Created on 08-11-2014 at 17:20 PM
A Thomas Müller triple strike made sure Bayern’s self-declared mission to consolidate top spot in the Bundesliga in the remaining fixtures before Christmas began in style with an ultimately comfortable 4-0 victory away to 12th-placed Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.
The 51,500 who packed the Commerzbank Arena to the rafters despite severe traffic problems caused by a rail strike saw Pep Guardiola’s men patiently bide their time against the energetic home team and take the lead with their first real chance, Müller’s tap-in after 22 minutes. The Germany striker sealed the points and completed his hat-trick with a quickfire double midway through the second half, sub Xherdan Shaqiri adding a fourth to emphasise the visitors’ overall superiority before the end.
The result takes league leaders FCB onto 27 points from eleven matches, seven clear of Wolfsburg and Mönchengladbach at least overnight, as the teams in second and third play on Sunday. Following the two-week international break the Bavarians return to action at home to high-flying Hoffenheim on Saturday 22 November.
Thomas for David, Arjen on the bench
Guardiola made two changes to the team that eased past AS Roma to win Champions League Group E in midweek. Dante replaced fellow central defender Mehdi Benatia, but the modification enforced by David Alaba’s knee injury was not a like-for-like swap as Müller returned to the starting line-up in the Austrian’s place.
Arjen Robben was fit enough after a stomach upset for a seat on a young bench including the likes of reserve keeper Leo Zingerle, Gianluca Gaudino, Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg and former Eintracht man Sebastian Rode.
The visitors lined up with Manuel Neuer in goal, Rafinha, Jerome Boateng, Dante and Juan Bernat in defence, Xabi Alonso and captain Philipp Lahm in central midfield, and a front four of Müller, Mario Götze, Robert Lewandowski and Franck Ribery.
Thomas taps in
Bayern might have had the lead just 20 seconds after referee Florian Meyer whistled the contest underway when Müller raced clear onto a Götze pass, but the striker unselfishly opted not to shoot and then directed his lay-off behind the charging Lewandowski. Eintracht skipper Alex Meier loosed off a wild sighter at the other end but there was nothing resembling a chance for a long spell after that: the visitors patiently kept possession but Thomas Schaaf’s men focused on aggressively disrupting the play.
It took a classy move on 22 minutes to break the deadlock, as Ribery and Lewandowski brilliantly exchanged passes on the left edge of the box before the Frenchman slid a pass into the centre and Müller finished at the second attempt, the Germany man cushioning the ball over the line with his thigh.
The game opened up a little after the goal and Müller had the ball in the net again on 26 minutes only to be called offside. Home keeper Felix Wiedwald palmed Dante’s looping header over the bar, but the action switched to the other end for a brief period and Neuer dived to save Meier’s drive from a short free-kick routine. FCB still threatened and Lewandowski might have made it two but the big man’s first touch let him down and FCB’s half-time lead remained slender.
Schaaf’s side came out fighting after the break with half-chances for Marc Stendera, Bastian Oczipka and Meier, but Frankfurt’s high-pressing game suited Bayern’s blistering counter-attacking pace and the outcome was settled by Müller’s rapid-fire double on 64 and 67 minutes. The striker initially doubled the lead with a low shot after Lahm’s chip allowed the lively Ribery to hare behind the defence, and Müller completed his hat-trick when Ribery’s quick throw-in gave Götze the time and space to angle a pass into the box, Müller holding off US international Tim Chandler before sliding his finish beyond Wiedwald.
Robben, Rode and Shaqiri replaced Lewandowski, Lahm and Ribery for the last 20 minutes, diminutive Swiss star Shaq almost making an immediate impact when he just got underneath Rafinha’s cross. Götze somehow allowed Wiedwald to nick the ball off his toe when the fourth looked an inevitability, the keeper then saving from the same player shortly afterwards and from Robben in the next move. However, Wiedwald was finally beaten again four minutes from time when Shaqiri turned in Rode’s low drive from close range to complete the victory.
Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley