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Ribery leads Bayern to 40-match milestone

BERLIN -- France's Franck Ribery produced a commanding display as Bayern Munich extended their record unbeaten Bundesliga run to 40 matches with a 7-0 away romp at Werder Bremen on Saturday.

Ribery boosted his claim for the 2013 world footballer of the year award, which will be announced on Jan. 13, by creating two goals and scoring twice in the rout.

“We are all happy, but we must continue to play like that,” said Ribery as the European champions warmed up for Tuesday's Champions League match at home to Manchester City.

“This team has a great mentality, it makes it fun to play.”

Bayern, who last lost in the German league in October 2012, produced their biggest win so far under Pep Guardiola, cutting Bremen's defense to tatters.

“I must say a big thank you to my team, they played very, very well,” beamed Guardiola.

“It was an honor to coach them today, but I know Bremen can play much better than that.”

The victory was just short of the Bundesliga's 57-year-old record of 9-0 for an away win and was Werder's heaviest home league defeat.

Bremen coach Robin Dutt kept the team on the pitch for a stern lecture as they dropped to 14th after just two wins in their last 10 games.

Ribery, who started his first Bundesliga match for nearly a month after a rib injury, helped put Bayern ahead when his 21st-minute cross was turned into the net for an own goal by Werder's Congo defender Assani Lukimya.

Towering Belgian center-back Daniel van Buyten headed a second six minutes later before Ribery added their third on 38 minutes when he tapped home Thomas Mueller's cross.

Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic converted Ribery's cross on the hour mark for the fourth and six minutes later Mueller fired home for Bayern's fifth with 68 minutes gone.

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Bayern Munich midfielder Franck Ribery, of France, left, vies with Bremen midfielder Eljero Eliavie, of the Netherlands, during the German first division Bundesliga soccer match between SV Werder Bremen and FC Bayern Munich in Bremen, northern Germany, on Saturday, Dec. 7. (AFP)

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