger’s return to action from a four-week lay-off.
The 69,000 full house at the Allianz Arena saw Jupp Heynckes’ men explode off the blocks and score virtually at will against the dismal visiting defence in an utterly one-sided first half. Gomez and Robben scored two apiece and Toni Kroos helped himself to another as the sides turned round with the men in red holding a fully deserved 5-0 lead.
Gomez completed his hat-trick and moved onto 21 goals for the league season just three minutes after the restart, before Ribery was rewarded for yet another superb display with his side’s seventh shortly before the hour. There was another highlight for the home faithful when Schweinsteiger came on as a sub, and although Luiz Gustavo scored a late own goal under pressure from Ryan Babel, it could not detract from a blistering demonstration by the rampant reds.
The result means FCB cement their grip on second spot in the Bundesliga with 51 points from 25 matches, four points off leaders Dortmund ahead of the champions’ visit to Augsburg in the evening, and three clear of third-placed Mönchengladbach. Following Tuesday’s do-or-die Champions League Round of 16 home leg against Basel, the Bavarians are next in Bundesliga action on Saturday 17 March away to struggling Hertha Berlin.