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Lessons to be learnt

Plenty to ponder from Erfurt escape

Uli Hoeneß enjoyed an amiable chat and a cup of coffee with his board level counterparts from Erfurt before kick-off in the DFB Cup first round tie on Sunday evening, but the third division outfit put all friendships to one side for the next 90 minutes in a thrilling fight to the bitter end. “They played way above themselves and gave a fantastic performance. Congratulations are in order,” was Hoeneß’s verdict following Bayern’s 4-3 victory. Understandably enough, the Bayern general manager was less enthusiastic about his own side’s display.

Inclining heavily to irony, the board director felt the Cup holders had “taken a good step forward“ compared to last season’s first-round drama in Burghausen. “We needed extra-time and penalties last year, but this season we’ve romped home 4-3.“ Hoeneß was well aware that the competition’s most successful club hardly covered themselves in glory at the Steigerwaldstadion.

“We can’t be conceding three goals to a third division side,” commented Hoeneß, “I didn’t expect us to stand aside and let them shoot at goal the way we did. We’ve got away with it today, but that won’t do against the better teams.“ Jürgen Klinsmann lamented “too many defensive errors. We made life unnecessarily hard for ourselves.“