Munich - They may have been pushed all the way in Wednesday’s last-gasp win at VfB Stuttgart, but FC Bayern München produced an emphatic reminder that they don’t allow lightning to strike twice, and certainly not at home, after dishing out a 5-0 thumping to Eintracht Frankfurt in Matchday 19's curtain-closer.
Five different scorers found the net to make it 51 goals for the Bavarians in the league this season, and were it not for the heroics of Eintracht's Kevin Trapp and his replacement Felix Wiedwald, that number might easily be higher, as the effervescent Reds ran riot at the Allianz Arena.
Pep Guardiola's charges have now won all three of their league games in 2014, with their lead at the top of the Bundesliga table back to 13 points courtesy of a brand of football that no team can currently compete with. “We always want to play good football,” said Arjen Robben after the match. “You have to enjoy the game, and we do. Playing like we did today is always fun.”
Their previous two successes - in Mönchengladbach and Stuttgart - had been of the workmanlike variety. This one was far more reminiscent of the free-scoring Bayern side we have seen regularly this season and last: Robben and Co. had 25 attempts on goal, enjoyed 73 per cent possession and had a collective pass completion rate of 92 per cent.
Robben: ‘I feel great’
From having the game’s first attempt on goal through Alex Meier, Frankfurt were quickly penned back on the edge of their box, a position they were forced to adopt for the vast majority of the game. Their defensive approach was, of course, the same strategy that most teams have deployed in Munich this season, but wave after wave of attack put pay to the Eagles' pre-conceived plan.
Indeed, Robben for one welcomes the challenge of breaking down opposition defences. “Teams come here and sit back but it’s a good challenge for us to try and get past them. It was the same last season,“ said the Dutchman, who celebrated a goalscoring return to the action after a knee injury. “I’m happy, not just with my goal but with the entire game. I felt great overall. I’m not 100 per cent yet. I haven’t been able to train that much and I wasn’t able to play against Stuttgart. But it’s just a matter of time until I’m fully fit again.”
Götze looking to Nürnberg
One man most certainly at the peak of his physical powers is Mario Götze. After missing a large part of the Hinrunde through injury, he has now notched four in last five league games, including a quite brilliant volley to open the scoring against Eintracht. He also provided the assist for Robben to make it 3-0, but he refused to overstate the importance of the victory. “Obviously we can be relatively happy with a 5-0 win, but we had to be focused to win it, as we are in every game. It wasn’t always easy today. Frankfurt put in a hard shift and defended deep, although I think the second goal, and when it arrived, was key.”
Next up on the agenda for Guardiola’s charges is a derby visit to Bavarian rivals 1. FC Nürnberg, one of the Bundesliga’s classic fixtures and one that Götze is set to sample for the first time in the Grundig Stadion. “It won’t be easy in Nürnberg next week but we have so much quality in the squad and I think we can go there and win.”
Bernie Reeves reporting from the Allianz Arena