The build up starts in the tunnel; there was indeed a buzz downstairs as a smiling Arjen Robben shared a hug with Rafael Van der Vaart. Pep Guardiola and Thorsten Fink shared some words too where Fink perhaps shared some Bayern wisdom with the new man.
Bayern lined up in a 4-1-3-1-1 formation. Philipp Lahm, Daniel van Buyten, Jerome Boateng and David Alaba formed a familiar back line with Tom Starke in goal. Thiago Alcantara, Pep's prodigy, took over defensive midfield. Toni Kroos, Franck Ribery and Xherdan Shaqiri were the midfield trio, with Shaqiri on the left, Ribery in the center and Toni on the right. Just ahead of them was a certain master marksman Claudio Pizarro. Mario Mandzukic starred just ahead of the Peruvian.
The First Moments
Bayern actually looked slightly flat in the first ten minutes. Hamburg did not really play well but did enough to keep Bayern away from goal. There were a few wonderful passes but otherwise, Bayern produced little in front of goal. Claudio Pizarro rattled Jaroslav Drobny and the goal with a wonderful header. Drobny, with all his excellence and experience, just about kept that one out.
In the 11th minute, a Franck Ribery free kick found Philipp Lahm on the right. Lahm, who might play in midfield in the future, found Claudio Pizarro. Pizarro's first attempt was saved by the former Hertha keeper, Drobny. The next effort was also saved but rebounded to the on-rushing Jerome Boateng who opened the scoring with some Boateng swagger.
Hamburg's newest addition from Basel, Jacques Zoua almost equalized when Bayern failed to mark the near post. Starke's outstretched leg saved the day as Bayern cleared away in a hurry. Bayern could not find the back of the net for all their excellence in midfield. They still seemed slightly flat up front. All the time, Pep's marks could be seen in midfield. The way in which Bayern cleared the ball out of the back was different than the way in which Bayern did so under Heynckes.
Also, Bayern passed more in midfield than they did under Heynckes. Xherdan Shaqiri and David Alaba could be seen forming little triangles with their team mates using tiny passes. Up front, the directness remained. Headers from corners came. Philipp Lahm kept on producing wonderful crosses. The players dribbled close to goal, looking to put in Mandzukic or Pizarro for tap-ins.
Bayern turn up the heat
If Bayern was flat in the first half, they were masterful in the second. Thiago Alcantara found Franck Ribery with a pass which can only be described as unimaginable. Ribery teed up Mandzukic for a tap in. Alcantara was involved in the build up once again as the ball found its way to Kroos' feet. Kroos hit a shot which involved both precision and power. It deflected off Drobny into goal. The smiling assassin, Thomas Müller and the hero of the Champions League finale, Arjen Robben came on to add to HSV's pain.
Lahm, in vintage Lahm style, found Müller with a perfect cross. Muller's tall frame rose above to head the ball into the back of the net. Julian Green and Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg also had their time on the pitch as Bayern searched for a fifth. Eventually, time ran out and Bayern ran out 0-4 winners.
The First Semifinal
Bayern will meet Borussia Mönchengladbach in the final after Gladbach defeated Dortmund 1-0 thanks to a late Filip Daems penalty. BVB arguably had the better chances but Gladbach was sharp and disciplined as has been the case in recent seasons. Gladbach always gives Bayern a tough time and Pep can expect no less in tomorrow's final.
The match showed Pep made changes but also showed that Bayern has not lost the directness which led them to the treble last season. 2013-14 beckons. Is there another treble in store? Or will the stumbling blocks be too much for Pep to overcome. Tomorrow for sure will tell us more about how the team will look in the upcoming season.