Munich - If there were any doubts about FC Bayern München struggling for form before this game, Pep Guardiola’s charges well and truly dispelled them with an astonishing display of muscle-flexing to beat Hamburger SV 8-0 at the Allianz Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Thomas Müller opened the floodgates with a 21st minute penalty and was involved in another three, scoring once more and setting up two as the hosts ran riot. Arjen Robben and Mario Götze likewise struck braces, with Robert Lewandowski and Franck Ribery also getting in on the act.
After a minute’s silence in honour of former FC Bayern coach Udo Lattek, who passed away recently, the hosts immediately set about stamping their authority on proceedings, playing keep-ball in the Hamburg half. The deep-lying guests seemed content enough to let that happen as they were able to hold Bayern at a safe distance from Jaroslav Drobny’s goal.
Whenever Hamburg did regain possession, they employed the daring and unusual tactic of trying to pass it out of defence in an attempt to draw Bayern forward and thus create more space in midfield. It worked well for the opening 20 minutes but once Hamburg defender Ronny Marcos conceded a penalty for handling inside the box and Müller converted the ensuing spot-kick, there was never any doubt about the result.
To make matters worse for the visitors they conceded a second goal within two minutes of the opener as Götze rifled in the rebound after Drobny had saved Müller’s long-range strike. As if that were not enough, attacking spearhead Ivica Olic was then forced off with a thigh injury. Yet Bayern were nowhere near finished and refused to let their stranglehold on the game slip. Robben scored a sensational third after a swift counter-attack involving Müller and Götze, curling a delightful 25-yard strike in off the post.
The comfortable lead was no less than the hosts deserved at the break, yet they re-emerged from the dressing room seemingly even more determined to attack. It didn’t take long for Bayern to increase their lead, with Robben grabbing the hosts’ fourth within seconds of the restart after skipping past Marcos inside the box and tucking in with his right foot.
There was plenty more to come too, with Lewandowski tapping in from close range from Müller’s right-wing cross, before the Bayern No25 grabbed his second of the afternoon with a wonderful curling shot of his own into the corner. Even with the score at 6-0 Bayern coach Pep Guardiola was not satisfied and took off centre-back Medhi Benatia for Ribery, who duly got on the scoresheet himself with a close-range tap in.
The Allianz Arena faithful sang their appreciation and when Bayern kept pushing forward, they were rewarded when Götze grabbed an eighth late on to round off an extraordinary game and send out a clear statement of their intent to the rest of the league.
Line-ups and statistics
Jonathan Stockitt reporting from the Allianz Arena