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Five-point lead

FCB vow to move on and 'play better in Dortmund'

It’s widely agreed that having too much time to contemplate a bitter defeat only makes it worse, so the fact that the next challenge is imminent is more than handy for FC Bayern right now: the showdown in Dortmund takes place only three days after the match against Mainz. Three days in which it will be crucial to forget the first home defeat of the season, a bitter 2-1 reverse, and fully focus on the Bundesliga's top clash. “I know we'll play much better and more effectively in Dortmund,” commented Robert Lewandowski after a freezing cold evening at the Allianz Arena on which things just did not work out for the Reds.

“We just didn't have a good day, many things went wrong,” said Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who refused to brand the first defeat after 17 consecutive home wins as unlucky. “Perhaps it was even deserved,” added the FCB chairman: “A victory would have been nice. We could be more relaxed about the situation in the table if we were travelling to Dortmund with an eight-point lead.”

As it is, the Bavarians are “only” five points clear, still a comfortable cushion after Matchday 24. But they must not lose Saturday's meeting with Dortmund, stressed Rummenigge: “I hope we'll do better than against Mainz.” Lewandowski, who gave a lacklustre display after strong performances in recent matches, explained: “We have to create more clear-cut chances and prevent them getting at us so easily on the break.”

In-form Vidal

The side lying fifth in the table defended tenaciously while waiting for the chance to launch counter-attacks. Jairo Samperio (26) and Jhon Cordoba (86) made the most of two of these for the courageous visitors; Arjen Robben scored what proved a consolation goal for Bayern (64). The match failed to provide a happy end for Uli Hoeneß, who witnessed his first Bayern game since May 2014. “I would have liked him to see a victory,” declared Rummenigge, who had a “good impression” of Hoeneß despite the final scoreline. “I'm glad this difficult period is over for him, and that he's back.”

So are Franck Ribéry and Mehdi Benatia, who both returned to the starting line-up for Wednesday's match. After his strong performance against Juventus, Arturo Vidal turned in another convincing display. The Chile international set up Robben's strike as well as seven further shots on goal, and almost scored one himself shortly after kick-off. But things just did not work out for the Reds on this cold Wednesday night. The correct course of action now is to move on and focus on the next task. Lewandowski concluded: “Games like this just happen in football sometimes. We'll turn in a different display in Dortmund.”