Win at Leipzig lifts FCB spirits

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Following the dramatic 5-4 win on penalties in the DFB Cup thriller against RB Leipzig, the Bayern players returned to the team HQ on Thursday happy but a little tired. FCB remained in Saxony after the match as the night landing ban in Munich ruled out a late return on Wednesday night. "This match cost a lot of nerves," declared Arjen Robben before adding: "We're happy we’re through to the next round."

"It was a great game," enthused chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge after a match that had "everything" as expected. "It was a dramatic cup battle. Both teams burned themselves out by the end," said Jupp Heynckes after the intense 120 minutes, a source of delight for Bayern fans and all lovers of football.

Aerial threat Thiago

The match was marked by great commitment and high tempo. Neither side allowed the other much space and Bayern had problems in the first half with early pressing from the hosts. "We made too many mistakes in the build-up. They're really dangerous. If you lose the ball they're away," said Robben. FCB had more control after the restart and were on top, particularly after Naby Keita was sent off on 53 minutes.

Bayern were not even put off by going a goal behind with the penalty scored by Emil Forsberg on 68 minutes and quickly produce a response. Jérôme Boateng picked out Thiago with a pin-point cross that the Spaniard headed in from close range on 73 minutes. "Thiago did a great job and he isn't really known as a aerial powerhouse," said Rummenigge before adding: "Gulácsi couldn't have saved it but he had a great game in goal.”

"We missed too many chances"

Joshua Kimmich

Leipzig's Hungarian goalkeeper drove Bayern to distraction when he made several outstanding saves to keep out Thiago (80), Joshua Kimmich (90) and Robert Lewandowski (90+3), and in extra time with a double save from Thiago and Kimmich (100). The game went to penalties and Heynckes found the right words for his players.

"Heynckes said to everybody before their penalty: 'Put the ball down and hit it hard'," revealed Rummenigge. All the Bayern players found the back of the net despite Gulácsi consistently diving the right way. Sven Ulreich proved the matchwinner when he saved the 10th spot-kick, taken by Timo Werner.

Boost ahead of upcoming tasks

"I'm happy I was able to help the team get through to the next round," said the keeper unassumingly, preferring to redirect the praise: "A big compliment to our goalkeeping coach who always analyses penalties very well." FC Bayern ended the night on a high after investing a huge amount of effort. "If you win a game like that on penalties it gives you more energy," said Lewandowski.

"It's an important boost for us in the coming weeks," added Rummenigge. On Saturday in the Bundesliga there is a reunion with Leipzig before Tuesday’s Champions League game in Glasgow and next weekend's top match away to Borussia Dortmund. That meant Bayern were unable to celebrate the victory too much. "I'm not really a beer drinker but I'll raise a glass of water. We’re back in action on Saturday and we need all our strength for that," said Ulreich as he went to bed exhausted - but with a broad smile.

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