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1,000 Bundesliga wins

Reds extend record streak with milestone victory

All-conquering Bayern passed a momentous milestone on Saturday with a historic 1,000th victory in the Bundesliga, a typically emphatic and fully deserved 4-0 success at home to FC Köln which also extended the runaway league leaders’ winning streak since the start of the season to a record ten games.

The 75,000 capacity crowd at the Allianz Arena saw a dominant display from the in-form champions, Arjen Robben crowning a good comeback from a long lay-off with the 35th-minute opener. Arturo Vidal doubled the advantage five minutes later, Robert Lewandowski headed the third on 62 minutes, and Thomas Müller made it four from the spot 13 minutes from the end of an ultimately one-sided contest.

The result means Pep Guardiola’s men remain comfortably top of the standings on the maximum 30 points, ten and 11 clear of Dortmund and Schalke respectively, although the Ruhr Valley pair can claw back some ground in their Sunday fixtures. The Bavarians return to action three days from now in a mouth-watering DFB Cup second round tie away to Wolfsburg, before the Bundesliga trip to face Eintracht Frankfurt in the evening of Friday 30 October.

Comebacks for Arjen and Kingsley

Guardiola made three changes to the team that fell 2-0 away to Arsenal in the Champions League last Tuesday, with Juan Bernat, Xabi Alonso and Thiago all starting on the bench and Rafinha, Kingsley Coman and Robben coming into the side. Robben made his first appearance since Matchday 3 after nearly two months out with a groin problem, and Coman returned from a two-game absence with a minor injury.

Jan Kirchhoff and Javi Martinez were also among the subs but although Holger Badstuber and Franck Ribéry are closing in on comebacks, neither they nor Mehdi Benatia and Sebastian Rode are yet fit enough for the bench.

It meant the champions began with Manual Neuer in goal behind a back four of Rafinha, Jerome Boateng, David Alaba and captain Philipp Lahm, with Vidal in the holding role, and a pacey front five featuring Robben, Coman, Müller, Douglas Costa and Lewandowski.

Dominant first half

After referee Florian Meyer whistled the match underway, the match got off to a lively start with FCB pressing for an instant breakthrough but Köln’s Simon Zoller warming Neuer’s gloves on the break. The action was almost all at the other end however with visiting keeper Timo Horn saving early on from Robben and Müller, and then seeing Costa’s vicious angled drive deflected into the side-netting.

The men from Cologne tightened up defensively after quarter of an hour and Lewandowski’s header straight at Horn was the only chance for a spell, but the men in red hit the gas after half an hour and Robben opened the scoring in the 35th minute with great feet and a simple finish after Lewandowski laid off Müller’s cross into the six-yard box.

Bayern had the bit between their teeth now and Vidal made it 2-0 five minutes later with a well-struck drive from 15 yards after Coman had comprehensively outfoxed Marcel Risse on the left flank. Anthony Modeste spearheaded the visitors’ efforts to pull one back before half-time but the teams turned round with the champions two goals to the good.

Robert and Thomas on target

Robben was still buzzing after the break and fired in the first chance of the second half, a typical cut inside and shot towards the left corner of the net, but Horn proved equal to the challenge on this occasion. Martínez now took over from Boateng but it was Lewandowski who stole the limelight with a firm header to make the score 3-0 from Costa’s 62nd-minute free-kick.

The stadium rose to acclaim Robben when the Dutchman handed over to Joshua Kimmich a few minutes later, before Horn saved at point-blank range from Lewandowski and more comfortably from Kimmich and Alaba. With 15 minutes remaining Mr Meyer pointed to the spot when Dominic Maroh tripped Lewandowski in the box, Müller stepping up to take the ensuing penalty and sending Horn the wrong way to net his side’s fourth.

Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley

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