Bayern hit Stuttgart for six in Southern Derby

The Reds hit back with a bang after falling behind. Photo FC Bayern Munich

Not much was really expected of this derby on a damp day in Munich. The stadium was packed, but it is always packed to the rafters when this team plays. The Bayern fans were raucous, but it was almost like they were already celebrating as if their team's win was a foregone conclusion.

The sad truth is that VfB Stuttgart could only keep up with Bayern Munich for 30 minutes of football. It was as if the home side was dozing for the first half-hour, and when the visitors' Martin Harnik opened the scoring in the 25th minute with a sweet volley from the back post, it woke the sleeping giant.

But what a half-hour it was. The Swabians were confident and passed the ball so well that it appeared the Bavarians might not ever get a chance to play. Anyone who has watched them over the years knows that this might work for a while, but when the record German champions are denied the ball for too long, they tend to make up for lost time when they finally get it. Bayern hit six unanswered goals in the course of just 19 minutes.

The tide turned in the 32nd minute when still trailing, Thomas Müller shot powerfully, and the Stuttgart keeper Sven Ulreich found it too hard to hold. Müller was first to the rebound and cutely flicked the loose ball in. Not having a chance to fully stomach the equaliser, the visitors watched in astonishment as Toni Kroos scored a beauty of a goal less than a minute later and the home side had quickly turned the game on its head.

Brazilian Luiz Gustavo put the final nail in the coffin in the closing minutes of the first half when he picked up a pass from Philipp Lahm, and blasted past a helpless Ulreich. A game that had started with so much promise for the visitors had turned into a bloodbath.

The bleeding did not stop when the teams took the pitch after the break. In a mere matter of four minutes at the beginning of the 2nd half, Bayern scored three goals in quick succession. Mario Mandzukic, Thomas Müller and Bastian Schweinsteiger each added to the scoreline. Vedad Ibisevic compounded VfB misery with fifteen minutes still to play as he received his marching orders for head-butting Bayern defender Jerome Boateng.

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes decided to wait until the 77th minute before introducing birthday boy Javi Martinez to the fray. The majority of the 71,000 sell-out crowd greeted the record Bundesliga signing wildly, and Martinez did not disappoint with some expertly pinged passes during his brief Bundesliga outing.

In the press conference afterwards, Bayern's manager Jupp Heynckes pontificated on a luxury problem most managers would love to have when he demanded, "Harmony...not just between the players on the pitch, but with the ones on the bench...the players should be respected even if they do not get a lot of playing time." It seems that since the EUR 40 million acquisition of Martinez that Heynckes has realised he could have a major headache trying to keep everyone in his squad relatively happy.

CEO Rummenigge clearly a big fan of Germany's cult detective series. Photo KM TMEKarl-Heinz Rummenigge took a few minutes to talk to reporters and gloat after the match, but begged that the press respect his desire to get home in time to watch 'Tatort'. A team that German football fans either love or love to hate is not easy to cover unemotionally. Not just the home fans but the other reporters in the press box cheered wildly as Bayern dumped goal after goal into the net.

This reporter has been a long-suffering follower of the club in Giesing for many years and felt like he was in enemy territory while sitting in the stadium and listening to the post-match press conference. Sure, both clubs use the Allianz Arena, but anyone who has been to both clubs' games can see immediately whose house this is.

The Golden Rule is what is at play here. He who has the gold makes the rules. The club on Säbener Straße has shown over the years - but this week in particular - that not just the Bundesliga but maybe even Europe will one day be ruled by the well-managed and well-oiled machine that is Bayern Munich. Depending on your perspective, that could be a dream or a horror.


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