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'Not a great match'

FCB turn focus to Champions League

The Bundesliga home match against Eintracht Frankfurt was checked off as soon as it was over. With chants of “Europapokal” (European Cup) the south terrace loyalists made it clear that European competition is what counts now following Saturday’s narrow 1-0 victory. Bayern take on Lisbon giants Benfica in the Champions League quarter-final first leg at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday evening.

“We took three points, so there's nothing to complain about,” declared Karl-Heinz Rummenigge after a successful start to the decisive weeks of the season. However, the chairman admitted: “The quality we showed today won't be enough on Tuesday, that's clear.” The Bavarians have to “play much better than today to get through to the semi-finals,” Rummenigge warned.

Ribéry steps in for Lewy

“It wasn't a perfect match, but it yielded three points. Now we can focus on the Champions League,” commented goal-getter Robert Lewandowski, who did not extend his impressive tally of 25 league goals on Saturday. But Franck Ribéry deputised for the Poland international against Eintracht: the French winger scored the match-winning goal with a sumptuous scissors kick 20 minutes into the contest. He and his team-mates left the pitch as winners for the 14th consecutive time after an international break.

Ribéry's second strike of the season, which comfortably turned out to be the highlight of the encounter, “was a wonderful goal,” Rummenigge declared. The full house at the Allianz Arena saw “not a great match, I think we can all agree on that,” the FCB chairman summarised. “The problem is always the same: after internationals there's no rhythm because the players were on the go with their national teams.”

Tricky preparation due to internationals

Skipper Philipp Lahm agreed. “After an international break it's often difficult. That's perfectly normal. Some of the players have made no appearance in two weeks, others travelled around the world. You only have two training sessions to prepare.” Head coach Pep Guardiola stressed that some players may have had Tuesday's Champions League encounter on their minds: “Sometimes it's hard to play if you're thinking of the next match at the same time.”

At the end of the day FCB took three more points on their way to a fourth championship title in a row, maintaining their five-point edge over Borussia Dortmund. From now on the focus is on Benfica, who warmed up for Tuesday's cracker with a 5-1 victory over Braga. “I think it's going to be a completely different match. We'll be perfectly prepared. We need a better performance on Tuesday, but I’m not worrying about that,” said Lahm.