In Spain’s La Liga we know all about the famous “El Clásico” between Real Madrid and Barcelona. The Bundesliga’s traditional equivalent is “Der Klassiker” between Bundesliga stalwarts Bayern Munich and Hamburger SV (HSV).
In the late 70s and 80s, when Hamburg lured the likes of England’s Kevin Keegan to Northern Germany, these clashes were often significant duels that ultimately decided the destination of domestic trophies. In recent years, however, HSV has fallen on harder times and is no longer considered a major player in German football. The ‘Red Shorts’ came to Munich with low expectations, despite improving of late under current coach Thorsten Fink, an ex-Bayern midfielder, perhaps best remembered in England for gifting Manchester United a way back into the Champions league final in Barcelona in 1999.
Borussia Dortmund’s narrow win in Stuttgart meant that Bayern knew their procession to their 23rd Bundesliga title would have to wait. At least till Frankfurt next week.
There was perhaps an expectation that Bayern would have one eye on their crunch Champions League clash against Juventus on Tuesday, and would settle for a straightforward three points, whilst taking the opportunity to rest key players. How wrong could you be?
Franck Ribéry, Thomas Müller and Mario Mandžukić started on the bench. With Mario Gomez still struggling with injury, 34-year-old striker Claudio ‘Pizza’ Pizarro was handed a rare start.
The Peruvian Pizarro is the most potent foreign striker in Bundesliga history and proved his pedigree once again. ‘Pizza’ delivered in style with four goals (30, 45, 53, 68 mins.), the pick of them a delightful back heel to complete his hat-trick.
Xherdan Shaqiri, another infrequent starter this season, got the rout underway after just five minutes. The Swiss midfielder was afforded too much space on the edge of the box and slotted into the corner to put the runaway leaders ahead.
Shaqiri turned provider from a short corner on 19 minutes, feeding Bastian Schweinsteiger, who nodded home to double the lead.
Arjen Robben – hardly a regular starter these days due to injury and Müller’s resurgence – slotted home the fourth, either side of the first half Pizza delivery.
5-0 at half time. If it was a boxing match, the referee would have stopped it to avoid HSV taking any further punishment. But a punch-drunk HSV had to come out of their corner to receive more damaging blows in the second half. How much more punishment could the visitors take?
Robben grabbed his second with a lovely lob on 54 minutes, sandwiched between Pizza’s 3rd and 4th of the game. At 8-0 and with 22 minutes still on the clock, could Bayern break their record league victory (11-1 vs. Borussia Dortmund in November 1971)?
Substitute Franck Ribéry, on for Robben, gleefully added the ninth but Bayern’s Achilles Heel was exposed as they conceded two sloppy goals from corners with defenders Jeffrey Bruma (8-1) and German international Heiko Westermann (9-2) grabbing consolation goals for a totally outclassed HSV.
Bayern have now scored 209 times against their favourite opponents HSV, the most goals scored by any one team against any other in the history of the Bundesliga.
Nine knockout blows from Bayern, ahead of Tuesday’s crunch clash against the Old Lady from Turin, Juventus.
Bayern Munich – Hamburger SV 9-2 (H-T: 5-0)
Bayern Munich Neuer – Lahm (Rafinha 61), Boateng, Dante, Luiz Gustavo – Martínez, Schweinsteiger – Robben (Müller 64), Kroos, Shaqiri (Ribéry 65) – Pizarro
HSV Adler – Diekmeier, Bruma, Westermann, Aogo – Rincón (Rajkovic 57), Badelj (Kacar 81) – Son (Arslan 57), van der Vaart, Skjelbred – Rudnevs
Referee: Guido Winkmann (Kerken)
Attendance: 71,000 at Allianz Arena in Munich
Goals: 1-0 Shaqiri (5), 2-0 Schweinsteiger (19), 3-0 Pizarro (30), 4-0 Robben (33), 5-0 Pizarro (45), 6-0 Pizarro (53), 7-0 Robben (54), 8-0 Pizarro (68), 8-1 Bruma (75), 9-1 Ribéry (76), 9-2 Westermann (86)