There was plenty to celebrate in Bavaria on Saturday night as FC Bayern gave St.Pauli a thrashing. The game was very entertaining thanks to Bayern's uncanny "defending attempts". Marius Ebbers missed a hat-full of chances for St.Pauli, Thomas Mueller and Bastian Schweinsteiger missed countless chances for Bayern, and Schweini once again hit the wood-work.
Hamit Altintop, who came into the side due to Mario Gomez's absence, opened the scoring with a screamer of a strike. Mueller earned a penalty in the second half when he went flying following a challenge by Pauli keeper Thomas Kessler. Kessler saw a dubious redcard. Philipp Lahm took the penalty and scored.
As Bayern continued to miss chances, Miro Klose watched all the action from the bench. He would have taken those with his eyes closed if Van Gaal allowed him to.
Anatoliy Tymoschuk even got away with a handball in the penalty area. Franck Ribery, who had lacked a final ball all night, added a third. His goal was reminiscent of Samir Nasri's second goal against Fulham in the English Premier League. After the match, prior to the Christmas celebrations, Schweini made an announcement to the Allianz Arena crowd.
“I’ve extended my contract and I’m staying with Bayern until 2016. Long live Bayern!”- Bastian Schweinsteiger
Did Bastian Schweinsteiger make the right decision by staying on at Bayern?
He told the fans that he extended their contract for them, and he wanted them to be the first to know. He also said that he would rather win the Champions League with Bayern rather than with Inter Milan or Real Madrid.
The question now is whether Bayern will make it to the Champions League next season. They are currently in sixth position, six points behind Leverkusen in second. Of-course, the contract came with a huge pay rise. Bayern will thus hold on to Ribery, Bastian, Mueller, Lahm and Badstuber till 2015 in the least.
There was more good news following the game: Arjen Robben will be part of the squad for the first game after the restart. That means Bayern has just one more match to play in the league without the brilliant Dutchman.
Nowadays, Manuel Neuer's name is almost automatically linked with Bayern all the time. Neuer recently said he might be staying on at Schalke. The Bayern fans had a sweet gesture for the Bayern number 2, Thomas Kraft, on Saturday.
They prepared a huge banner which clearly stated that they did not want Neuer at Bayern because they already have Kraft. Bayern, though, will perhaps not risk playing Kraft, who says he will leave if he doesn't become the first choice after Butt leaves. This is all down to the experience they had with Michael Rensing.
With all good news, some bad news always seems to follow. The mercurial Toni Kroos, who has featured in every Bayern game to date this season, will be out till next year due to a metatarsal issue. He joins Danijel Pranjic, Holger Badstuber, Ivica Olic and Arjen Robben on the side-lines.
Bayern plays Stuttgart next away from home. To date, Bayern has only collected six of their twenty six points away from home.
Stuttgart is having one of the poorest seasons in their history. They sacked Jens Keller this week and employed Bruno Labbadia, the man "of a single season", in his spot. His track records with Bayer 04 and HSV aren't excellent. On top of all their problems, Stuttgart lost Johan Audel to injury this week.
If Mario Gomez comes back, Bayern can easily put him up front. If he doesn't, Van Gaal has to start with Klose.
Thomas Mueller showed on Saturday that he is definitely not a central striker by continuously drifting to the wing, leaving Bayern with virtually no target man in the penalty area at times.
Prediction: Bayern will not win this game due to their poor away form.
Final Score: Stuttgart 1-1 Bayern