Reigning Cup holders Bayern Munich left absolutely no doubt as to who was boss with a 5-1 away thrashing of Stuttgart. It was, to say the least, an impressive start to 2009 for the men in red.
Bayern had their way with a porous Stuttgart defense
Stuttgart came into the match feeling as though they had a legitimate chance for an upset since they were playing at home and had managed to split the points with Bayern in the last league match before the winter break.
How wrong they were.
Bayern pounced on their opponents right from the outset. Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger staked the visitors to the lead in the 14th minute with a well-placed shot past Stuttgart keeper Jens Lehmann.
Two minutes later it was 2-nil, with playmaker Frank Ribery creating havoc in Stuttgart's box and slotting home from close range.
Bayern were awarded a penalty in minute 21 after a foul by luckless Stuttgart defender Arthur Boka. But Ribery chipped the penalty straight into the arms of a waiting Lehmann, who had anticipated the Frenchman's attempted trick.
No matter. Shortly before the break, Bayern striker Luca Toni found the net from ten meters out to essentially put the game beyond reach.
Any hopes fans might have had for a Stuttgart fight-back in the second half were quickly dashed as Bastian Schweinsteiger scored a penalty in the 55th minute.
The hosts utterly failed to measure up to Munich
Ze Roberto struck four minutes later to end the scoring for Bayern, while Stuttgart's Mario Gomez picked up a late consolation goal that hardly deserved the appellation.
Indeed, if the match is any indication of the form and sense of purpose with which Bayern intend to begin the second half of the league season, Bundesliga rivals have every reason to be afraid.
In other German Cup action from Tuesday, January 27, Schalke picked up a welcome 4-1 win away to third-division Jena. Playmaker Jefferson Farfan scored two goals in that match.
Hamburg beat second-division 1860 Munich 3-1. The clear man of the match in that contest was striker Ivica Olic, who scored all three of Hamburg's goals.
And Mainz beat Freiburg 3-1 away in a battle of two second-division sides.