A reshuffled Bayern side handed boss Jupp Heynckes the perfect present to mark his 1,000th Bundesliga contest as player and coach with a convincing victory over ten-man Werder Bremen on Saturday. It was a fine way to follow the midweek triumph against Arsenal, and the best-possible warm-up for Wednesday’s crunch DFB Cup clash with arch-rivals Dortmund.
The 71,000 full house at the Allianz Arena saw the unfamiliar home line-up hit their stride midway through the first period and roar into a two-goal lead courtesy of Arjen Robben and Javi Martinez. The Werder cause suffered even more harm on the stroke of half-time when Sebastian Prödl saw a straight red card for hauling down Mario Gomez as last man.
The ten-man visitors were four goals down barely five minutes into the second half after an own goal from Theodor Gebre Selassie and a close-range finish from Gomez, the Germany international’s 100th goal in a red shirt. Belgium midfielder Kevin de Bruyne spoiled Munich’s proud defensive record in 2013 with a consolation for Bremen on the hour, but Franck Ribery and Gomez again made it a half-dozen goals for the boss at the end.
In the Bundesliga standings, the records continue to tumble as runaway leaders FCB now have 60 points from their 23 matches and lead second-placed Dortmund by 18 points overnight, although the champions can claw back three of those points when they travel to Mönchengladbach on Sunday. The Bavarians now turn their attention to the eagerly-awaited midweek cup showdown with BVB, before returning to domestic action away to struggling Hoffenheim next Sunday afternoon.
With Borussia on the horizon and the energy-sapping 3-1 win away to Arsenal still fresh in the memory, Heynckes rang the changes and rotated six new faces into his team. Diego Contento, Jerome Boateng, Luiz Gustavo, Robben, Xherdan Shaqiri and Gomez took over from David Alaba, Daniel van Buyten, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Müller, Toni Kroos and Mario Mandzukic.
FCB lined up with Manuel Neuer in goal, Contento, Dante, Boateng and captain Philipp Lahm in the back four, Martinez and Gustavo in central midfield, Robben and Franck Ribery out wide, and Shaqiri in the hole behind Gomez. Former Bremen hero Claudio Pizarro began on the bench.
Werder boss Thomas Schaaf made three changes compared to last week’s 3-2 defeat at home to high-flying Freiburg, restoring Gebre Selassie, Marco Arnautovic and Aaron Hunt to the team. On-loan Munich striker Nils Petersen started up front, with former FCB youth Mehmet Eckici taking a seat on the bench.
Prior to kick-off, the crowd rose to acclaim Heynckes’ magnificent milestone and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge presented the coach with a bouquet, but once referee Marco Fritz whistled play underway, the compact and deep-lying visitors made it a muted opening phase to the game.
Robben warmed Werder keeper Sebastian Mielitz’ gloves with the first chance on 20 minutes, but Neuer also had work to do as Aleksandar Ignjovski and Arnautovic both tried their luck. FCB upped the tempo now and Gomez was crowded out, but the opening goal duly arrived after 25 minutes when Lahm galloped clear down the right chipped over a superb centre, Robben heading a queue of three Bayern men waiting to apply the finish.
The home side turned the screw and Schaaf’s men were forced into desperate defending, Zlatko Junuzovic collecting a yellow for a clattering foul on Robben. But justice was done when Martinez rose in the box to convert the ensuing free-kick, delivered by Bayern’s Dutch ace, with a towering header.
The action quietened for a time, but Heynckes’ men pushed on again in the run-up to the break, as Ribery, Robben and Gomez were foiled only by last-ditch blocks. But when Prödl took away Gomez’ legs from behind as the striker powered towards the edge of the box, referee Fritz was left with no option but to send off the Austrian centre-back.
After half-time, the men in red gave a textbook demonstration of how to play against ten-man opponents, Gomez forcing Czech international Gebre Selassie into a 49th-minute own goal with a terrific dash to the by-line and cut-back, before the Germany striker himself made it four a couple of minutes later when Shaqiri brilliantly released Ribery and the winger unselfishly crossed for Gomez to tap home into the empty net.
Anatoliy Tymoshchuk replaced Martinez now, but with the outcome no longer in doubt, FCB eased back a shade and the visitors found a lot more space, Chelsea loan player de Bruyne side-footing across Neuer and in at the far post on 59 minutes from Ignjovski’s mis-hit shot.
Robben, Tymoshchuk and Robben again whistled shots close to Mielitz’ goal, but Neuer was not a complete spectator as the lively de Bruyne and Arnautovic both called the FCB keeper into action. For all that, FCB continued to pose the greater threat, and Ribery volleyed home the fifth with four minutes to go from Lahm’s delightful chipped pass. The finishing touch was applied by Gomez in the last minute, the striker running onto Robben’s pass and slotting his side’s sixth goal of the afternoon past Mielitz.
Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley
|Bayern Munich - Werder Bremen 6-1 (H-T: 2-0)|
|Bayern Munich||Neuer - Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Contento - Luiz Gustavo, Martínez (Tymoshchuk 52) - Robben, Shaqiri, Ribéry - Gomez (Pizarro 72)|
|Substitutes:||Starke, Alaba, Müller, Kroos, Mandzukic|
|Werder Bremen||Mielitz - Gebre Selassi, Lukimya, Prödl, Schmitz - Junuzovic - De Bruyne, Ignjovski, Hunt (Pavlovic 46), Arnautovic - Petersen|
|Substitutes:||Strebinger, Ekici, Trybull, Yildirim, Akpala, Elia|
|Referee:||Marco Fritz (Korb)|
|Goals:||1-0 Robben (25), 2-0 Martínez (28), 3-0 Gebre Selassi (49, og), 4-0 Gomez (51), 4-1 De Bruyne (58), 5-1 Ribéry (86), 6-1 Gomez (89)|
|Yellow Cards:||- / Junuzovic, Pavlovic|
|Red Cards:||Prödl (44, foul as last man)|