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February 23, 2014
• HDI-Arena, Hannover
Referee: K. Kircher
• Attendance: 49000
T. Müller 25', 59'
Thiago Alcântara 34'
M. Mandžukić 66'
Full time in the HDI Arena. Bayern go 19 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Hannover. Thomas Muller grabbed two with Mario Mandzukic and Thiago Alcantara also on the scoresheet as The Bavarians continue their domestic dominance. Hannover had patches of confidence in their play, but the relentless attitude of Pep Guardiola's men has saw them extend their vast lead in the league. I'm Martin Macdonald, thanks for joining us, see you next time!
Well Tom Starke is just about the coolest cucumber I've ever seen. The Bayern goalkeeper has received possession to feet five or six times tonight and as aimed to get in the outfield ranks with his control of the ball and passing from the back. Perhaps TOO cool at times though, as he's nearly gave the ball away a couple of times with his laid back attitude!
Great defending again from Javi Martinez. Huszti goes on a rare foray down the right wing and lashes a low cross into the box, but the Spain international is perfectly placed at the front post the clear out for a corner kick. He's been outstanding today.
What a fantastic challenge from Pocognoli!!! In same duel I spoke of before, Robben drives down the left and looks to shift the ball onto his left for a shot at goal, but the Hannover left-back claws back possession with a wonderfully-timed tackle inside the box!
Robben has looked bright since his introduction, but Pocognoli has had his number slightly as the Hannover man has read well his continually movement inside on his left foot. The Dutchman is always a threat though...
The stats are coming fast and furious for you: This is Bastian Schweinsteiger's 310th Bundesliga appearance today, and his 200th win. Not a bad record is it?!
Bayern's lead at the top of the table with this win is 19 points. This is more than the combined leads at the top of the English, Spanish, French, and Italian leagues. Yes, it seems the Bavarians are the ones to beat in the world at the moment.
Mame Biram Diouf
Since probably the third goal went in it's been nothing but a training match for Bayern in all honesty. Kroos, Thiago, and Lahm are continually finding each other in little pockets and it's meaning that the hosts are barely seeing any of the ball.
15 minutes left for Hannover to end their misery. They've still got a relegation battle to worry about at the bottom of the Bundesliga, so it's important they don't let this loss affect their confidence too much. After all, there are teams who've had it much worse against the Bavarians this season.
Much better play from Diouf. The former Manchester United man picks up the ball on the left-hand side and takes on Javi Martinez before earning a foul out of the Spaniard. At least it provides the Hannover defence with some respite.
Pep Guardiola makes his third and final substitution as Bastian Schweinsteiger leaves the play to be replaced by Claudio Pizarro, who'll be eager to get on the scoresheet.
Well, perhaps the wost news for Hannover here is that there is still at least 20 minutes to go, and Bayern aren't showing any signs of mercy in front of goal. They are hungry for more.
Hannover follow suit and make a change of their own in midfield. Captain, Lars Stindl, is replaced by Leon Andreasen.
Bayern quickly make their second change of the match after that goal and introduce Toni Kroos, who scored a fantastic goal midweek against Arsenal, in place of Mario Gotze, who leaves the park with a beaming smile on his face...
Goal Mario Mandzukic
GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLL FOR BAYERN MUNICH! THE CROATIAN DOESN'T MISS THIS TIME! Rafinha drives down the right once again and stands a cross up to the back post for Mandzukic, who out-jumps everyone to cushion a header into the corner! Four-nil!
MANDZUKIC!! JUST WIDE! A cross is floated into the area and the Croatian meets it 18 yards out to connect with a volley. It's a bit of a shin-roller, but it goes just wide of the post!
There was just a little conversation between Guardiola and Muller as the German came off, and he didn't look too happy. He's probably got a right to feel aggrieved, he had the chance to complete his hat trick and has performed much better than Gotze and Mandzukic.
Thomas Muller won't get the opportunity to complete his hat-trick today, as he's being substituted by Guardiola. Arjen Robben is the man coming on, who'll more than likely be deployed down the right-hand side.
That's one of the reasons Bayern are the best in the world at the moment. Just when the opposition find themselves growing in confidence their ascendance is quickly halted by an energy-sucking goal.
Assist Mario Mandzukic
Goal Thomas Müller
GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLL FOR BAYERN MUNICH!!! GAME OVER! Alaba fizzes a low cross into the box and Mandzukic cleverly flicks the ball into the path of Muller, who takes a perfect touch before lashing into the bottom corner! Three-nil Bayern!
Much better from Hannover in the last five minutes or so hear. Diouf tested Starke with a powerful header and they are look to have grown in confidence.
Great opportunity again for Hannover thanks to some shaky goalkeeping from Starke! The Bayern man, for some reason, comes off his line to chase down the oncoming Hustzi, and ends up nearly outside his own box! He gets lucky though and eventually blocks the shot behind for a corner.
What are you doing, David Alaba?! The Austrian goes on a fantastic run down the left before bursting past a couple of challenges to get into the box. He has a clear path for a shot at goal, but instead opts for a pass inside, which is intercepted! You can applaud his lack of selfishness, but it was the wrong decision!
Much better defending from Marcelo this time, and he shoves Gotze out of the way with authority to bullet a header away from the danger area. Bayern come again though...
Bayern have kept the ball for a good two minutes here; great to watch. Hannover don't have a chance in hell of getting back into this if they see so little possession.
RUDNEVS!!! Ooooohhh he should have done much better with that! The ball broke to the Latvian on the edge of the area and he had a little bit of time to set himself for a strike, but his eventual shot on goes goes high and wide, much to the frustration of the Hannover faithful.
Prib initially does well to latch on to the poor clearance of Starke and collect the ball down the left. He has plenty of team-mates to aim for inside the box but his cross is shallow, and Javi Martinez easily heads out.
Marcelo has looked pretty shaky pretty much from the get-go here. He's done well aerially against Mandzukic, but he's looking rather indecisive at the back. Definitely there for Bayern to exploit if they want to.
We are back under way in the HDI Arena!
That goal from Thiago has meant that Bayern have equaled Borussia Dortmund's record of having scored at least two goals in 14 straight games. The Bavarians just love breaking records this season!
The home side started with a spring in their step, and were brave in their pressing and counterattacking, but the class of Bayern shone through in the last 20 minutes of the half.
Half time in the HDI Arena. Goals from Thomas Muller and Thiago Alcantara see Bayern head into the break with a comfortable 2-0 lead over Hannover in this Bundesliga clash.
Bayern are going to go into the break with a two-goal lead here and have barely had to break a sweat. Hannover started the match superbly, but there was no way they could keep their intense pressing up for a long period. The visitors chipped away and eventually got their goals.
Lovely feet from Gotze. The ball is fizzed to the feet of the former Dortmund on the left flank, and he quickly jinks past the challenge of Rajtoral, but the Hannover man commits the foul with a second tackle. Free kick to Bayern down the left.
Rudnevs and Diouf have to do much, much better here. Fair play to Hannover for going with the two up top, but they have failed to hold the ball up since their bright opening five minutes or so. Attacks breaking down time and time again for the home side.
It took Bayern a little while to get going, but they are truly bossing the match now, with Hannover already looking disheveled and lacking in belief. The two goals within 10 minutes from Guardiola's men have killed the hosts.
It just gets worse and worse for Hannover here. Their brightest player of the first half, Bittencourt, has been forced off with injury, and he'll be replaced on the left-hand side by Edgar Prib.
Assist Bastian Schweinsteiger
Goal Thiago Alcántara
GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLL FOR BAYERN MUNICH!!! The Bavarians double their lead! A cross comes into the box and Hannover initially clear it well, but Schweinsteiger finds Thiago at the back post with a sensational diagonal pass, and the former Barcelona man takes an assured touch before rifling a half-volley past Zieler! Two-nil Bayern!
Muller finds some space down the right and cleverly flicks the ball back into the path of Gotze, who clips a superb cross to the back post, but Mandzukic is on his heels and can't stretch to get a header at goal! Fantastic delivery it was!
Bastian Schweinsteiger is wearing gloves today, but should be used to the cold, as when he was a teenager he had to choose between football and doing Olympic downhill skiing. The German could have been representing his country at Sochi just now! I'm sure he's happy with his decision, he's done not bad with the old football!
Martineeeeezz!!! He just couldn't get a decent connection on it! Alaba swings in the free kick from the left wing and the former Athletic Bilbao man rises high inside the box, but his header at goal is glanced wide! Further evidence of the aerial threat of the Bavarians.
Huszti is the latest player to go into the book and it's for a cynical trip on Schweinsteiger down the left-hand side. Alaba will take the free kick...
Yellow Card Szabolcs Huszti
That goal was classic evidence of what I mentioned earlier about the drifting runs of Muller. Predominantly featuring on the right, but always getting into the box when there's an aerial chance. What a threat the German is.
Goal Thomas Müller
GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLL FOR BAYERN MUNICH!!! They break the deadlock! Schweinsteiger releases Rafinha down the right with a fantastic threaded pass and the Brazilian clips a cross to the edge of the six yard box. Thomas Muller is on hand to bullet a header home! One-nil Bayern!
Yellow Card Rafinha
Bittencourt tracks back superbly and dispossesses Thiago before going on a pacey run down the left-hand side. However, in possible retribution for the challenge a few minutes ago, is steamrolled by Rafinha, who earns a booking for his trouble.
Fair play to Hannover, they've pressed Bayern superbly so far, especially in the final third. It remains to be seen how long they'll be able to keep up this intense tempo, though.
Yellow Card Mame Biram Diouf
Ohhhh that's a sore one for Rafinha! The Brazilian and Bittencourt both go into a challenge leaving nothing to chance and have a nasty clash of heads. The Bayern man has came out worse, but it thankfully looks like both players will be okay.
Great play by Hannover! Diouf takes a superb touch down the inside left channel and hits the byline before reversing a pass back to Pocognoli, who smashes a strike at goal, but Rafinha got in the way to block the shot behind for a corner!
Bayern are playing their signature high-line here, but with the pacey Rudnevs and Diouf in attack, Hannover will fancy their chances on the counterattack.
What a chance for Rudnevs!!! The on-loan Hamburg man gets beyond the Bayern defence and looks to take the ball around the oncoming Starke, but the goalkeeper comes off his line superbly to make the save! Best chance of the match!
Some handbags in the box at the moment as Marcelo and Mandzukic are at each others throats. It looks like it is due to the possibly robust defending so far by the Hannover man, but there's nothing in it, and we can get back to the game.
Alabaaaaa! Not too far away! The Austrian, who missed a penalty in the Champions League on Wednesday, steps up to clip the free kick towards goal and it just goes wide of the post. It may have took a deflection on the way through!
Huszti is all over Schweinsteiger 25 yards out and the Bayern man goes down to earn a free kick. This is a cracking position for a shot at goal, and they aren't short of candidates...
An aspect of Bayern's play so far has been their continuous switching of positions. Muller, for example, started the match on the wing, but is regularly drifting inside to act as an extra striker.
Cracking tempo to the match here in the HDI Arena. Bayern with plenty of possession, but Hannover looking pacey on the counterattack.
Huszti gets in behind the Bayern defence after latching on to a pass by Bittencourt, but he Hungarian's cross into the box goes wayward to the right wing for Rajtoral. The right-back swings a cross in, but it goes beyond the byline.
Bittencourt goes on a penetrating run through the middle and is quickly stopped in his wake by Javi Martinez, who comes in with a crunching challenge. Looked like a fair tackle, but Hannover get the free kick.
Thiago skips past the challenge of Stindl before sliding a pass out wide to Rafinha. The Brazilian looks to squeeze a pass down the wing for Muller, but it is intercepted by Pocognoli.
Rafinha collects possession at right-back and drives forward before aiming a high pass into the box for Mandzukic, but the Croatian comes out second best in an aerial battle with Schulz.
Schweinsteiger hasn't took long to get back into the swings of things. He's already switched the play with two pin-point diagonal passes for Muller and Gotze. Back to business then!
With Dortmund and Leverkusen losing yesterday, Bayern are aiming to go 19 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga!
We are under way at the HDI Arena!
Hannover haven't managed to claim a victory against Bayern since October 2011, but their recent home form suggests that this will be no easy three points for the Bavarians.
Having said that, Guardiola's men were outstanding against the Gunners midweek, with Toni Kroos in particular putting in a world-class performance. The German features on the bench today.
However, this is by no means a formality for Bayern today. Hannover have collected wins against top seven clubs Borussia Monchengladbach, Wolfsburg, Mainz, and Schalke this season, and have lost one out of 12 league games at the HDI Arena.
The Bavarians have been irresistible in the German top flight so far this season and boast both the best attack and the best defence in the Bundesliga - scoring 57 goals and conceding just nine.
Hannover begin with a flat 4-4-2, and will expect strikers Mame Diouf and Artjoms Rudnevs to hold up possession and aim to pose a threat to the formidable Bayern defence.
Expect Bayern to start the match with possibly either a 4-2-3-1 formation or a 4-1-4-1 formation.
Dante, Arjen Robben, and Toni Kroos drop to the sidelines, with Rafinha, Thomas Muller, and Schweinsteiger coming into the first XI. Javi Martinez will likely revert into centre-half beside Jerome Boateng.
Philipp Lahm comes back into midfield after being employed at his formerly usual right-back position against the English side, and he'll partner the returning Bastian Schweinsteiger in the middle.
Manuel Neuer has been rewarded for his terrific penalty save against Mesut Ozil against Arsenal in the Champions League on Wednesday with a place on the bench. Tom Starke replaces the German No.1 between the sticks.
Some interesting selections from Bayern coach, Pep Guardiola, today...
I'm Martin Macdonald, and I'll be taking you through the action today!
Bayern (4-2-3-1): Starke; Rafinha, Boateng, Martinez, Alaba; Lahm, Schweinsteiger; Muller, Thiago, Gotze; Mandzukic.
Hannover (4-4-2): Zieler; Rajtoral, Marcelo, Schulz, Pocognoli; Schmiedebach, Stindl, Huszti, Bittencourt; Rudnevs, Diouf.
Good afternoon folks! Welcome to LIVE coverage of the German Bundesliga clash between Hannover and Bayern Munich from the HDI Arena!
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