Bastian Schweinsteiger (l.) was all smiles after making his comeback in Bayern's starting line-up against Hannover...
Bastian Schweinsteiger (l.) was all smiles after making his comeback in Bayern's starting line-up against Hannover...

Schweinsteiger: 'It's great to be back'

Hannover - FC Bayern München's midfield maestro Bastian Schweinsteiger couldn't hide his delight after making his first Bundesliga start since the beginning of November in the record titleholders' 4-0 away win over Hannover 96.

FC Bayern München

Meanwhile, the Hannover players were keen to focus on the future having now faced the best side in world football. rounds up the thoughts of the main protagonists...

Bastian Schweinsteiger: It's great to be back. I feel good and it's great to start a game and come through 70 minutes unscathed. The Bayern training sessions are high quality, which has helped me get back into my rhythm, but I've got to use these minutes to regain my sharpness. I'm not getting any younger, but with my ankle injury games like this are crucial and hopefully things will keep getting better for me. Pep [Guardiola] gave me a lot of encouragement, but I've got to be fully fit in order to help the team as best I can.

When I went off I was pretending to be upset that Arjen Robben didn't give me the ball, despite the fact that I had sprinted in order to offer him an option, but it was meant as a joke. At this age I don't run as much, but I'm not the first player not to get the ball when running in support of Arjen.

You can imagine what the World Cup means to me, but there's still a long way to go until then and my priority right now is the Bundesliga and helping FC Bayern become the first team to defend the UEFA Champions League.

Philipp Lahm: It's always hard work beating Hannover at home. At the end of the match it may have looked like it was easy, but it's not as simple as that.

After the games yesterday, we had a chance to add to our lead at the top of the Bundesliga. We were determined to do just that today and that showed in the way we performed. Our aim is to win every game that we play and we're doing that right now. We can't influence what the other teams do, we can only concentrate on ourselves.

Hannover 96

Ron-Robert Zieler: We had a couple of really good chances in the opening exchanges and it's incredibly frustrating that we weren't able to make use of them. If we'd scored, the game might have taken a different course.

We were well organised for the first 25 minutes, but after we fell 1-0 behind the game took on a life of its own and FC Bayern showed their individual quality. The fact is, we also gave away the first goal far too easily. Thomas Müller was completely unmarked in front of me and had all the time in the world to head the ball past me. That can't happen.

We now find ourselves in a very precarious position even though we still have a cushion between us and the sides below us. However, we know that there are plenty of fixtures left to play in the second half of the season and that the other teams can pick up points. Therefore, we've got to focus on winning our games. We've got to start in Augsburg because that's a game we can win. We need to concentrate on the task ahead and prepare ourselves so that we can take at least a point from that trip.

Christian Schulz: From my perspective the game didn't feel as bad as the result makes it look. Of course it's difficult when Bayern take a 1-0 lead and then grab another goal before half-time. We needed to score inside the opening 25 minutes, which would have potentially changed the complexion of the game entirely and forced Bayern to change their gameplan. But after scoring a second goal they were very clever in taking the pace out of the match. They added to the scoreline by making the most of their chances and that's a sign of their quality. That's what we were lacking today.

At the end of the day you can't claim that we fell apart. We held our heads high throughout and played with a lot of self-belief even after conceding a fourth goal. We tried to be fully-focused until the final whistle.