Disappointed Bayern vow to 'step up their game'
Sebastian Rudy and Niklas Süle had certainly pictured returning to their former home ground rather differently. Despite their overwhelming superiority and a large number of chances, FC Bayern lost 2-0 to 1899 Hoffenheim in Saturday’s away game. The Reds not only missed out on their third victory in three games this season, but also suffered a setback before the start of the Champions League campaign this Tuesday evening when they face RSC Anderlecht.
“Games like this happen, but we can't let them happen too often,” said a disappointed Rudy, before heading back to Munich with his teammates. “We had possession the whole time, but we couldn't really do anything with it. Hoffenheim were playing defensively, with a tight line. Chances were hard to come by. They managed to score twice from three chances. They were just more effective than us.” That was Rudy's concise and lucid analysis of the match played in front of a 31,150 full house at the WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar Arena.
Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic cut to the chase in his analysis: “We played some good football, we dominated and had far more of the game. But we didn't get much out of it, and didn't score any goals. That was the problem.” Carlo Ancelotti was equally dismayed. “For 90 minutes, we had total control of the game,” the coach noted, making no secret of the fact he was “disappointed, of course” with the result, but not with his team's performance in general.
Though Bayern had over 70% possession, 19 shots to 6, 26 crosses to 1 and 54% tackles won, it was Hoffenheim's Mark Uth (27, 51) who scored both goals of the match.
The first goal, scored following a quickly-taken throw-in, was an especially “stupid, avoidable goal,” Joshua Kimmich lamented after the game. Ancelotti also criticised the team: “We weren't focused enough on the minute details of the game. It was our mistake.”
Captain Manuel Neuer was particularly annoyed that Bayern did not take advantage of their early dominance. “We didn't capitalise on the good football we played at the start. We had Hoffenheim in the palm of our hands, and we played really well. We had one or two chances and should've taken the lead at some point.”
In the end, though, the men from Munich left the Sinsheim Arena empty handed, and are already looking ahead to their next game on Tuesday. “These things happen sometimes, this isn't a disaster,” Mats Hummels said. “But only if we take something from it. The best case scenario would be two wins at home in the coming week.” The last word went to Kimmich: “Now the mid-week games are starting, we’re going to have to step up our game to the highest level.”