'We'll fight again on Wednesday'
Arjen Robben lay on the turf at the Allianz Arena exhausted and finished. The Dutchman had given his all until the final second. A final run, a final cross – the final whistle as FC Bayern drew 2-2 with relegation-threatened 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Saturday afternoon. The disappointment of missing out on the win was not only clear to see on the exhausted Robben.
“It was tough but we expected more,” acknowledged coach Carlo Ancelotti after the game. “We knew it’d be tough for us to prepare for this game after the shock in Madrid,” said Ancelotti. Just four days after the energy-sapping 120 minutes at the Bernabeu, the Italian admitted, “it was going to be tough to be 100 per cent once again. It’s been a hard week for us.”
Müller’s captaining debut
"Of course the game on Tuesday is still on our minds, even if it shouldn’t be. But we’re only human," explained Thomas Müller, who captained FCB for the first time in front of 75,000 at the sold-out Allianz Arena. “We didn’t start well and quickly presented Mainz with a goal. We were chasing the game in the second half to make up for what we didn’t do in the first,” Müller continued.
The visitors from the Carnival Club certainly appeared mentally and physically fresher in the first 45 minutes as they disrupted Bayern’s build-up play deep in FCB’s own half and took an early lead through Bojan. Robben grabbed an equaliser not long after, but Mainz remained bothersome opponents and retook the lead shortly before the break through Daniel Brosinski’s penalty.
2x2 wins for the double
"We weren’t as compact as usual in the first half. We had to do better there. We were more compact in the second, played better and were luckily able to get another equaliser,” analysed Ancelotti. The Reds were much improved after half-time and limited Mainz much more than the opening 45 minutes. However, nothing more came for the record champions after Thiago’s equaliser.
“I can’t really celebrate the goal because we wanted to win,” expressed a disappointed Thiago. “The 2-2 still feels like a defeat.” Nevertheless, this does not change Bayern’s position in the table: Seven points were all that was needed before kick-off to secure a fifth consecutive Bundesliga title. That now means two more victories from the remaining four games to defend the title.
FCB also need two more wins to secure the DFB Cup and complete a double for the season. The Reds will be attempting to secure passage to the final in Berlin when they host Borussia Dortmund in the semi-finals on Wednesday. “It’s good that we can move on quickly,” stressed Müller. “We have to look forward, and we have a really important game on Wednesday. Berlin is our big aim along with the Bundesliga title.” Arjen Robben also appeared to be full of energy once again just two hours following the final whistle: “We will fight once more on Wednesday.”