Bayern in nine-goal rout, on brink of title
BERLIN - Bayern Munich must wait another week before wrapping up the Bundesliga title, but even though the champagne remained on ice, the team were fizzing Saturday as a sparkling showing brought a 9-2 humbling of Hamburg.
Second-placed Borussia Dortmund won 2-1 at Stuttgart to delay the inevitable but Bayern rammed home their superiority by swamping a Hamburg side which had surrendered by half-time, at which point the northerners were 5-0 down.
One point from their remaining seven matches and the Bavarians — who have managed 10n wins on a roll — will be crowned champions, ending two years of Dortmund domination.
Bayern refused to show their one-time great rivals — Hamburg were European champions in 1983 but have since slumped into mediocrity — any mercy after the interval, slamming home another four goals as veteran Peruvian striker Claudio Pizarro helped himself to a personal tally of four.
Swiss midfielder Kherdan Shaqiri bagged the first with a precise strike on five minutes before Bastian Schweinsteiger headed home a Shaqiri cross after 19 minutes.
Pizarro then snatched his first from close range on the half hour before a one-two with Arjen Robben saw the Dutch flier make it four on 33 minutes.
On the stroke of half-time, Pizarro picked up the pieces after Shaqiri had hit the post to leave Hamburg punch drunk.
Eight minutes after the restart, Pizarro was at it again with a neat flick to make it six and he then fed Robben, who gratefully accepted number seven.
Thomas Mueller, on for Shaqiri, fed Pizarro for the 34-year-old’s fourth, the “Andes Bomber” netting his 164th Bundesliga goal having been given a rare start ahead of the two Marios, Mandzukic and Gomez.
That tally made him the 10th-highest scorer in Bundesliga history — overtaking by just two strikes former Bayern star and current chief executive, Karl Heinz Rummenigge.
Although Jeffrey Bruma headed in to make it 8-1, substitute Franck Ribery, on for Robben, drove in the hosts’ ninth moments later.
With four minutes left Heiko Westermann headed in a second Hamburg consolation which could neither dampen down the celebrations nor prevent the visitors from suffering exactly the same humiliation visited upon them by 1860 Munich in 1964, their previous record league loss.
Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes is now on the verge of a glorious send-off as the veteran handler prepares to give way to former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola.
“Of course it was important to underpin our confidence and at times we were playing textbook football,” said Heynckes.
“But Tuesday against Juventus it will be another match as they will be far more aggressive,” he warned, looking forward to a Champions League tussle with the Italian league leaders.
Bayern can now secure their 23rd national title by beating Eintracht Frankfurt next weekend.
Dortmund, who face Malaga in the Champions League quarter-finals in mid-week, thanked Polish duo Lukasz Piszczek and Robert Lewandowski for their win on Saturday.
Alexandru Maxim equalised in between for Stuttgart, who had former Bayern defender Georg Niedermeier sent off in the second half.
Bayer Leverkusen strengthened their grip on third place with a 4-1 win away to near neighbours Fortuna Duesseldorf.
Stefan Kiessling scored twice to take his tally for the season to 18, with Andre Schuerrle also bagging a brace.
Schalke climbed provisionally back into fourth with a 3-0 victory at home to Hoffenheim, while Adam Szalai scored the third-fastest goal in Bundesliga history in Mainz’s draw with Werder Bremen.
The Hungarian netted inside 12 seconds, only for Aaron Hunt to earn Bremen a 1-1 draw.
European hopefuls Freiburg beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-0, with Max Kruse scoring both goals against the club he could join in the summer, while Hannover won 2-0 at Augbsurg.