Hot Chocolate cannot possibly have thought about match day 11 of the 2012-13 Bundesliga season when they penned their ode to the practical benefits of … ahem, sex, 35 years ago but everyone really was a winner on Saturday afternoon in the Allianz Arena. The 2-0 scoreline in the top game between the league leaders Bayern Munich and third-placed Eintracht Frankfurt does not necessarily suggest an outcome of mutual satisfaction. But this was a rare case of a result being overrated, at least as far as the impressive visitors were concerned.
"They passed a test of maturity, no opposition team has performed so strongly and courageously in Munich this season" gushed the Frankfurter Rundschau, while Bastian Schweinsteiger praised "the best Eintracht in many years" and the Bayern manager, Jupp Heynckes, felt that Armin Veh's side were not so highly placed in the table "for no reason".
Nice words about beaten opponents sometimes come with an element of self-service. It fitted the hosts' general narrative of tiredness and mental fatigue in the wake of the 6-1 drubbing of Lille in midweek ("it's not easy to switch from the Champions League back to domestic football," Heynckes said) to talk up the quality of Eintracht. But the plaudits for the Hessians were still genuine and, above all, well-deserved.
Eintracht defended in a high line, often committed men forward to press the first ball out of the Bayern defence and created two very decent chances for Stefan Aigner and Bamba Anderson, whose header hit the bar. When the offside trap was finally breached by David Alaba and Franck Ribéry pounced for the opener, Eintracht did not crumble either. They continued to cause Bayern problems until Alaba, the coolest and youngest player in the dressing room, converted the softest of penalties – Schweinsteiger disguised a slip as a foul – with 13 minutes to go. Kevin Trapp, who had starred in a "incredible game", was narrowly beaten again.
It was another victory for the history books (10 wins out of the first 11 matches), a victory for Bayern's splendid, almost unnervingly harmonious side ("Don't look at me so stupidly," Alaba playfully admonished Ribéry post match, before slapping the Frenchman gently in the face) but also a validation for Veh and his promoted team.
The 51-year-old has rediscovered his love for football after two tired, disastrous spells at Hamburg and Wolfsburg and a bad end to his Stuttgart tenure. He is not the kind of coach who is too concerned with micro-analysing the opposition or complex training regimes but is demonstrably good with young, intelligent players and knows how to ride a wave of success.
"He's a little bit in love with our young talents," said Eintracht's chairman, Heribert Bruchhagen. However, talks about extending his contract beyond the summer will start in earnest only once the club have picked up 40 points.
In hindsight, Bruchhagen's idiotic decision to hire Christoph Daum at the tail-end of the 2010-11 season was done wonders for the club. In the wake of the relegation, the Bruchhagen saw his powers curtailed. Bruno Hübner joined as sporting director and a new, cleverly assembled side went straight back up.
The veteran attacking midfielder Alexander Meier has been key to their unsuspected success with seven goals but players like the right-back Sebastian Jung, 22, and the quietly phenomenal defensive midfielder Sebastian Rode, 22, have arguably been even more important. Rode's contributions have made him a target for bigger clubs, while Jung has just been called up by Joachim Löw. He's the first Eintracht player in over a decade to be in the Germany squad.
Bruchhagen, usually the cautious type, felt so emboldened by the visit to Munich that he has put a return to European football "in two, three or four years" on the agenda. The young Eagles' success will bring its own problems when it comes to wage demands and outside interest but the fact that the team can hold their own on a tiny budget of €25m (£20m) per season against much wealthier opposition is a testament to their excellent work.
Hübner and Veh have changed the club's mentality: nostalgia about the heady 90s and the soul-destroying pragmatism of the 00s have given way to genuine optimism. "We can't always go on about the things we can't do," Veh said in an interview with Bild. "It's better to look at the example set by Freiburg and Mainz, who have done so much with little money. We should allow ourselves to dream".
There's still a chance that they will wake up in mid-table in a few months but no one in German football* can seriously begrudge Eintracht, one of the league's most iconic clubs, their flight of fancy.
*with the possibly exception of Kickers Offenbach supporters.
• 300 to 400 Frankfurt supporters missed out on the game after too much stripping in two tents. But we're not talking a somewhat belated visit to the Oktoberfest (beer festival) here: the fans as well as two two liaison officers refused to adhere to unprecedented security controls in two temporary structures outside the Allianz Arena. Those checked were asked to remove their jackets and implicitly threatened with a "full" body search.
Only "30 to 40" out of the 6300 visiting fans were asked into those tents, a Bayern spokesperson later said, and that no one had to take off "more than their jacket" – 22 knives and a pepper spray were reportedly confiscated. Supporter association "Der Nordwestkurven-Rat" castigated "the degrading measure of the highest order". The Frankfurt stewards felt that such controls were both "over the top" and possibly illegal. A fiery debate about the extent of security inside and outside the grounds provides the back-drop to this story. There's an increasing concern about violence, disorder and the burning of flares on the terraces but also the worry that a too rigid approach will kill off the spectacle and drive away the core audience.
"When it gets to the stage that we have to use metal detectors, like at the airport, football will have lost," warned the Stuttgart sporting director, Fredi Bobic.
• Mainz 05's excellent 2-1 over Nürnberg lifted them to within spitting distance of the European places. But Thomas Tuchel was not happy. Not happy, at all. The 39-year-old bemoaned the "arrogant and dismissive" behaviour of fourth official Martin Petersen. "He prevented me from doing my job in the coaching zone [with constant interventions]," said Tuchel, who threatened to file a report. "The officials usually write about us, now I'll do the same." The manager's mood wasn't improved by a yellow card for Hanno Balitsch who was already in the process of being subbed when referee Thorsten Kinhöfer cautioned him for dissent. Balitsch will now miss the trip to Hamburg.
• Süddeutsche Zeitung revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson pushed hard for Robert Lewandowski to be included in the Kagawa deal and was highly bemused by Dortmund's refusal to play ball. In a possible case of mistaken identity, the Munich-based paper also wrote that United are now "so strong in attack with Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and the freshly signed 18-year-old wonderkid Angelo Hernández" that their interest in the Polish striker has cooled: "That's the reason why his agents are banging the promotional drum again."
Maybe so. But the list of Lewandowski's suitors has only grown following the champions' strong showings in the Champions League, and the 24-year-old is no closer to accepting a contract extension beyond 2014. Unofficially, a price tag of €25m has been mooted in case he doesn't put pen to paper come the summer. Two more goals in the 3-1 win away to Augsburg have put the topic back to the top of the agenda. Dortmund's frustration is increasingly becoming evident, too. "I don't understand why [his agents] continue to fan the flames in public," said sporting director Michael Zorc angrily.
• The Hamburg goalkeeper René Adler was called up by Löw for only the second time since getting injured before the 2010 World Cup. The 27-year-old's return to the national team has come in the wake of superb performances, and offers up the possibility of one of those exasperating, tabloid-led "Torwartdebatten" (keeper debate) that only German football excels in. Adler's perfect week was almost spoilt, however, when he lashed out at Max Kruse in the 0-0 draw at Freiburg. "It was unintentional," he said, "I didn't want to hit him". The TV pictures suggested otherwise. A yellow card was a very lenient punishment.
• Talking of tedious arguments, the Dr Theo Zwanziger-Uli Hoeness ding-dong of recent days continued unabated. Both have accused each other of a lack of respect and other short-comings since the publication of Zwanziger's autobiography. "I knew that he was a bad president before," said Hoeness, "now this book will see him totally isolated after his embarrassing resignation." By popular consensus, there's only one possible winner here.
• There were two unlikely, topsy-turvy 4-2 away wins for Gladbach (at Fürth) and Hannover (at Stuttgart) on Sunday, as well as a 3-1 win for Wolfsburg (over Leverkusen) that marked the return of Diego with two goals. "He was looking for warmth and has found it," said the caretaker manager Lorenz-Günther Köstner about the Brazilian, whose considerably talents had been stifled in the sub-zero emotional climate of the departed Mr Freeze alias Felix Magath. Wolfsburg are still only 16th but have probably turned a corner. They're also close to signing Klaus Allofs from Werder as their new sporting director in a move that's sending shock-waves through Northern Germany and will usher in Christmas early for one or two trusted agents.
Results: Mainz 2-1 Nürnberg, Augsburg 1-3 Dortmund, Schalke 2-1 Bremen, Düsseldorf 1-1 Hoffenheim, Freiburg 0-0 Hamburg, Bayern 2-0 Frankfurt, Wolfsburg 3-1 Leverkusen, Greuter Fürth 2-4 Gladbach, Stuttgart 2-4 Hannover