Guardiola: Robben a fantastic professional

The Catalan was enthused by the starring role the winger played in the German champions’ latest win, while he also lauded the club’s signing of Mehdi Benatia

Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola heaped praise on Arjen Robben after the Dutchman netted twice in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Bundesliga rivals Augsburg.

The German champions endured a frustrating first half at the SGL Arena but broke the deadlock just before the hour mark through defender Mehdi Benatia.

Robben scored a second almost right from the restart and struck again 12 minutes later, after Robert Lewandowski had made it 3-0.

It was Bayern’s 16th victory in their last 19 Bundesliga outings and Guardiola was enthused with the role Robben had played in it.

“He’s a great player and a fantastic professional,” the Catalan coach said of the winger.

“He has great quality, a good mentality and is professional.”

Guardiola also took time out to hail the influence of Benatia, who arrived at the Allianz Arena from Roma during the summer.

“Bayern have recruited an excellent defender for the next few years,” the ex-Barca boss added.

Bayern’s win over their Bavarian saw them move 10 points clear of Wolfsburg at the top of the table, meaning the titleholders cannot be usurped before Christmas.

However, Guardiola played down the significance of being crowned ‘winter champions’, explaining that he was more pleased with the way in which they had coped with the effects of a midweek outing against CSKA Moscow.

“Congratulations to my team,” he continued. “It’s never easy after a Champions League game. I’m proud of the boys.

“Being top at Christmas means we have won a lot of games but not much more.”

Up next for Bayern is a Bundesliga meeting with Freiburg at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday night.