Allianz Arena, November 27 - FC Bayern München moved into the top five of the Bundesliga with a convincing 4-1 victory against below-par Eintracht Frankfurt at an antarctic Allianz Arena. The reigning champions bombarded the visitors' goal throughout with 25 goal attempts against injury-hit Eintracht.
Dutch coach, Louis van Gaal, was exultant in his post-match praise, hailing it as "the best performance since he took charge of the club. I'm very happy today, we are on the right track.'' Whether this improved performance produces a thaw in the frosty relations between the Bayern hierarchy and under-pressure van Gaal remains to be seen. A winter air of discontent still hangs heavy at Bayern, especially at boardroom level, disgruntled at a daunting FOURTEEN point deficit as the double-winners attempt to chase down runaway Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund.
Mario Gomez had an early goal chalked off for offside and looked full of confidence - enjoying his recent run of goalscoring form. Brazilian defender Breno showed composure in his defensive work, blocking on the line after a Daniel van Buyten error allowed the Bundesliga's top scorer Theofanis Gekas a clear sight of goal on 13 minutes. Franck Ribéry, booked for petulantly kicking the ball away early on, was the home side's chief tormentor, setting up a host of chances.
In-form Ukrainian Anatoliy Tymoshchuk fired the champions deservedly ahead just before the half-hour mark with an unstoppable shot from the edge of the box. Frankfurt equalised out of the blue when another van Buyten mistake allowed Gekas a free header - the Greek hitman reacting quickest after his header rebounded off the post to fire in his 12th goal of the campaign.
Van Buyten was put out of his misery at the interval when want-away Argentinian Martin Demichelis replaced the Belgian international. The South American duo of Breno and Demichelis certainly looked a more assured pairing at the heart of the Bayern defence.
Bayern came quickly out of the blocks in the second half, with Gomez striking the post from close range. The Frankfurt rearguard was visibly creaking and one sensed it was a matter of time before the home side's pressure told.
Ultimately it was the visitors' veteran goalkeeper Oka Nikolov who gifted Bayern victory on the hour mark. Müller was on hand to fire the Bavarians ahead again after Nikolov fumbled Toni Kroos's tame shot. A minute later, Mario Gomez latched onto another goalkeeping error to put the game out of reach. The experienced Bulgarian glovesman, spilled Ribéry's shot and 'Super Mario' fired in his 9th Bundesliga goal of the season.
With the game in the bag, Mark van Bommel made his return from injury on 65 minutes, replacing Bastian Schweinsteiger, who suffered a knock to the ankle in the build-up for the third goal. Tymoshchuk sealed a comfortable fourth successive home victory with his second goal two minutes from the end, slotting into the corner after a nice interchange with the vibrant Ribéry.
Bayern are now unbeaten in seven Bundesliga games and travel next weekend to lowly Schalke 04 aiming to inch closer to van Gaal's 30 point target by the winter break.