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First trophy of term

In-form FCB retain Telekom Cup

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Bayern comfortably retained the Telekom Cup and became the first team to win the prestigious pre-season tournament more than once with a convincing 3-0 victory over VfL Wolfsburg in Sunday’s final at the Imtech Arena in Hamburg. A first-half Robert Lewandowski brace and a Sebastian Rode strike effectively wrapped it up by half-time in the 60-minute contest as the men from Munich presented yet more evidence of the depth and quality in the squad even without the bulk of the club’s World Cup stars.

Pep Guardiola made a single change to the team that edged past Mönchengladbach on penalties the previous day, starting with Danish starlet Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in place of Rafinha. On paper the formation featured a four-man rearguard with Hojbjerg and Juan Bernat at full-back, and Javi Martinez and Holger Badstuber in the centre. David Alaba and Rode took up holding positions, with captain for the day Franck Ribery and Gianluca Gaudino out wide, and Claudio Pizarro in behind Lewandowski.

Early strikes seal it

After referee Peter Gagelmann whistled play underway, Guardiola’s men were quick to settle and soon had the game firmly under control. Wolves boss Dieter Hecking made seven changes to the team that eased past Hamburg in Saturday’s first semi-final and FCB ruthlessly took advantage of their opponents’ lack of shape and poor communication in the first 20 minutes. Lewandowski opened the scoring after just four minutes when Ribery left Naldo on his backside and crossed from the by-line for the big Pole to crash a header past keeper Max Grün from barely six yards out.

The Reds were two up after 15 minutes when Pizarro and Rode played a slick one-two on the edge of the VfL box and the new signing slid a left-footed shot beyond Grün’s despairing dive. It was a very well-worked goal, and Lewandowski confirmed his excellent pre-season form with another beauty of his own just five minutes later, capitalising on great work from Hojbjerg and Pizarro before guiding a precise curler from the right edge of the box into the far corner of the net.

Hecking made three half-time substitutions in an effort to limit the damage, and Guardiola also made switches early in the second period when Rafinha and Diego Contento came on for Badstuber and Bernat. Portugal international Vieirinha and Daniel Caligiuri tested Tom Starke in the FCB goal and Alaba aimed a free-kick over the bar, before Ribery brought the crowd to its feet with a superb shimmy and dribble, only to drag his shot just wide of the upright. Aaron Hunt missed an open goal as the Wolves were denied even a consolation before Mr Gagelmann blew for full-time and confirmed the Reds’ first silverware of the new term.

Live match report for by Chris Hamley