Rampant Robben humbles Hamburg
Bayern Munich ended a three-game losing streak in emphatic style against Hamburg in their first match since coach Louis van Gaal's end-of-season departure was announced. Arjen Robben was Bayern's hero with a hat-trick before being removed early in view of Tuesday's UEFA Champions League tie with Inter Milan.
Franck Ribery added the fourth before Thomas Muller grabbed a fifth for a dominant Bayern. Heiko Westermann's late own goal compounded Hamburg's woes and moved Bayern back up to fourth in the Bundesliga, just two points adrift of third-placed Hannover and their minimum aim of a place in the Champions League next season.
"Who would have thought this, eh? Certainly not my friends from the media," gloated van Gaal, whose side host holders Inter Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday. "But that is football.
"In the beginning, we played well and we could have gone into the half-time break behind. Fortunately, that didn't happen and I am very glad we put in a good performance. This is a good preparation for Inter Milan."
It took a while for Bayern to get going, but after half an hour of sparring with Hamburg, they started to take the initiative.Mario Gomez should have put them ahead in the 35th minute, but after doing the hard work in beating Frank Rost, he sent his shot onto the post from a tight angle. The ball fell to Muller, who rattled his shot against the crossbar.
The woodwork came to Hamburg's rescue for a third time moments later when Rost pushed Daniel van Buyten's effort onto the bar. But Bayern took the lead in the 40th minute with Robben's accurate shot under the crossbar finally breaking the deadlock.
The Dutchman grabbed his and Bayern's second two minutes into the second half with a centred free-kick which neither Muller nor Gomez got to, but Rost lost the flight of the ball and could only watch it nestle into back of the net. Robben completed his hat-trick eight minutes later when he exchanged passes with Ribery before providing the finish on the turn.
Ribery got in on the act nine minutes later with Robben this time the provider for the Frenchman, who lifted his shot past Rost, who came out of his goal to meet him. And Muller added the fifth 11 minutes from time when he slotted his shot through the legs of Rost after being set up by Hamit Altintop.
An own goal from Westermann completed the scoring in the 85th minute, giving Bayern a morale-boosting win ahead of Tuesday's crucial Champions League tie which will make or break their season. Hamburg coach Armin Veh, meanwhile, may not now last until the end of the season when he has already announced he will be leaving.