After a busy international break it was back to domestic Bundesliga action, and in front of a packed Allianz Arena FC Bayern turned out a sparkling performance against old foes Werder Bremen. Ahead of the upcoming journey to Rome and what will arguably be the toughest game of the season so far, table-proppers Bremen would not exactly offer the most testing opposition in a game that provided a number of firsts – and a welcome return.
With coach Pep Guardiola continuing to shuffle his starting eleven Brazilian Rafinha returned in place of Medhi Benatia and Jérôme Boateng returned to his usual slot in the middle of a readjusted back four alongside Danté and David Alaba, while skipper Philipp Lahm moved into the midfield alongside Xabi Alonso. Danish youngster Pierre-Emile Højbjerg took the place of Xherdan Shaqiri, while up front Thomas Müller returned with Polish striker Robert Lewandowski on the bench. Also on the bench was the returning Franck Ribéry.
Without a win to their name in the league this season, Bremen managed to hold their own for the opening twenty minutes, but that would prove to be the calm before the storm as the home side put their foot down to storm into a four goal lead at half-time. The opener was scored by Lahm, who collected Müller’s crisp through ball before lashing it past Werder ‘keeper Raphael Wolf from fifteen yards.
Philipp Lahm celebrates his first goal in what would quickly become a rout
Lahm’s strike was the catalyst for Bayern to slip into second and then third gear, and against a timid Bremen side low on confidence the slaughter truly commenced. Just seven minutes later a wonderfully-executed training ground free-kick routine provided Xabi Alonso with a first goal in Bayern colours, as “Raumdeuter” Müller drew away the defence with a superb dummy run to allow the Spanish maestro to guide the ball underneath the leaping wall and past the wrong-footed Wolf. It was goal that put a smile on everyone’s face.
Hapless Bremen appeared to forget about attacking completely as they desperately attempted to stem the red tide, and they looked to have made their way through to the half-time without further damage. However, a clumsy challenge by Austrian Sebastian Prödl just inside the box two minutes from break saw referee Bastian Dankert point to the penalty spot, and Müller stroked home the kick with his usual aplomb. If this wasn’t enough for poor Bremen, Mario Götze made it four with a delicious right-footed curler that fizzed into the top right-hand corner.
As the teams headed to the dressing room the question would be just how many Bayern would score. After their 7-0 and 5-2 maulings last season, Bremen were looking like fish out of water.
Unsurprisingly given their midweek fixture Guardiola’s side loosened the screw in the second half, but without relinquishing control. Manuel Neuer might as well have taken a long nap in the Bayern goal, and the well-drilled midfield unit remained in total command, passing the ball around with consummate ease. Spaniard Juan Bernat replaced Alaba at the start of the half, but one of the loudest cheers of the afternoon came at the hour mark. Replacing Arjen Robben, Franck Ribéry made his way to the touchline and then onto the pitch.
The game would also see the welcome return of winger Franck Ribéry
The arrival of the flying Frenchman was key to Bayern switching up a gear for a second time, and once again they attacked at will. With eleven minutes left a crisp one-two between Lahm and substitute Shaqiri resulted in the skipper calmly completing his first brace in his 321st game for Die Roten from close range, and four minutes from time Götze completed a brace of his own with a powerful right-footed effort that took a slight deflection before settling in the bottom right-hand corner.
Robin Dutt’s sorry outfit had been no match for a superb Bayern side, and for the first time since detailed match statistics began in 1992/93 they became the first team not to register a single shot on goal in a Bundesliga match. With Bremen remaining at the foot of the table, the Munich side maintained their four-point lead ahead of Borussia Mönchengladbach – with both sides clashing at the Borussia-Park next week in what will surely be a old school classic.
Bundesliga Week 8
Allianz Arena, München, 18.10.2014
FC Bayern 6:0 (4:0) SV Werder Bremen
Lahm 20., 79., Alonso 27., Müller pen 43., Götze 45., 86. / –
FC Bayern: Neuer – Rafinha, Boateng, Dante, Alaba (46. Bernat) – Alonso (60. Shaqiri) – Lahm (c), Højbjerg – Robben (60. Ribéry), Götze – Müller
Bremen: Wolf – Fritz (c), Lukimya, Prödl, Garcia – F. Kroos (62. Galvez), Makiadi – Bartels , Elia (46. Busch) – Junuzović – di Santo (79. Petersen)
Yellow Cards: – / Galvez