Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 21 October 2019

Bayern Munich 'can definitely win' against Liverpool after crushing Wolfsburg

Bundesliga giants tune up for Uefa Champions League game at home with 'feel-good' goal spree

Joshua Kimmich celebrates with teammate Leon Goretzka after scoring Bayern Munich's fifth goal against Wolfsburg at Allianz Arena. Getty
Joshua Kimmich celebrates with teammate Leon Goretzka after scoring Bayern Munich's fifth goal against Wolfsburg at Allianz Arena. Getty

Bayern Munich warmed up for Wednesday's Uefa Champions League showdown against Liverpool with a "feel-good" goal spree to seize control of the Bundesliga after a 6-0 battering of Wolfsburg.

This was a polished display from Bayern in their final match before hosting Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool in the last 16 return leg, following a goalless draw at Anfield.

Bayern ran riot in Munich as Robert Lewandowski led the way with two goals as Serge Gnabry, James Rodriguez and Joshua Kimmich also netted.

"It was a perfect day – it feels good and is good for self-confidence. We can definitely win," Kimmich said, with an eye on Liverpool.

"I am very pleased," manager Niko Kovac said with Bayern back on top of the Bundesliga for the first time since September on goal difference ahead of Borussia Dortmund.

"At no time were we in trouble, we could have scored more and now we are leaders - which is where we want to stay.

"We have another important game on Wednesday, that's what we want to focus on and win, then we'll see what the future brings."

Lewandowski, who loves scoring against Wolfsburg and now has 20 goals in 17 games against them, netted twice at the Allianz Arena.

"I'm pleased with how we played today, that was a good game for the Champions League," said the Polish player, who became the Bundesliga's top-scoring foreigner with 197 goals.

Bayern's attack hit top gear with Rodriguez and Thomas Muller, who had a point to prove after being dumped by Germany, on song.

Rodriguez called the shots in attacking midfield and scored their third with a brilliant strike.

Muller gave a classy reply after being told by Germany manager Joachim Low on Tuesday, along with Bayern teammates Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels, that his international career is over.

Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac was a happy man on Saturday night. Reuters
Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac was a happy man on Saturday night. Reuters

Point to prove

Muller set up Gnabry for Bayern's opening goal and then scored with a confident back-heel while both Boateng and Hummels let nothing past at centre-back.

"You saw the performance the three delivered," Kovac said. "That was very good and what we expect from them, I was sure of it. The way they turned it into positive energy today speaks for them, as players and as people."

Kovac will have plenty of options as veteran winger Franck Ribery and midfielder Leon Goretzka both came on for the final 25 minutes to prove their fitness after injury.

French winger Kingsley Coman, always a threat on the left wing, could also feature against Liverpool after recovering from a hamstring injury.

"We are very positive and believe that he can play," Kovac said. "We have to wait for training tomorrow [on Sunday], Monday and Tuesday. We have four days, which we want to make good use of."

Bayern are bidding to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the eighth season in a row.

"We were a little sluggish in the first 20 minutes, but scored some nice goals, prepared well for Wednesday and fuelled our self-confidence," director of sport Hasan Salihamidzic said.

"I am glad that we can take this momentum with us."

Updated: March 10, 2019 12:25 PM

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