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Bayern Munich sign-off 2013 on a high

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Philipp Lahm of Germany's Bayern Munich holds the trophy as he celebrates with his team mates after winning their 2013 FIFA Club World Cup final soccer match against Morocco's Raja Casablanca at Marrakech stadium December 21, 2013. REUTERS Philipp Lahm of Germany's Bayern Munich holds the trophy as he celebrates with his team mates after winning their 2013 FIFA Club World Cup final soccer match against Morocco's Raja Casablanca at Marrakech stadium December 21, 2013. REUTERS
SummaryBayern win Club World Cup 2-0 over local hope Raja Casablanca for fifth title of the year.

Bayern Munich swatted aside Raja Casablanca 2-0 in a one-sided Club World Cup final on Saturday that did little to boost the credibility of a tournament which struggled to an anti-climax. Morocco came to a standstill as an army of Raja fans travelled 250km to the game and King Mohamed was among the 37,000 crowd only for party-pooping Bayern to wrap it all up in under half an hour.

Defender Dante and midfielder Thiago Alcantara scored the goals on a chilly evening as Bayern added to the Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup titles they won last season and continued European dominance of the tournament. European teams have won six of the last seven titles, with Brazilian side Corinthians interrupting the sequence last year, and Saturday’s stroll may reinforce the view that it is little more than a pleasant excursion for them before the winter break.

Bayern scored five goals without conceding any in their two games as they added to the two Intercontinental Cup titles they won in 1976 and 2001. They emulated Manchester United, in 1999, and Inter Milan, in 2010, by winning a league, cup, Champions League and world club quadruple in the same year.

Raja, who changed coaches one week before the start of the tournament, had qualified as champions of host nation Morocco rather than of Africa and had already stunned the CONCACAF representatives Monterrey and South America’s Atletico Mineiro.

But a powerful Bayern team, unbeaten in the Bundesliga since October last year, proved a bridge too far for Raja, a modest ninth in their own league.

Nervous hosts

“THEY were a little bit nervous because of the crowd, and the presence of his majesty the King,” Raja coach Faouzi Benzarti told reporters. “We were not very aggressive, we were a bit soft.”

Benzarti said he was already preparing his players for the less glamorous world of the Moroccan Botola Pro league. “It will be difficult but we have to return to reality,” he said. “This competition will be here again, so we have to win the title to qualify.”

His opposite number Pep Guardiola was critical of his Bayern team for not creating more chances after they had gone ahead. “We started well and played a very good half hour but after that we forgot to attack,” he said. “It’s not easy to play against a team when you’re 2-0 up and you don’t know them very well.”

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