Relief for Klinsmann, Klose as Bayern bag first win

Other News Materials 31 August 2008 22:32 (UTC +04:00)

Bayern Munich gave coach Juergen Klinsmann a first Bundesliga victory of the season with a 4-1 drubbing of Hertha Berlin on Sunday. ( dpa )

Luca Toni was on target for the first time this term in the 12th minute, and Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger from the penalty spot struck twice in two minutes after the break.

But the biggest cheer of the afternoon was for Miroslav Klose who ended a lengthy goal drought by scoring from the penalty spot with 20 minutes remaining to complete Bayern's scoring.

The victory takes the pressure off Klinsmann after Bayern had begun the season with two draws.

It will also end for now the discussion over Klose's lost scoring touch after the striker went into the game with his one and only goal in 2008 stretching back to March 1 last season.

Klinsmann said that after a difficult pre-season preparation the team "is slowly starting to roll."

"We did what we wanted to do which was put them under pressure with five men in midfield and compete for the ball," he said.

Bayern were in control from the start and opened the scoring when Italy striker Toni, the Bundesliga's top scorer last season, took a pass from Schweinsteiger and turned defender Steve von Bergen before slotting the ball past Jaroslav Drobny in goal.

Lahm curled in a second after a one-two with Ze Roberto in the 54th and Schweinsteiger converted from the spot in the 56th after he had been fouled by von Bergen.

It looked like being another goalless game for Klose who had gone into the match 605 minutes without a goal.

But when Ze Roberto was fouled in the area - von Bergen again the culprit - Schweinsteiger, after discussion with Toni, handed the ball to Klose who stepped up to take the penalty and calmly slot the ball into the left-hand corner.

"Schweini (Schweinsteiger) was down to take the penalties and scored the first one with assurance, so I threw him the ball," Klose said. "He then gave it back to me which was a great gesture.

"I have been working really hard on my fitness these last few weeks so this (goal) was enormously important. I am really happy it worked out today."

Klinsmann said the team had always been right behind Klose.

"Miro has been criticised for months but we know what he can do. He is the best striker (in Germany) for years," he said.

The penalty proved to be Klose's last action of the game, with Klinsmann replacing him with Lukas Podolski who again had to start a game sitting on the subs' bench.

Klose had been without a chance in the first half but was foiled by keeper Drobny 10 minutes after the break and then struck the inside of the post from close range minutes later.

With captain Mark van Bommel suspended, Lucio wore the captain's armband, and Martin Demichelis was back from injury to partner the Brazilian in central defence.

But Bayern were rarely troubled at the back by a tame Hertha side aho were fortunate not to have Brazilian striker Raffael sent off after 30 minutes for striking Andreas Ottl in the back.

Bayern came close to adding a fifth but ended up conceding a goal six minutes from time when a sloppy pass from substitute Tim Borowski led to Marko Pantelic beating the offside to slot the ball past Michael Rensing in goal.

The win moves Bayern to seventh in the table with five points from three games.

Stuttgart meanwhile overcame Hanover 2-0 with first-half goals from Mario Gomez and Pavel Pardo from the penalty spot. The defeat leaves Hanover propping up the table, while Stuttgart are fifth on six points.

Schalke 04 went top on goal difference on Saturday after a 1-0 defeat of VfL Bochum.

Schalke are level on seven points with SV Hamburg, who were 4-2 winners at Arminia Bielefeld, and Borussia Dortmund who earned a 1-0 win at Energie Cottbus.