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5-1 win at Bochum

Goal-hungry Reds ready for the restart

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A week prior to the Bundesliga restart fixture away to VfL Wolfsburg, FC Bayern passed their final serious test with flying colours on Friday as Pep Guardiola’s men beat second division VfL Bochum 5-1. Arjen Robben and Dante turned the game around for Munich before half-time after Bochum’s Danny Latza blasted Hermann Gerland’s former club into an early lead. FCB upped the tempo after the break and Mario Götze, Robben and Sebastian Rode struck to make it an ultimately convincing final score.

Guardiola’s starting line-up could well prove very similar to the team that takes the field away to the second-placed Wolves a week from now. Manuel Neuer began in goal, with Rafinha, Jérôme Boateng, Dante and Juan Bernat in the back four, Xabi Alonso and Bastian Schweinsteiger in twin holding roles, birthday boy Robben, Thomas Müller and Franck Ribéry in attacking midfield and Robert Lewandowski at centre-forward.

The 29,299 capacity crowd at the rewirpowerSTADION in the Ruhr Valley saw FCB start smoothly but fall behind to Bochum’s first effort on goal, Latza volleying a headed lay-off into the corner of Neuer’s net after only five minutes. However, FCB were not thrown by the early goal and Lewandowski, Ribéry, Dante and Robben all came close to levelling the score in the first quarter of an hour.

Brace for the birthday boy

The Dutchman then marked his 31st birthday in fine style with the 26th-minute equaliser from a cunning Müller back-heel. Bochum remained a threat on the break but the clear-cut chances fell to the Bundesliga leaders with Robben and Müller both only missing by inches, before Dante headed home Robben’s 42nd-minute corner to hand the Reds a deserved half-time lead.

Despite a raft of substitutions in the course of the second period Bayern remained the dominant team, although 66 minutes had been played before sub Götze increased the margin to two goals. Robben struck a glorious curler into the corner of the net to complete his brace on 78 minutes, before Rode netted the final goal of the night with six minutes to go. It was a good result against worthy opponents, but far more importantly it indicated FCB’s excellent state of readiness for the second half of the campaign.