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‘We’ll get even better’

Bayern 'machine' picks up speed

“Nine points after three matches means everything’s wonderful!" Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge’s summary following Bayern's 2-0 victory in the 59th Bundesliga derby against Nürnberg was concise and to the point. In the season following the historic treble triumph, Germany's biggest club remain on a roll, as an unblemished start to the new league campaign has also brought another club record of 28 matches without defeat

“We can be absolutely satisfied with the start," agreed captain Philipp Lahm following Saturday's Allianz Arena clash, deservedly won by the home side thanks to “a determined team performance," especially after the interval. “We played wonderful football in the second half," enthused Rummenigge, “we could have scored four or five, but we're still satisfied with the 2-0 win."

“We wanted to keep it tight in defence," confirmed former FCB man and current FCN coach Michael Wiesinger. The 71,000 capacity crowd at the arena saw the visitors’ strategy pay dividends for a long spell. Pep Guardiola's team utterly dominated possession, but struggled to create clear-cut chances until later in the game. “In the first half, Nürnberg closed down the space well and were very aggressive, so it wasn't easy," Rummenigge observed.

“Nürnberg were unbelievably well-organised, and it's always difficult against this kind of team," reflected Guardiola after his first all-Bavaria derby in the Bundesliga. His side mustered just three shots on target in the first period. “Our passing was too slow," criticised Arjen Robben afterwards. David Alaba declined the best chance of a first-half lead when he steered his 33rd-minute penalty too close to visiting keeper and captain Raphael Schäfer.

However, the Reds significantly increased the pace in the second half and began creating a welter of chances. Franck Ribéry scored the crucial opening goal after 69 minutes, with Robben adding the second nine minutes later to seal a wholly merited home victory against the wilting visitors. “We ran out of gas in the course of the second half," acknowledged Wiesinger, before paying the Bundesliga champions a respectful compliment: “In footballing terms, Bayern are quite simply a machine."

Follow up in Freiburg

“The important thing for us right now is to take the points and keep clean sheets," said Bastian Schweinsteiger, just as satisfied as his team-mates but well aware that the FCB ‘machine’ is not running completely smoothly yet. “We certainly could have scored a goal or two much earlier. And sometimes we need a little more patience, especially against opponents who are defending well. We know we can play better, but it'll come."

The match stats served to underline Bayern's overwhelming superiority on the afternoon. The figure of 81 percent possession is the highest single game value ever recorded since the data were first collected in 2004/05. Guardiola's men won the shot count 26-5 and the corner count 10-1, meaning Lahm and company will go into Tuesday evening’s trip to SC Freiburg with plenty of confidence. As Rummenigge summarised: “We want the best possible start with 12 points from four matches, so we can go to Prague for the [UEFA] Super Cup with no weight on our shoulders."