Bayern throw down the gauntlet once more

Bayern continue to make more history, sealing their 26th Bundesliga win, a division record. Photo: Jonathan HardingIn the overture to next week's Champions League, Bayern travelled to Hanover to complete another necessary league fixture. With the sun shining in northern Germany, Heynckes' men were expected to run riot all over again. In their sights, the record number of Bundesliga wins (26) and the Pizarro-Gomez enquiry was reopened but not directly, as the Peruvian once again sat behind the in-form striker.

Repeating the same efficiency and ruthlessness every week makes Bayern sound almost drearily repetitive. They are winning games, seemingly for fun, and are scoring copious amounts of goals. It's hard not to be impressed. After Franck Ribery struck the bar, their hosts seemingly felt compelled to score the first goal for Bayern which set things up for more of the same. Stindl's deflection admittedly had more of the unfortunate than the deliberate, but nonetheless the question still rang around the Bundesliga on another Saturday afternoon: What is the point in playing Bayern Munich?

The signing of Claudio Pizarro has proved a genius stroke by Heynckes and his fabulous technique nearly peaked when his delicious volley looked certain to dip in. The bar saved Hannover but only temporarily. Nothing could stop the Peruvian finding captain Ribery, who applied the necessary finish to almost kill off the contest before it had really started.

Former Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers striker Mame Diouf has made a bit of a name for himself this season with Hannover, but his recent composure won't have done anything to further the interest of other Bundesliga clubs. This afternoon looked no different either as he missed a glorious chance to reduce the deficit back to one.

Despite enjoying a brief moment of hopeful possession, Bayern reminded Hannover who they were playing. Mario Gomez's finishing radar was stuck in the bottom corner after his midweek goal-rush and so when the Peruvian slipped through the recently muted striker, there was no doubt about the outcome. The attention towards Barcelona hasn't let up and if anything by half time in this fixture, even more was being given to next week's showdown.

In the warm sun, both sides batted back and forth but out of sport not contest. Gomez added his second shortly after the hour mark with a neat finish, nutmegging Zieler at the near post to add more gloss to yet another dominant, domestic scoreline. With that, the slick Gomez was removed and the tempo of the game disappeared. With time still left in the encounter, Bayern did what they have done all season and looked for even more. Claudio Pizarro got a goal to merit his performance, tucking in at the near post having been afforded plenty of room in the area.

The home side's moral fibre, just like 1. FC Nürnberg's last week, was being shredded. With the Bundesliga's weaker sides being highlighted by this exceptional Bayern side, Hannover found themselves included in that bracket on this afternoon. Having mirrored the same scoreline to the one in Munich, Heynckes' men were seemingly done and dusted.

In reality though, seeing two more goals follow in the last five minutes was hardly a surprise. Most notably, one for the home side after a mistake by Manuel Neuer allowed midfielder André Hoffmann to nod in for his first Bundesliga goal. Not happy with just the four goal difference, Pizarro found one more from the angle to make it the same scoreline as the midweek, cup victory against VfL Wolfsburg.

The quality of Bayern's domestic performance continues, as does the rampant scoring. Above all though, the focus remains the same and largely as a result of efficient and effective squad rotation. The sign of a good overture is that it draws you in and although the name Bayern München is enough to intrigue, this will have done plenty to ignite more excited anticipation ahead of Tuesday night.

Hannover 96: Zieler - Cherundolo (65' Sakai), Djourou, Schulz, Pander - Rausch, Hoffmann, da Silva Pinto (46' Ya Konan), Stindl - Schlaudraff - Diouf (80' Abdellaoue)

FC Bayern München: Neuer - Rafinha, Boateng, van Buyten, Contento - Tymoshchuk, Luiz Gustavo - Müller (46' Shaqiri), Pizarro, Ribery (46' Robben) - Gomez (63' Can)

Goals: 0-1 Stindl o.g. (16'), 0-2 Ribery (23'), 0-3 Gomez (40'), 0-4 Gomez (62'), 0-5 Pizarro (71'), 1-5 Hoffmann (85'), 1-6 Pizarro (86')

Referee: Felix Zwayer
Attendance: 49,000


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