FCB ‘happy’ with three wins and ten goals scored
Praise rang out after Saturday's meeting with Bayer Leverkusen, for two-goal Thomas Müller, fleet-footed winger Douglas Costa, and excellent makeshift centre-back Xabi Alonso. But most of all the praise was for the team. "It was a team performance. We had a very, very good game as a team," said Arjen Robben after the 3-0 victory. "It was a very good performance against very, very strong opponents," the Dutchman continued, "we can be just happy."
Manuel Neuer assessed the display against the previously unbeaten Champions League contenders as "very convincing, very dominant" and "very controlled. From the beginning we showed that we absolutely wanted to win." Pep Guardiola too was "very, very satisfied. We were up against great opponents."
Matthias Sammer, surrounded by reporters in the mixed zone of the Allianz Arena, lavished praise on the team. The Reds played as he wanted them to: "Your opponents have to feel that if you're up against Bayern Munich nothing is possible. That's what we have to convey." A few metres away Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Völler commented: "Aside from Barcelona, Bayern are the best team in Europe."
The first goal was a treat
"The 3-0 win is a good statement of intent," said Robben, reckoning the victory against Leverkusen sent out a signal to Bayern's rivals -- more so since they lacked recognised central defenders. As Jérôme Boateng (suspension) and Mehdi Benatia (injured) were missing, Alonso and Alaba were entrusted with the centre of defence. Alonso played convincingly as a tough-tackling defender and as a cunning build-up player. "He played at a world-class level," commented Sammer.
The assist for the first goal was a real treat. Costa brilliantly controlled Alonso's precise diagonal pass on the left wing, crossing into the box where Müller managed to tap in (26). In the second half Müller scored again (60) and Robben too added his name to the scoresheet (71), both beating Bayer keeper Bernd Leno with penalties, making it 3-0. The result could have been even higher. "We could have wrapped it up better here and there," concluded Müller.
"We have to improve our final pass," Pep Guardiola agreed -- it was the only point of criticism. In total the stats are fantastic: three matches, three wins, 10 goals scored and only one conceded! Even so, Sammer recalled: "We're at the very beginning." Arjen Robben set the agenda for the matches after the international break: "We have to keep going!"