Paderborn - SC Paderborn may not be the most well-known of clubs on the Bundesliga landscape, but they have nevertheless played a significant role in a number of important landmarks for FC Bayern München this season.
The promoted outfit were top of the league prior to the sides’ first meeting back on Matchday 5, but Pep Guardiola’s charges took over at the summit following a 4-0 win, and have remained as leaders ever since.
And on Saturday Paderborn were again the opponents as the Bavarians romped to another victory, one sprinkled with minor - yet telling - milestones. paved the way for the 6-0 triumph with a first-half brace, taking him into the top ten of the Bundesliga’s all-time highest scoring foreigners on 84 goals.
Furthermore, youngster Mitchell Weiser scored a memorable first Bundesliga goal, while Arjen Robben’s brace means he has now found the net against each of the 17 other current Bundesliga teams. “Of course that’s a nice statistic,” said the Dutchman, whose 63rd minute penalty after being fouled by Florian Hartherz broke the hosts’ resolve and opened the floodgates.
Opening goal 'key'
A Franck Ribery drive, a superb lob from Weiser and a late close-range flick of the left-boot from Robben completed Bayern’s third successive victory without conceding; indeed they have now kept 16 clean sheets already this term. Yet Robben believes it was the first of his two assists, a delightful first-time dink over the home defence, that was crucial to taking the points at the sold-out 15,000 capacity Benteler-Arena.
“It wasn’t just a nice assist, it was the key to our success,” said the 31-year-old. “The scoreline doesn’t reflect anything about the first half. We had to play with a great deal of focus because Paderborn only gave us two chances, which we were thankfully able to take advantage of.”
Bundesliga top scorer
The Bayern No10’s consistent brilliance means he is now the out-and-out leading scorer this season with 16 goals, putting him firmly on course to become only the second Dutchman after Klass-Jan Huntelaar - who netted 29 times in 2011/12 - to win the Bundesliga Torjägerkanone. “It’s definitely nice to look in the newspaper and see that I’m top scorer, but that’s not the most important thing for me,” said Robben.
Perhaps not, but his team-mates certainly seem keen for him to win the crown after regular penalty taker Thomas Müller let Robben take the spot-kick in Paderborn. Of greater importance to Robben, however, is simply being available to help his side: “I’ve always said that I just need to stay fit and healthy and then I can play with great enjoyment and become even more important to the team.” With 16 goals already in just 18 Bundesliga appearances this season, that is a daunting prospect.