Effective Bayern looking to improve

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Two games, two wins, and another three points. FC Bayern have got the second half of the season off to a successful start and maintained their three-point lead over RB Leipzig at the top thanks to a laboured 2-1 win at Werder Bremen. Yet there was no exuberant joy in the champions' camp after a second (away) victory since the winter break.

“They were happy about the result but not with the way we played, particularly in the second half,” explained Ancelotti, describing the mood in the dressing room after the final whistle at the sold-out Weser-Stadion. Arjen Robben was also self-critical afterwards: “We’re obviously happy to get the three points but we know it wasn’t good enough.” 

Robben and Alaba on target

The Dutchman gave FCB the lead in the 30th minute before David Alaba made it a comfortable margin with a delightful free-kick in first-half stoppage time, as the visitors once again displayed their effectiveness. Bayern had scored two goals from relatively few chances in the first half and the result appeared to be already decided. 

However, after the break “we lost our way”, as Ancelotti admitted. Max Kruse brought Bremen, who had been full of energy and commitment from the beginning, back in the game with a goal in the 53rd minute. “The goal knocked us out of our stride a bit and we just defended after that,” concluded Ancelotti. “When you go 2-0 up that should be game over,” said Robben. “We lost control of the game in the second half. You mustn’t allow that to happen when you have a 2-0 lead.”

More dominant and more confident

Mats Hummels also criticised FCB for not showing “enough resistance” against the 15th-placed hosts in the second period. “We let Bremen back into the game too easily and let them push us back,” said Hummels. “Of course we would’ve liked to have been more dominant and confident,” added the defender, who thought the performance was “not quite there”.

Yet the positive aspect, along with the three points, is the recognition among the FCB camp that “we need to start playing better again”, as goalkeeper Manuel Neuer put it, preferably starting next Saturday at home to FC Schalke 04. Robben praised the character of the team and the fact that “they weren’t completely happy despite winning. If we want to achieve things then we need to play better than we did today.” Captain Philipp Lahm highlighted: “There is clear room for improvement.”

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