Football: Bayern's emphatic Darmstadt win thrills Guardiola

Bayern Munich's Kingsley Coman (left) celebrates scoring with team-mate Sebastian Rode.
Bayern Munich's Kingsley Coman (left) celebrates scoring with team-mate Sebastian Rode.AFP

BERLIN (AFP) - Bayern Munich's emphatic 3-0 win at Darmstadt delighted coach Pep Guardiola as the Bavarian giants went top of the Bundesliga just three days after their Greek odyssey.

Borussia Dortmund host Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday and Bayern took their chance to go top of the league with a fifth straight win with goals by Arturo Vidal, Kingsley Coman and Sebastian Rode on Saturday.

Having beaten Olympiakos 3-0 in Greece on Wednesday to open their Champions League campaign with a win, the Bavarian giants knuckled down to see off Darmstadt, who are back in Germany's top flight after a 33-year absence.

"I'm very, very pleased. Our approach to the game was excellent," said Guardiola.

"We conceded very few corners and free-kicks, and we battled well.

"It's not easy to come here and win after playing in the Champions League."

Bayern host last season's league runners up and German Cup winners VfL Wolfsburg on Tuesday in the Bundesliga, but Guardiola said that was the last thing on his mind, despite resting top-scorer Thomas Mueller until the second half.

"We won which was the most important thing," said Guardiola, who hopes to have striker Robert Lewandowski back from a minor knock to face Wolfsburg.

"If we'd lost, then there would have been a discussion, but I am the coach and that is my job to decide.

"I didn't think of Wolfsburg for a second and the best players were on the pitch.

"I simply thought we should rotate a few players, I trust the whole squad so it was no problem for me."


Guardiola was particularly delighted with the return of Javi Martinez.

The Spain midfielder came off the bench in the second half for his first appearance since May after an injury ravaged couple of years having torn his cruciate knee ligament in August 2014.

Guardiola also praised goal-scorer Rode, who also set up Coman's goal, while Germany Under-19 international Joshua Kimmich made only his second appearance for the Bayern first team.

"I'm delighted for Javi Martinez, I've really missed him over the last year," said Guardiola.

"I'm also very pleased with Kimmich and Rode. Both deserve more playing minutes than I can give them, and they've shown me that again today."

Rode said the fierce competition within Bayern's star-studded squad means you have to grab your chance when it comes along.

"Darmstadt play a simple game, but they play it very well. They made a couple of chances, but we shut them out in the second half and we ultimately deserved the victory," said Rode of his former club.

"Every footballer wants to play, but if you see who Bayern send out onto the field, it's not easy to get into the team.

"You have to wait for your chance. Today, I've proved again that I can do it. I'm delighted."

Darmstadt coach Dirk Schuster said his side's goal had simply been to annoy Bayern as they missed out on a first win over Bayern at the seventh attempt having shocked Leverkusen last weekend.

"We wanted to irritate Bayern for as long as possible, but we let in the second and the third in quick succession and it was exhibition stuff from Bayern after that," said Schuster.

"It was a deserved win and the right margin of victory."