By Andreas Alf at the Olympiastadion
FC Bayern München joined Juventus FC in advancing from UEFA Champions League Group C after a comfortable win against Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC.
Mehmet Scholl's introduction just before the half-hour proved inspirational for Bayern, who treated 45,000 fans to a gala display of football, and by the break Claudio Pizarro, Hasan Salihamidzic and Torsten Frings had all scored. Barukh Dego pulled one back, but two late goals from Roy Makaay wrapped up the win, and with Juve defeating AFC Ajax 1-0, Bayern were through.
After having recovered from an ankle injury, Makaay returned to partner Pizarro up front. Maccabi were aiming to restore their form after two consecutive Israeli Premier League losses with the returns of goalkeeper Liran Strauber and defender Salem Abo Siam from injury. Maccabi coach Nir Klinger decided to start without playmaker Bruno Reis.
Indeed, from the kick off it was obvious that the play would only be made by one team, with Maccabi sitting back and looking to counterattack. Bayern were probing for space on the flanks, but while neither Owen Hargreaves on the right nor Bastian Schweinsteiger on the left were able to deliver telling crosses, their side went ahead on 12 minutes.
Peruvian striker Pizarro cut in from the left on the edge of the box, and his powerful shot flew in. Now Maccabi were forced to react. Midfield player Erez Mesika was producing some fine passes and Abo Siam's cross only just eluded Oliver Kahn's goal.
However, it was thanks to Liran Cohen that Bayern failed to double the lead at the other end, as the midfield man cleared Salihamidzic's acrobatic volley off the line. However, Bayern coach Felix Magath was soon forced to make two changes, replacing Schweinsteiger with Scholl on 28 minutes and sending on Samuel Kuffour eight minutes later when Hargreaves suffered a head injury.
Bayern strike twice
Barely had the second switch been made than the first substitute inspired a goal. Scholl's corner found Pizarro, whose header was blocked by Strauber. But Salihamidzic was first to the rebound to double Bayern's lead. Before the break there was time for another, Frings striking a fine volley from 20 metres out.
With victory seemingly in the bag, it was a less intense Bayern that emerged after the break. On 54 minutes, Kahn was forced to display his world-class status with an excellent save from a Cohen header six metres out. Just 60 seconds later, though, the German goalkeeper fouled Dego in the Bayern area and the Maccabi forward stepped up himself to score his third goal of the group stage.
However, it never looked like Maccabi could build on that goal and threaten Bayern's lead. A solo run on the hour mark by home defender Robert Kovac ended in the arms of Strauber, but showed how dangerous the German side remained.
It was Makaay, scorer of the only goal on Matchday 1 when these sides met in Tel-Aviv, who finally ended Maccabi's hopes 19 minutes from time. A fine move ended with Frings finding the Dutch striker, and his shot from eleven metres out gave Strauber no chance
Makaay had a second moment of celebration after 80 minutes when a great Scholl pass brought Michael Ballack into action. The playmaker's assist made it simple for Makaay to score his second and Bayern’s fifth goal of the evening.