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Formula for success

Defiant FCB vow to win last six games

When referee Florian Meyer blew the final whistle on just over 93 minutes of reasonable quality but always tense football, practically all the Munich players raised their arms in triumph. The three points were in the bag, and the Bayern stars, coaches and officials made no secret of their delight and relief. “Bielefeld had loads of set plays towards the end, and you can never rule out a messy goals in those situations. It would have been fatal if we’d not come away with any kind of reward for all the effort we put in during the second half,” a satisfied general manager Uli Hoeneß commented shortly afterwards in the mixed zone at the SchücoArena in Bielefeld.

The victory was “tight but thoroughly deserved,” Hoeneß continued. Bayern’s 1-0 success deepened Arminia’s acute relegation concerns, and simultaneously kept alive the Bavarians’ hopes of retaining the Bundesliga title. The champions remain three points adrift of leaders VfL Wolfsburg, after Felix Magath’s men repeated their feat of the previous week against Gladbach by scoring a late winner at home to Leverkusen. “We’re hearing they were incredibly lucky,” reflected Hoeneß after the Wolves made it ten league wins on the trot. “Wolfsburg’s phenomenal run will end at some point,” reasoned Jürgen Klinsmann, “and that’s what we’re waiting for.”