Bayern hammer Hannover
Allianz Arena, Munich – After FC Bayern München’s draw last week, and with Borussia Dortmund finally in form in the Bundesliga, rumblings started that perhaps the rest of the league could catch up with the German record champions.
However Bayern served notice – it’s not going to be easy to catch them.
An offensive outburst, the return of top offensive weapon Mario Gomez and a flawless defensive effort lead the Reds to a 5-0 drubbing of Hannover 96. The win extends Munich lead at the top of the table to nine points over defending champions Borussia Dortmund, who visit next weekend.
Editor’s Note: For a full recap of Bayern-Hannover and the entire Bundesliga, listen to Taking Fussball – a new episode every Tuesday.
Hannover dropped their second consecutive match, four of the past six, and drop out of a European berth for next year, sitting at 7th in the table, one point behind Werder Bremen.
The match ended as quickly as it started. Bayern were on the attack from the get-go, forcing the action and getting early shot attempts by Mario Mandzukic and Toni Kroos. Hannover could never adjust, instead it seemed they were happy to allow their hosts the freedom to run and hope they miss their shots.
Javi Martínez broke open the scoring in the 4th minute, a clinical bicycle kick that beat Ron-Robert Zieler and the part was on, Bayern led 1-0.
Hannover started to push back, but their defensive philosophy of ‘bend, don’t break’ invited the talented offensive players from Munich to push forward. And they did. Kroos was able to finally finish, making it 2-0 in the 24th minute. Franck Ribéry effectively ended the match, making it 3-0 after 37 minutes. The party was on.
The halftime stats demonstrated complete domination by Bayern, and an empty tank for Hannover who played Thursday in the Europa League on the road. They do not have the deep bench nor the talent of their opponent today, but the defensive scheme for the first 45 minutes seemed to be more the undoing for the visitors. Mirko Slomka’s club laid down the red carpet for the Munich offensive machine and they obliged.
Scoring is not an issue for a club stacked like Bayern, their one criticism over the past years has been the defense. If Hannover were able to generate any chances, the much maligned backline was solid. The attack was consistently smothered by David Alaba, Holger Badstuber, Dante and captain Philipp Lahm. They even got into the scoring, Dante scored in the 63rd minute off a Kroos free kick, heading it in. And then he showed off with a dance routine that ignited the soldout crowd.
With the match in hand, head coach Jupp Heynckes decided to bring in Mario Gomez, who had been out with an injury. And he made an immediate impact. Immediate as in 26.84 seconds after entering the match, Gomez raced down the left side, won the ball, and smacked it past Zieler. The entire team joined Ribéry in welcoming back their missing star, hoping his 1st goal will get him back into form and scoring in bunches.
Bayern are heading into another winter to celebrate. Four more weeks to the scheduled break between the halves of the season, Munich are leading their Champions League group already qualified for the knockout round, they will play the next round of the DFB Pokal on December 18th at FC Augsburg, and they lead the Bundesliga, with a chance to make a statement when Dortmund visit the Arena next weekend.
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