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4-1 friendly win

FCB down Qatar Stars in first winter test

FC Bayern have begun 2015 on a winning note as Germany’s most successful club defeated a Qatar League representative XI 4-1 in the first friendly of the mid-season training camp in Doha. A 6,838 crowd at Lekhwiya SC Stadium saw Mitchell Weiser net an early brace, and although Hamdi Harbaoui pulled one back for the Qatar Stars on 26 minutes, Franck Ribéry increased Munich’s total to three on the stroke of half-time. Sub Claudio Pizarro rounded off the scoring in stoppage time at the end of the contest.

To round off the first week of training since the holidays, Pep Guardiola sent out a starting line-up comprising Pepe Reina in goal, Weiser, Jérôme Boateng, Dante and Juan Bernat in the back four, Sebastian Rode and Gianluca Gaudino in holding roles, and Thomas Müller, captain Bastian Schweinsteiger and Ribéry in attacking midfield. Robert Lewandowski took up station at centre-forward.

Brace for Mitch

FCB opened breezily and Müller loosed off a first sighter after only two minutes. The Germany striker’s next intervention was a perfect lay-off for Weiser to tap home the opener just 60 seconds later. The same player produced a fine solo run and finish to double the lead ten minutes after that as Bayern made their technical and tactical superiority count in all areas of the field. However, Guardiola’s men had left their shooting boots at home and an array of chances went unused.

The Qatar Stars now began to make an impression in attack: Hamdi might have equalised after just seven minutes, but went one better from a break down the right and finished with aplomb to cut the arrears on 26 minutes. Reina then saved well as Ahmed Fathi tried his luck from the edge of the box, but at the other end Ribéry took advantage of fine build-up play from Rode and made the score 3-1 with two minutes remaining until the break.

Guardiola made a string of changes in the course of the second half but the pattern of the contest remained the same with FCB on top in every respect, although the Reds lacked a little of the determination they had shown in the first period and chances were thinner on the ground. Rode twice came close before sub Michael Eberwein (87) and Mario Götze (90) turned the screw in the last few minutes, with Pizarro adding the fourth and completing the scoring in time added on at the end.