By Peter Herrnreiter
Bayern Munich was able to climb ever higher in the Bundesliga table this weekend with a comfortable 3-0 win at home against fellow Bavarians FC Nurnberg. Bayern, who have been struggling to find a consistent tempo this season are now back in title contention. Manager Louis Van Gaal noted that, “[Bayern] played very confidently today, the team deserves special praise. We must try to have at least 30 points by the winter break.”
A sellout crowd of nearly 69,000 saw the reigning champions take an early lead through a Mario Gomez strike in only the 10th minute of play. The German international, who has only recently begun to show sign of his true ability in the attacking half, was fed wonderfully by Croat Daniel Pranjic at the far post.
The two sides were quickly able to settle in and crate a few close chances. The strong Bayern backline, anchored by Daniel van Buyten, Martin Demichelis and Anatoily Tymoshchuk was able to hold the Nuremberg forwards to only a small number of chances before the half. The only opportunity of note was a Jens Hegeler shot in the 37th minute that safely whistled over the net.
The second half began with a bit more pace than the period preceding it, with the visitors getting two fair chances in from of goal, however a Jörg Butt save and a shanked opportunity by Julian Schieber were as close as FCN would get.
Bayern soon doubled their lead in the 57th as Gomez was fouled by Nurnberg keeper Raphael Schäfer in the area. Phillip Lahm converted the spot kick scoring his second of the season and sixth goal in the Bundesliga for Bayern.
With two substitutions had already been made by Van Gaal, with Breno entering the match for Demichelis and Müller replacing Turkish international Hamit Altintop, Bayern were able to reach back into their bench and rely on their side’s depth for their final sib of the match, with Frank Ribery making a return from a seven week injury stint. The Frenchman made his presence known quite quickly as Gomez scored again in the 75th through a point perfect Ribery cross.
With the win, Bayern now sit in sixth place on 19 points, while FCN drop to 11th on 18 points. They will travel to the Bay Arena next weekend to face second place Bayer Leverkusen.