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A hat-trick from flying Dutch winger Arjen Robben ensured that Louis van Gaal came out on top in the battle of the lame duck coaches as Bayern Munich gained their first victory in four competitive games in a 6-0 win over Hamburg. The victory means that Bayern go just two points behind Hannover in the quest for the final Champions League spot.

Much of Bayern’s woes this season have been due to the absence of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery but both combined to give the champions a deserved lead five minutes before the half-time break. Ribery beat one challenge before sliding the ball to Robben. The Dutch winger then ran towards goal before blasting the ball high into the net beyond Frank Rost with his trademark left peg.

It did not take the home side long to double their lead upon coming out for the second period. Just over a minute in, Robben doubled his tally for the afternoon when his free-kick confounded Rost. The veteran goalkeeper could not commit himself for fear of a Bayern player getting a touch but he paid the price for staying on his line as he was unable to keep the ball out.

Robben put the icing on the cake, capping a virtuoso performance by adding his third on 55 minutes as he linked up once again with his French partner-in-crime. Ribery broke down the left leaving Tomas Rincon for dust. He then squared the ball for Robben, who took one touch inside the box before calmly stroking the ball into the bottom corner past Rost.

Provider for two of Robben’s hat-trick, Ribery turned goalscorer with a superbly taken goal nine mnutes later, which saw the winger rediscover his explosive speed. He left Macedonian defender Gojko Kacar trailing in his wake before delightfully lifting the ball into the net for a goal, which provides a timely confidence boost for the 27-year old.

Bayern’s fifth came on 79 mintues after yet another blistering counter attack from their attacking stars. Substitute Hamit Altintop broke forward before finding Thomas Mueller. The World Cup Golden Boot winner kept his nerve to stroke the ball under Rost into the bottom corner as Hamburg’s defence was opened up once more. Heiko Westermann then put the ball into his own net five minutes from time for the sixth goal after a party piece from Ribery down the left-hand side.

The first-half, which featured chances for both sides, was particularly notable for one incredible miss from Mario Gomez. Latching onto Mueller’s delicate through ball, he twisted past Westermann, rounded Rost before incredibly striking the post from point-blank range and the follow-up from Mueller was blasted over.

Hamburg were spirited after the break but in truth they were simply outclassed by a Bayern outfit with more than a point to prove in the week it was announced that Louis van Gaal would leave the club in the summer.

Van Gaal’s men move into fourth spot with 45 points, two behind third-placed Hannover. They travel to Freiburg at the weekend but not before the showdown with Inter in the Champions League. Hamburg, who have 37 points drop to eighth below Freiburg ahead of next weekend’s clash at home to Koeln.

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