By Andreas Alf at the Olympiastadion
It was the Roy Makaay show in Munich tonight as the Dutch striker claimed a hat-trick against AFC Ajax and set up the fourth for good measure as FC Bayern München continued their perfect start to UEFA Champions League Group C.
Having scored twice in the first half, Makaay added another goal right after the break from the penalty spot in a match which Bayern completely dominated. He then passed for Zé Roberto to increase their lead, ensuring Bayern stormed to the top of the group and leaving Ajax without a point from their opening two fixtures.
Home coach Felix Magath made several changes, bringing in right-back Samuel Kuffour for Tobias Rau and switching Hasan Salihamidzic to the left wing. English international Owen Hargreaves started in place of Jens Jeremies, and Claudio Pizarro returned from a serious head injury to partner Maakay in attack.
Ronald Koeman, his Ajax side boosted by the return of Czech international Tomáš Galásek, handed a start to striker Wesley Sonck while Bogdan Lobont replaced injured goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg. The Brazilian,Maxwell, overcame fitness doubts but Steven Pienaar was sidelined with a muscular problem.
Makaay had declared before the game that he would not be fazed by facing an Ajax side containing several of his Dutch international colleagues, and, true to his word, he dominated from the start, although it was Pizarro who hit the woodwork after pouncing on Zdenek Grygera's loose, goalbound header.
Ajax reacted by increasing the tempo and almost took the lead. Rafael van der Vaart was just centimetres from connecting with a dangerous Sonck cross in the 14th minute, but at the other end precise passing by Michael Ballack and Zé Roberto brought Salihamidzic into action, only for the Bosnia-Herzegovnian international to shoot wide.
Bayern's dominance was rewarded on 28 minutes. Hargreaves's clever pass sent Makaay free with only Lobont to beat, and the striker shot early and accurately from 18 metres out. The same combination made it 2-0 a minute from the break, with Hargreaves crossing and Makaay heading in.
The Makaay show continued after the break. In the 52nd minute, Pizarro was displaying his trickery inside the Ajax penalty box when he was impeded by Lobont. French referee Alain Sars instantly gave a penalty, and Makaay converted for his hat-trick.
By now the visitors were shell-shocked, and within three minutes Bayern were further ahead as Kuffour, Pizarro and Makaay combined to allow Zé Roberto, unmarked in front of goal, to score the fourth. With three points all but secure, Magath took off Pizarro and introduced Sebastian Deisler in an effort to conserve their energy for the forthcoming matches with Juventus FC. After 67 minutes Van de Vaart did force Oliver Kahn into a save, but Ajax attacks were few and far between.
Deisler, still recovering from his lengthy absence last season, nearly made it 5-0 nine minutes from time with a long-range effort, but was just off target. However, the die was cast for Ajax who may need maximum points from their forthcoming two encounters with fellow strugglers Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC, while Bayern look ahead to their double-header with Juventus, the first instalment of which is in Turin on 19 October.