Created on 31-03-2010 at 00:00 AM
Bayern sealed a historic 2-1 Champions League quarter-final first leg victory over Manchester United with virtually the last kick of the match, instantly sparking comparisons with the 1999 final in Barcelona, when the Premier League side scored twice in stoppage time to snatch the trophy. This time round, the men from Munich are determined to defend the advantage when they travel to Old Trafford for next week’s return.
After Tuesday’s clash at the Allianz Arena, Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge took questions from reporters.
When the last-gasp winner went in, did your thoughts turn to the final in Barcelona?
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge: “No, I honestly didn’t think about it. I was quite literally a witness to the events back then, and I was as shocked as everyone else. This time, I was hoping we’d at least fight back for a draw in the second half, and we’d done that. The fact we won it at the end is down to the team’s tireless work. All praise to the players for that.”
Did the more passionate team win?
“We won because we showed passion, desire and character. The players basically demonstrated all the qualities you have to show if you’re to turn round a match like that. Obviously, we were up against genuinely top-class opponents, but we’ve proved we can beat even the best teams.”
Could this result be a decisive factor for the remainder of the season, including Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash with Schalke?
“Winning was important for our confidence, because we lost to Stuttgart last weekend. Every defeat gnaws away a little at your confidence. We’ll definitely have the wind in our sails when we go to Schalke this Saturday. We’ll go there looking to win and go back to the top of the table. It’ll be a fierce battle, but the team has shown it has the quality, and that it’s in a position to win this kind of match.”
Can Bayern maintain their form in the light of their energy-sapping programme?
“It’ll be difficult, but the players will have recovered by Saturday. We’ll also have Bastian Schweinsteiger back, and I’m confident Arjen [Robben] will be fit to play. Hopefully, we’ll be at full strength. It’s the pivotal game of the league season, and we’re hoping for a positive outcome.”