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Bayern defeat Hamburg, are Herbstmeister | Recap

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Despite playing many second team players and showing comparatively little ambition throughout the match, what effort was given was enough to beat HSV and clinch the fall title. Individual brilliance from Kroos and Götze played no small part in the win.

Alexander Hassenstein

Wrapping up a title with games to spare has sort of been Bayern's forte in 2013, and they did it again with their win against Hamburg at the Allianz Arena.

Last season, Bayern clinched the league roughly 40 years before the season finished. Now, they're 12 points up on Dortmund and will be at least one ahead of Leverkusen at the end of next matchweek, which Bayern will not be participating in because of the Club World Cup.

Without Ribery, Boateng, Martinez and Alaba in addition to the previously injured players, it was clear that the creativity was going to have to come from the middle of the field with Robben still out.

No surprise, then, when Toni Kroos stepped up just before halftime to get the Bavarians into the lead.

From about midfield, the young German from Rostock picked out a charging Rafinha on the right flank near the endline, who one-touched his cross and found the head of Mario Mandzukic for the goal.

In the 40-plus minutes preceding the goal, though, the match was utterly unremarkable. No real chances created by HSV, and the Hamburgers played solid defense as well.

Gotze-2-hamburg_medium

Seven minutes after the break, Mario Götze was left with space in the box where Thiago passed it to him. Götze, back to the goal, lifted the ball and made a turn, kept control, and fired his shot past Drobny.

Now with a two-goal cushion, the tired Reds pressed on in the second half but were pretty much on auto-pilot for the whole match unless a chance presented itself.

This came to cost them shortly before the end of the match when ex-Bayern player Marcel Jansen found space and was able to cut it back for Pierre-Michel Lasogga. The Hertha player on loan made no mistake and sent his shot just under the bar to pull one back for his side.

Now in a position where another Hamburg attack could cost Bayern points at home, the players woke up one final time, in part thanks to substitute Pierre-Emile Højbjerg. The Dane made a pass to a sprinting Shaqiri who slotted home the sealing goal to the near post past Drobny's left glove.

Now in a measurably better mood to enjoy the post-match laser and pyrotechnic display, Bayern also sealed the Fall title, or "Herbstmeister" if you like.

Next up is two matches at the Club World Cup, then the winter break.