VfB Stuttgart 1-5 Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich have sent out a message that they are well and truly fired up for the second half of the Bundesliga season with a 5-0 demolition of Stuttgart at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in the DFB Pokal.
Further goals in the second period from Schweinsteiger and Zé Roberto saw the Bavarians into the quarter finals with a great win over their southern rivals. A consolation goal from Mario Gomez proved just that- a mere consolation.
Referee Herbert Fandel got the game underway inside a packed Mercedes-Benz Arena as Stuttgart looked to stop Cup holders Bayern in their tracks. Bayern forced an early corner which saw van Bommel fluff his shot before the home side launched a quick counter attack with Thomas Hitzlsperger shooting wide.
The first real chance of the game fell to Bayern on 10 minutes and it really should have resulted in a goal. Schweinsteiger’s cross from the right found Martin Demichelis unmarked in the center, but the cent re back sent his header over the bar when he had the whole goal to aim at.
That miss was quickly forgotten though on 14 minutes when Schweinsteiger opened the scoring. The midfielder gained possession from Boka on the right hand side, advanced to the edge of the box, before rifling a shot across goal and into the back of Jens Lehmann’s net.
1-0 soon became 2-0 two minutes later with Franck Ribéry finishing off a move he had started himself. The Frenchman attacked down the left, before bamboozling two defenders with a pass to Zé Roberto. His deep cross was headed back across goal by Luca Toni to Ribéry who fired home from close range having continued his run into the box.
A rampant Bayern had the chance to add a third on 21 minutes when referee Fandel awarded a penalty following a handball from Ivorian Artur Boka. It seemed a slightly harsh decision, but Ribéry fired his spot kick straight down the middle where Jens Lehmann was on hand to save.
The first half an hour was all Bayern with the home side struggling to make an impact on the game. Zé Roberto broke down the right on the half hour mark before squaring the ball to Luca Toni. Serdar Tasci had to be alert to clear the danger.
Two minutes later and Klose was denied by the outstretched leg of Mathieu Delpierre after he had been played in by Zé Roberto. The only real moment of note for VfB was on 35 minutes when Thomas Hitzlsperger slammed a direct free kick into the Bayern defensive wall.
Two minutes before the break and things went from bad to worse for Markus Babbel’s side. Ribéry was once again the instigator with a direct run at the Stuttgart defense. He released the ball to Luca Toni at the perfect moment and the Italian had the easy task of firing past Jens Lehmann from 10 meters out.
Just a few seconds into the second 45 minutes and Jens Lehmann had to be on his toes to stop Ribéry, who had broken through on goal. The former German international keeper had to clear the ball with his head on the edge of his area.
Stuttgart did have the ball in the back of the net on 47 minutes when substitute Ciprian Marica stabbed home from close range after Michael Rensing had parried a free kick effort from Jan Simak. He was however in an offside position.
The Swabians had started the second half much more positively, but with a two-goal lead Bayern were content to sit down a little.
However, the game was then well and truly put to bed on 55 minutes when Bayern were awarded a second penalty and Bastian Schweinsteiger dispatched it to make it 4-0 to the visitors. Zé Roberto broke into the penalty area and was felled by Lehmann giving referee Fandel little option but to point to the spot.
A rampant Bayern then added a fifth goal via midfielder Zé Roberto. Another quick counter from Jürgen Klinsmann’s side saw Ribéry play the ball to Toni, who laid it onto the Brazilian. Finding himself free in front of goal, he fired in a left foot shot from around 14 meters out.
Bayern then sent on American loan signing Landon Donovan for his Bayern debut with 23 minutes to play. He had hardly been on the pitch for a minute before he nearly scored a sixth goal for the Bavarians. His shot from a Ribéry pass flew narrowly wide of the post.
There was a rare bright moment from VfB on 74 minutes but it was symptomatic of their night that it went begging. Marica fired in a shot from the left of the six-yard box, but Michael Rensing pulled off a great reflex save to put the ball against the bar.
A consolation goal did arrive for the Swabians six minutes from time with Mario Gomez firing home through the legs of Michael Rensing from four meters after Lanig had flicked on a corner to the VfB striker.
0-1 Schweinsteiger (14)
0-2 Ribéry (16)
0-3 Toni (43)
0-4 Schweinsteiger (55)
0-5 Zé Roberto (59)
1-5 Gomez (84)
VfB Stuttgart: Lehmann, Osorio, Tasci, Delpierre, Boka, Khedira, Hitzlsperger, Hilbert (Marica 46), Bastürk (Lanig 57), Simak, Gomez
Bayern Munich: Rensing, Lell, Lucio, Demichelis, Lahm, van Bommel (Ottl 46), Zé Roberto, Schweinsteiger (Altintop 59), Ribéry, Toni (Donovan 67), Klose
Mathew Burt, Goal.com