Mon, Jul 23, 2007 - Page 17 News List

Franck Ribery impresses on debut



French midfielder Franck Ribery struck either side of half-time to book Bayern Munich's place in the German League Cup semi-finals with a 4-1 defeat of Werder Bremen on Saturday.

Although German international midfielder Tim Borowski gave Werder an early lead, Bayern hit back with four unanswered goals -- three of them coming in a devastating 11-minute spell -- as Ribery shone on his competitive debut.

Having cost Bayern 26 million euros (US$36 million) this summer in a transfer from Marseille, the 24-year-old Ribery was a constant threat and justified his price-tag.

"We didn't have a good start, but after 20 minutes we really stamped our authority," Bayern's new No. 7 said.

"It was a good match, I am happy with my two goals. The coach switched me to playing just behind [Miroslav] Klose after 30 minutes and that worked much better. I think we showed we have the makings of a good side, but there is a long way to go," he said.

His Bayern bosses were clearly pleased with their newest star and club manager Uli Hoeness was rich in his praise.

"Franck played an excellent match, but I think he can do even more," he said. "He still needs time to work out the best positions and forge some partnerships, but it is all very encouraging."

Miroslav Klose, the top scorer at last year's World Cup and a fellow new Bayern recruit, was also making his debut against the club he left for 12 million euros and he was given a tough afternoon by Bremen fans at Dusseldorf's LTU arena.

Hoeness slammed the treatment meted out to Klose who was booed and jeered in the early stages of the game.

"It isn't fair that Miroslav Klose is still attacked by Bremen fans," Hoeness said. "The club's management should have called their fans to order, it was out of order what happened out there."

Last year, Bremen enjoyed a 2-0 win over Bayern on their way to lifting the League Cup, but the Munich side dominated this year's quarter-final despite a slow start.

Bayern captain and goalkeeper Oliver Kahn was booked for dissent following Leon Andreasen's reckless early tackle on Philipp Lahm, which also earned the Dane a yellow card.

After Borowski's right-footed shot on nine minutes gave Bremen the lead Bayern hit back with goals by midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger, on 24 minutes, and Hamit Altintop, three minutes later, before Ribery struck.

Bayern's new defender Marcell Jansen, brought in from relegated Borussia Moenchengladbach, put in a cross and the Frenchman's perfectly-placed shot beat 'keeper Tim Weise on 34 minutes.

And when Bremen's defender Pierre Wome gave away a penalty for handball, after some good pressure from Klose, Ribery stepped up to make it 4-1 on 54 minutes.

Bayern will travel to face VfB Stuttgart next Wednesday in the semi-finals.

Earlier, Halil Altintop's first-half strike was enough to give Schalke 04 a 1-0 win over Karlsruher.

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