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Bayern brush past Guangzhou to reach final

Agence France-Presse . Agadir

Bayern Munich midfielder Franck Ribery (L) scores his team’s first goal against Guangzhou Evergrande during their FIFA Club World Cup match at Agadir Stadium in Agadir on Tuesday. — Reuters photo  Bayern Munich midfielder Franck Ribery (L) scores his team’s first goal against Guangzhou Evergrande during their FIFA Club World Cup match at Agadir Stadium in Agadir on Tuesday. — Reuters photo

European champions Bayern Munich booked their place in the Club World Cup final with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande in Tuesday’s semi-final in Agadir.
Goals by France winger Franck Ribery, Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic and Germany star Mario Gotze saw the German giants through to Saturday’s final in Marrakech, Morocco.
‘We totally dominated and we wanted to reach the final to spare ourselves the third-place play-off,’ said Bayern captain Philipp Lahm.
‘We want the title; that is our task here.’
Likewise, Ribery insisted Bayern did not come to North Africa to see the sights.
‘We’re in the final, we’re professionals and we want to win in Morocco,’ he said.
Bayern will face the winners of Wednesday’s other semi-final between Morocco’s Raja Casablanca and Brazil’s Atletico Mineiro.
Already twice a winner of the Club World Cup title with his former club Barcelona, Bayern coach Pep Guardiola is on course for a third global crown as his German champions swept aside Marcello Lippi’s Guangzhou.
Having become the first German team to win the treble of European, Bundesliga and domestic cup titles, Bayern are closing in on their fifth title of 2013 having won UEFA’s Super Cup by beating Chelsea in a penalty shoot-out in August.
But Guardiola made a point of praising predecessor Jupp Heynckes who coached the treble-winning team, breaking or equalling 25 Bundesliga records in the process.
‘Jupp deserves to be here, to reach the final is a huge achievement, but you only get here by winning a lot of matches and some big tournaments,’ said Guardiola.
‘He steered Bayern to the Champions League title last season, so this is for him.
‘Marcello Lippi’s teams are always well organised, but my side deserved to make the final.’
Lippi, World Cup winning coach with Italy in 2006, said that the many different roles Bayern’s players could fill and that all of them were capable of scoring was a crucial difference.
‘There you see the real difference between the best club in the world and the rest,’ said the 65-year-old Italian.
‘All their players can fill any position, and they were superior in all areas.
‘We were not able to disrupt Bayern’s game at all, that is why they are also the best team in the world.’
Bayern began in dominant fashion and never let up at Agadir Stadium with Thiago hitting the post and Toni Kroos hitting the woodwork early on and it was only a matter of time before the Chinese defence buckled.
Goal-line technology, being showcased at the Club World Cup and set to be used at next year’s World Cup finals in Brazil, clearly proved Kroos’ 25th-minute shot, had bounced off the crossbar and onto the line, not over it.
Ribery, on the shortlist with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the Ballon d’Or, got the breakthrough Bayern craved when he drilled his shot past Guangzhou goalkeeper Zeng Cheng on 44 minutes.
A second followed four minutes later when Thiago swung in a pin-point cross across the goal face where Mandzukic finished it off with a diving header to make it 2-0 at the break.
With 47 minutes on the clock, Gozte put the result beyond doubt when he smashed in a long-range shot which gave Zeng no chance.
Despite enjoying around 70 per cent possession, Bayern did not let up and having built up a healthy lead, they peppered the Evergrande goal with 27 shots compared to the Chinese’ two.
Having brought all available first-choice players to Morocco, injured pair Bastian Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben being the main exceptions, Guardiola kept both right-winger Thomas Muller and centre-back Dante in reserve for Saturday’s final.

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