Created on 29-09-2015 at 22:34 PM by Chris Hamley
Bayern maintained their searing home form in the Champions League, now stretching to seven wins and 27 goals in their last seven fixtures in Munich, with a thumping 5-0 victory at home to Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday night. The storming win emphatically ended the serial Croatian champions’ 45-match unbeaten streak and consolidated the Reds’ stranglehold on first place in their group.
The 70,000 full house at the Allianz Arena saw the German champions rip into their shell-shocked opponents from the off and lead 4-0 at the break with goals from Douglas Costa, Mario Götze and a Robert Lewandowski double. The Pole completed his hat-trick ten minutes after the restart as the men from Munich serenely brought home the three points.
The result means the Reds tighten their grip on top spot in Group F on the maximum six points. The conventional phrase at this point would have the Bavarians returning to the bread-and-butter of the domestic league in their next match, but Sunday afternoon’s home meeting with Borussia Dortmund in Der Klassiker is anything but humdrum fare prior to the latest two-week international break.
Joshua from the start
Pep Guardiola made four changes to the team that beat Mainz in the Bundesliga last weekend, with Joshua Kimmich, Götze, Juan Bernat and Jerome Boateng starting in place of Thomas Müller, Xabi Alonso, Rafinha and Javi Martinez, who all began on the bench. Reserves Fabian Benko and Gianluca Gaudino were also among the subs, but Arturo Vidal and Sebastian Rode both missed out with minor injuries.
The 2013 Champions League winners lined up with Manual Neuer in goal, Bernat, Boateng, David Alaba and captain Philipp Lahm in a back four, Kimmich, Thiago and Götze in midfield, and Kingsley Coman, Lewandowski and Costa up front.
Whirlwind first half
After referee Alexey Kulbakov from Belarus whistled the game underway on a chilly autumn night in Munich, the first chances fell to the home team with Kimmich glancing a header onto the roof of the net and Götze lofting a shot into the crowd. Mr Kulbakov then turned down Bayern’s very good penalty shout for handball in the box, before Dinamo keeper Eduardo saved well from Boateng and Lewandowski.
It felt like a goal was coming and the opener duly arrived on 13 minutes when Costa took one glorious touch to control Thiago’s pass, accelerated past his marker and angled a drive in at Eduardo’s unguarded near post.
The second came less than ten minutes later when Thiago pounced on a catastrophic error by young centre-back Filip Benkovic and unselfishly set up Lewandowski to slot home, before Götze made it 3-0 on 25 minutes after a one-two with Coman in the box, although Eduardo should really have stopped the Germany man’s half-hit effort.
There was still no let-up from the men in red and Lewandowski completed his brace after 28 minutes with a shot off the underside of the bar and over the line, a fact confirmed by Mr Kulbakov after consulting the additional assistant referee. But even the home side now shifted down a gear and although there were still plenty of half-chances, it stayed 4-0 through to the break.
Prolific Lewy powers on
The result was no longer in doubt but FCB added a fifth on 55 minutes when Lewandowski accepted the first clear-cut chance of the second half to complete his hat-trick with a lob over Eduardo from Thiago’s neat short pass.
Guardiola brought on Martinez, Müller and Rafinha for Bernat, Boateng and Costa in the course of the second period but there was no change in the one-way pattern of the match, although the pace drained from the game as the minutes ticked by.
Götze rattled the outside of the post with a low drive 20 minutes from the end, Eduardo saved at Lewandowski’s feet in a one-on-one set up by Müller, and the Polish hitman curled a free-kick over the bar as a one-sided encounter came to a highly satisfactory close from a Bayern point of view.
Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley