Guardiola: Luis Enrique will be a success at Barcelona

The ex-Blaugrana boss believes that the current incumbent is the right man to restore the Catalan club to their former glory – despite some indifferent form of late

Pep Guardiola is in no doubt that Luis Enrique is capable of making Barcelona great again.

The Bayern Munich boss led the Blaugrana to 14 trophies during his four-year stint in charge of the Liga outfit between 2008 and 2012.

However, the Catalans failed to win a major title under Gerardo Martino last season and, despite a morale-boosting win at Almeria on Saturday, the jury is still out on new coach Luis Enrique, after recent losses at Real Madrid and at home to Celta.

Guardiola, though, is adamant that his former team-mate will bring the glory days back to Camp Nou.

“He’s going to be a success,” the Bayern coach is quoted as saying by AS. “Everything in life needs time.

“Football is a process. You don’t turn up and by November you’re champions of everything.

“Everything takes time, everything needs work. Sometimes things go so smoothly, sometimes they are a bit tougher.

“I only hope I don’t meet them in the Champions League!”

Both Bayern and Barca have already booked their places in the last 16 of this season’s Champions League, though the Blaugrana will have to get the better of Paris Saint-Germain in order to progress as group winners.

Bayern interest in Ramos is pure rumour – Sammer

The reigning German champions’ sporting director has denied the club have shown any real interest in the Real Madrid defender

Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer has played down speculation linking the German champions with a move for Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos.

Reports in the Spanish media have suggested the Bundesliga leaders are keen to add the 28-year-old stopper to the squad, despite splashing out €26 million to sign Mehdi Benatia from Roma in August.

But Sammer has denied any interest in the Spain international, insisting the rumours that Ramos could be brought into the club to help replace injured duo David Alaba and Javi Martinez are nonsense.

“If the rumours in Spain were true, we’d be made up of four teams and have another Spanish sporting director,” Sammer told Sky.

“Ramos has a long-term contract with a pretty club.”

Austria international Alaba suffered a knee ligament injury during Bayern’s Champions League victory over Roma last week.

The 22-year-old underwent surgery on Friday and the club are hopeful his recovery will proceed according to plan.

“FCB chief medical officer Dr Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt said the operation was completed without complications,” read a statement on the club website.

“Alaba will be discharged form hospital on Saturday and will wear a protective plaster cast on the knee for the next 14 days.”

Muller: Flawless Bayern aren’t misplacing a single pass

The 25-year-old Germany international bagged a hat-trick in Saturday’s 4-0 victory at Frankfurt and admits his side are completely dominant at present

Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller says Pep Guardiola’s side are playing flawless football right now.

The 25-year-old hit a hat-trick on Saturday as the reigning German champions hammered Eintracht Frankfurt 4-0 away from home, extending their lead at the top of the Bundesliga to seven points.

Bayern dominated possession and completed more than twice as many passes as their opponents at the Commerzbank Arena, and Germany international Muller admits he feels as if everything they touch turns to gold.

“At the moment, we aren’t playing a single bad ball,” he said.

“Frankfurt were very aggressive, it was a different game compared to the ones we’re been used to recently.

“They caused us a few problems with our structure, but once we got in behind their first row, there was a lot of space, which we were able to use once or twice.”

Muller has now grabbed six goals in 10 league games in what is becoming a clinical spell of victories for Bayern.

“Thomas was ruthless in front of goal today,” added midfielder Sebastian Rode.

“Eintracht resisted well and put us under a lot of pressure, so weren’t able to build from the back as well as normal. But they ran out of steam towards the end and it was more one-sided.”

I congratulate my players – Guardiola

The Spaniard felt his side displayed an impressive level character after emerging victorious on the back of their exertions in Europe this week

Pep Guardiola said he could only congratulate his players after Bayern Munich ran out 4-0 winners over Frankfurt on Saturday.

A hat-trick from Thomas Muller set the Bavarians on their way, before substitute Xherdan Shaqiri came off the bench to seal the win late on.

Despite his side rarely looking troubled, Guardiola conceded his team were off the pace during the opening stages at the Commerzbank Arena as a result of their efforts in Europe in midweek but was impressed with the way they applied themselves.

He told reporters: “It’s always difficult after a Champions League game. We struggled in the early stages.

“Going 3-0 up it became a different game. I’d like to congratulate my players.”

The former Barcelona coach was also quick to praise opposite number Thomas Schaaf, who is beginning to feel the pressure after five straight defeats.

Guardiola added: “It’s always hard to play against a team of Thomas Schaaf. They were very aggressive in defence and had a few problems with our setup.”

The convincing win gives Bayern a seven-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga ahead of Wolfsburg’s home clash with Hamburg on Sunday.

However, a determined Guardiola hinted that it would not be a time for his side to put their feet up ahead of the international break.

“We now have a few days to analyse our performances and find ways to improve.”

Eintracht Frankfurt 0-4 Bayern Munich: Muller hat-trick fires champions to victory

The forward netted all three of his side’s goals as they maintained their unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season while Xherdan Shaqiri also found the net

A Thomas Muller hat-trick inspired a dominant Bayern Munich to a comfortable 4-0 Bundesliga win at Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

A strong start from the visitors was rewarded midway through the first half when some good work from Franck Ribery allowed Muller to tap home.

Despite a couple of scares before the break, the visitors rarely looked troubled, and Muller was on hand to double the lead just after the hour, slotting home after again linking up with the imperious Frenchman.

And the 25-year old completed his hat-trick three minutes later after being played in by Mario Gotze, with Xherdan Shaqiri’s strike compounding the misery of Thomas Schaaf’s side, who have now lost five on the bounce.

The win extends the champions’ unbeaten run to 17 games in all competitions, leaving them seven points clear at the top of the table.

Having sealed their place in the last 16 of the Champions League with a 2-0 win over Roma in midweek, Pep Guardiola’s men began proceedings at the Commerzbank Arena with predictable confidence, keeping the ball with very little effort during the opening 15 minutes.

Ribery provided much of the early pressure for the visitors, getting behind the defence several times early on as Bayern looked to build on a rampant recent run that had seen them net 23 goals in their first 10 games.

Despite a spirited rearguard display from the hosts, the Frenchman continued to cause problems, and he was at the centre of Bayern’s opener after 22 minutes.

A bursting run down the left flank allowed the winger to tee up Muller with a low cross and he tapped home from close-range after Felix Wiedwald’s initial save.

Frankfurt had not scored against Saturday’s opponents in nearly 400 minutes of competitive football coming into the game, and they showed little sign of changing that record until the 40th minute.

Some excellent work on the left flank saw Haris Seferovic shake off the attention of Rafinha, but his low ball towards the near post was denied by a combination of Manuel Neur and Dante.

Neur was called upon again just two minutes later, denying Alexander Meier’s low free-kick with a full-stretch save.

But that was as good as it got for the hosts, with Bayern quickly resuming control of the game after the break.

And Guardiola’s men doubled their lead after 64 minutes when a  dinked ball over the top found Ribery behind the defence, and his squared pass was swept home by the impressive Muller.

And a terrific afternoon for the German was completed six minutes later when Gotze’s superb pass cut through the heart of the home defence, allowing the forward to slot home with aplomb.

Bayern’s second away league triumph of the season was rounded off four minutes from time as former Frankfurt man Sebastian Rode set up fellow substitute Shaqiri, who fired home with a low drive inside the box.