Created on 25-09-2013 at 22:30 PM
Bayern successfully negotiated the second round of the 2013/14 DFB Cup on Wednesday night with an assured 4-1 victory over Bundesliga rivals Hannover in the first of two home games during the famous Oktoberfest. Munich, with five new faces in the starting line-up, had the game under control for all but a brief spell at the end of the first half, and slowly but surely turned their superiority into goals as the match wore on.
The vocal 65,000 crowd at the Allianz Arena saw Thomas Müller open the scoring after 17 minutes with a brilliantly improvised chested finish, cup veteran Claudio Pizarro adding the second ten minutes later. But the treble winners briefly lost concentration for a spell and Didier Ya Konan pulled one back before half-time, although Müller restored the two-goal advantage after the hour as Munich reasserted control. Sub Franck Ribery made it four with 12 minutes to go as the Bavarians smoothly polished off a comfortable win.
Cup holders Bayern are now through to the third round of the competition, where the chances of a clash with another top flight rival are correspondingly higher as the minnows progressively exit at the hands of higher-tier teams. The draw for the last sixteen takes place on Sunday evening, the day after Pep Guardiola’s side host VfL Wolfsburg in the league.
Five new faces for FCB
It was all change on the night for FCB, as boss Guardiola vigorously rotated his squad compared to the weekend 4-0 victory away to Schalke and brought in Daniel van Buyten, Diego Contento, Müller, Xherdan Shaqiri and Pizarro in place of Jerome Boateng, David Alaba, Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Mario Mandzukic.
The 15-time DFB cup winners took the field with Manuel Neuer in goal, Rafinha, van Buyten, Dante and Contento in the back four, Philipp Lahm, Toni Kroos and Bastian Schweinsteiger in midfield, and Müller, Shaqiri and Pizarro in a three-man forward line.
Compared to a 2-1 home victory over Augsburg at the weekend, Hannover supremo Mirko Slomka brought in Leon Bittencourt in place of Artur Sobiech (hamstring), and also restored top scorer Szabolcs Huszti, who missed the league defeat on the same ground 11 days ago with suspension.
Müller’s moment of magic
Once referee Dr Jochen Drees whistled play underway, the home side seized the early initiative and the first chance fell to Shaqiri from Pizarro’s superb back-post headed lay-off, but the Swiss starlet failed to connect and ’96 keeper Ron-Robert Zieler smothered the loose ball. FCB kept up the pressure and took the lead on 17 minutes through Müller’s deft and typically unconventional finish, the Germany star using his chest to turn Pizza’s curled cross over the line.
Zieler beat out Kroos’ 25th-minute rocket of a shot, but FCB doubled the lead just two minutes later when Pizarro firmly headed home Dante’s pinpoint centre, after the home side won back possession in their opponents’ half and Contento instantly played in his Brazilian team-mate for the cross.
Neuer was finally called into action after the half-hour, bravely blocking from Lars Stindl, comfortably gathering Ya Konan’s header, and fisting away Huszti’s free-kick. But Guardiola’s men had lost momentum now and Ivory Coast hitman Ya Konan pulled one back on 37 minutes, beating Contento to a Sebastien Pocognoli centre and sliding the ball into the far corner. Slomka’s side ended the first half on the up and Bittencourt tested Neuer, but the sides turned round with FCB 2-1 in the lead.
Thomas and Franck on target
Huszti cracked the first chance after the restart wide of the target, with Müller getting underneath his shot at the other end, Zieler beating away Shaqiri’s drive, and van Buyten heading wide from a free-kick. But it needed an injection of pace, and Ribery replaced Pizarro in the 62nd minute, although it was Müller who made it 3-1 two minutes later when he stretched to prod home Shaqiri’s wickedly curling free-kick from a well-worked set piece.
Müller almost added another direct from Hannover’s kick-off, before Alaba came on for Schweinsteiger and took up the central midfield position he fills for Austria. Slomka’s men looked resigned to their fate now and Zieler saved well from Kroos, but the keeper blotted his copybook when he could only parry Müller’s 78th minute drive, allowing Ribery to slot home the rebound.
Jan Kirchhoff replaced the limping Contento before the end, with Lahm shooting over the bar, and Shaqiri and Müller coming close in the easy-paced closing stages as the holders eased into the next round.
Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley