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'Everything’s OK!'

FCB ‘not dissatisfied’ with draw in Gladbach

Bayern’s top of the table clash away to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Sunday evening lived up to its elevated pre-match billing with plenty of pace, quality football, absorbing tactics, a shot off the goal frame and some great saves. The only thing missing was goals. “Neither side deserved to lose this very intense match. It was the best kind of goalless draw,” analysed Karl-Heinz Rummenigge after an enthralling contest. The FCB chairman set off for home in a “not dissatisfied” frame of mind. “Everything’s fine if you take a point against the team lying second in the table.”

“We can live with the draw,” agreed Pep Guardiola, declaring himself “very, very proud” of his team despite a rare failure to win. Bayern kept their fast-breaking opponents in check and finished with yet another clean sheet, although the visitors’ legs became heavy as the second half progressed and, as Guardiola noted, “we slightly lost our shape and they had more counter-attacking opportunities”.

However, the outstanding Manuel Neuer ensured the FCB rearguard was never breached. “Finally, he had a chance to show what he can do,” joked Thomas Müller, before adding in all seriousness: “He kept us in the game.” Neuer has now gone 659 Bundesliga minutes without conceding and is closing in fast on his personal best of 771 minutes. “I’ve only had one or two shots to save per game recently, but I was a bit more involved today,” Manu observed.

Four-point lead maintained

The world’s best keeper was not entirely happy with the result, however. “The most important thing to me is three points, but unfortunately we’re only going home with one today,” lamented the 28-year-old, although he too accepted that “Gladbach are difficult to beat, as everyone saw.” Rummenigge felt much the same thing: “Gladbach are well organised, very disciplined and physically very robust.”

“We tried lots of different things but it wasn’t easy. We just didn’t quite have the edge when it mattered,” summarised Müller. “Our finishing lacked something,” remarked Guardiola, although David Alaba’s shot off the post (10), Robert Lewandowski’s deflected effort (41) and sub Claudio Pizarro’s close-range stab (90+4) were only inches short of separating the sides.

“It was a very close game. We somehow weren’t able to force the ball over the line. Gladbach also had two or three situations on the break, so we can basically live with a point away to the team in second,” concluded Müller. It is a fair comment, especially as the Reds’ unbeaten run now stretches to 13 matches and the situation in the standings remains as it was. “We’re four points clear,” said Lahm, “so everything’s OK!”