Created on 01-03-2008 at 00:00 AM
The Bayern camp set off back to Munich after Saturday’s 1-0 win away to Schalke in understandably upbeat spirits: it was the Bundesliga leaders’ third successive away win since Christmas, and has opened up a 12-point lead over the title contenders from Gelsenkirchen. “I saw all the hallmarks of a top-class team today,“ an ebullient Uli Hoeneß declared afterwards.
Reaction to Schalke v Bayern:
Uli Hoeneß: “I saw all the hallmarks of a top-class team today. We didn’t score as many goals as we should have done, but we played well and put up an unbelievable fight after a tough game on Wednesday. We’ll be full of confidence going into the next few matches, and the goals will come. Schalke ran out of ideas at the end, but it was hard going for them today because we gave a first class performance. We hardly made a single error today.“
Franz Beckenbauer: “Schalke played well, battling away and trying everything they knew, but Bayern are enjoying themselves away from home at the moment, and we saw that again today. They have more space to work with. Teams visiting Munich just shut up shop and close down the space, which makes it incredibly difficult. Bayern have only conceded 11 goals this season. It’ll be a new record if it continues this way.“
Ottmar Hitzfeld: “We have a strong squad with 20 players pretty much all as good as each other, so it’s normal to rotate the squad, sharing out the burden, and allowing us to hold our own physically when the big matches come along. It’s always a little easier for us to play football away from home, because our opponents have to contribute something to the game. Schalke are an attacking side, so you’ll always get chances on the break. We had seven or eight today, which we simply didn’t take."
Mirko Slomka (Schalke coach): “Obviously we went out there looking for a better result, but Bayern were very strong opponents. We were faced with some excellent defending today, which is why we hardly created any chances. Bayern were extremely solid at the back and broke at speed. They were very determined in the tackle too. The opening goal robbed us of confidence, and we only looked more lively in the last 20 minutes.“
Oliver Kahn: “It was similar to all our recent away games: we were very disciplined, we tackled hard, we kept it incredibly tight, and we created scoring chances of our own. We’re close to our best right now. It does seem to be easier for us when our opponents try to play football. Most teams visiting the Allianz Arena pull eleven men back to the edge of the box, and we’re a bit short of inspiration in that situation. Schalke are finding out what it means to play in the Champions League, the Bundesliga and the DFB Cup, with a few internationals thrown in for good measure. It’s the heaviest burden, and not at all easy if you’re not used to it.“