Record-setting Bayern 'prepared' for Gunners
The reporters were listening to Philipp Lahm when Thomas Müller strolled from the dressing room to the interview zone. The match-winner waited to one side, unobtrusive -- until Lahm was asked about the goal. The players bantered away and hilarity inevitably ensued: after the 1-0 victory in Bremen and the new record for the best-ever start to a season, the Bavarians were in the best of moods.
"It was crucial to lay down a marker after the international break," commented sporting director Matthias Sammer, pleased with the narrow, hard-won victory over a very defensive Bremen side. "It wasn't so easy," commented Lahm, "we didn't have the players for one-on-one situations. We had to create our chances in different ways."
The men from Munich created gaps in Bremen's tight back line a few times, mainly with angled passes from midfield. Lewandowski's diving header struck the side netting from Müller's cross after 22 minutes. For the rest of the match, the Bavarians often ran into a metaphorical brick wall. "There was no space and we had far fewer chances than normal, but that's how it is in football sometimes," said Lewandowski, who was serene even though he did not score a goal for a change. "We've taken the three points and we can go home happy."
Starting record 'fascinating'
Few seconds after Lewandowski's chance it was Thomas Müller who drove home the match-winning goal (24). The Germany international took Thiago's brilliant pass "splendidly, he stroked the ball in his trademark way," commented Lahm, laughing in the knowledge he was being watched by the waiting Müller. In front of the goal Müller is a "ruthless beast," the captain said. And that proved important: the Bavarian native scored his ninth goal in nine league matches, wrapping up the ninth straight victory to set the new starting record for FC Bayern.
"It doesn't help us in our upcoming matches," Müller observed, "but given it's never happened before in the history of the Bundesliga it's fascinating." Skipper Philipp Lahm praised the team as a whole: "Being up for it and winning nine straight from the first matchday onwards is unbelievable. It's impressive how the players rev up again and again. And we want to keep it up." The quest begins on Tuesday, when the Reds face their next tough challenge against Arsenal.
"We have to be at our best if we're to win in London," commented Manuel Neuer, who now boasts 137 Bundesliga matches with a clean sheet, just like Sepp Maier. "I hope we play even better," added Robert Lewandowski, whose knee was visibly bruised after Bremen keeper's Felix Wiedwald's foul that could easily have been punished with a penalty (71). But the Pole gave the all-clear: "Nothing's happened." Lewandowski & Co can go for it in London too. "It won't be easy," Lahm warned, "but we're prepared."