Bayern Munich 4-0 Nurnberg: Bundesliga champions send message to Barcelona by blitzing Bavarian rivals

Bayern Munich fired a warning shot in the direction of Barcelona by fielding a veritable ‘B’ team in an impressive 4-0 rout of in-form Nurnberg at the Allianz Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Having seen his side clinch both the Bundesliga title and a place in the semi-finals of the Champions League in the preceding seven days, coach Jupp Heynckes understandably elected to rest a number of key personnel for this Bavarian derby.

However, worryingly for Barca, there was no discernible dip in the quality of Bayern’s play, with the hosts racking up first-half goals from Jerome Boateng, Mario Gomez and Rafinha. Reserve goalkeeper Tom Starke was finally called into action to save a penalty from Timmy Simons before Xherdan Shaqiri added a fourth goal for the thoroughly-dominant hosts soon after.

The Allianz Arena was in a celebratory mood, particularly in light of last weekend’s title-winning triumph at Eintracht Frankfurt, but the home side’s players seemed solely concerned with making Nurnberg suffer, taking taking just five minutes to break the resistance of a side that had been unbeaten in nine coming into this game.

Indeed, Shaqiri, Daniel van Buyten and Franck Ribery had all gone close to opening the scoring before Boateng broke the deadlock with an acrobatic half-volley, after the visitors had failed dismally to deal with a corner from the left-hand side.

Bayern continued to exhibit an unquenchable thirst for goals and, after a further spell of sustained pressure, they double their advantage 17 minutes in, Boateng turning creator this time, stepping out of defence before playing a wonderfully-weighted ball through to Gomez, who fired low past Raphael Schafer.

The hapless Nurnberg goalkeeper was beaten again midway through the first half, this time more culpably at his near post, by Rafinha, who had been slipped in on goal by Claudio Pizarro.

Nurnberg managed to keep Bayern at bay for the remainder of the half and they should even have got themselves off the mark just after the break when Rafinha bundled Mike Frantz over in the area. However, Simons saw his subsequent spot-kick catch Starke flush in the forehead, and the ball rebounded away to safety.

Unsurprisingly, the visitors were punished for their profligacy, with Shaqiri restoring the natural order of things by shooting low past Schafer after controlling a Ribery corner and then quickly shifting the ball onto his left foot.

Bayern repeatedly threatened to add to their tally, with Pizarro lifting the ball over the bar when he really should have found the back of the net, but there was no dampening the spirits of the home fans, who were treated to another stunning demonstration of their side’s remarkable strength in depth.

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