Lewandowski: We have to stay fully focused
Sumptuous goals, numerous chances, spectacular saves - and FC Bayern as winners. The top clash between cup holders Borussia Dortmund and the reigning champions lived up to its billing. "It was certainly a great match," Jupp Heynckes commented after two teams pleased the fans at the stadium and in front of the TV with their attacking play. "Both teams focused on attack, there were lots of chances," said Robert Lewandowski, who was dangerous throughout and found the net after his quick comeback.
The first good news came before kick-off, when Joshua Kimmich's name was on the team sheet despite gastroenteritis. "It was no miracle healing," explained the right-back after the final whistle: "But the infection came very quickly and fortunately disappeared very quickly. I'm glad I was able to play." Nobody wants to miss a match like this after all.
'Outstanding first half'
After the two sides felt each other out for a few minutes Kimmich & Co went onto the front foot, Arjen Robben making the most of the first chance to put his side in front. "The team turned in an outstanding display in the first half," commented a pleased Jupp Heynckes. Kimmich invited Lewandowski to double the lead with his back-heel before half-time. But the Bayern coach added that Dortmund had "three very good chances," but keeper Sven Ulreich made "outstanding" saves: "He turned in a superb performance, he's been a strong pillar over the last few weeks," Heynckes praised the netminder.
Ulreich was regularly called into action after the restart too. Bayern created a few chances, but the fatigue after the demanding midweek matches soon began to tell. David Alaba's cross that oddly found the net all but closed out the meeting. "I slightly touched the ball," said Lewandowski, who played a part in the goal, but the Poland captain was happy for his team-mate: "Fortunately we scored this crucial goal."
But Bayern were not able to save their energy in spite of their comfortable lead. Borussia Dortmund were too dangerous and "staged dangerous counters again and again," Ulreich analysed: "It was important not to concede a goal then." The second half was "very hard work," said Heynckes, who were glad his men scored "at the right time. You can tell the team have lots of quality." Marc Bartra's consolation goal in the closing stages was bearable for the Bavarians.
Special praise for coaching staff
The Bayern boss was particularly pleased with "the attitude. We've gone through very demanding changes, of course it's had an effect on the players," according to Heynckes. Robben agreed: "We could have substituted four or five more players, we were all exhausted. What we've turned in over the last few matches is madness." Heynckes stressed that this goes for the physios and the medical staff too: "They've worked with the players day and night."
After seven wins in seven matches over the course of three weeks the team have earned a little breather. The Bavarians aim to return even stronger after the international break! "You always have to remain modest. It's okay to be satisfied and happy but not more," Robben warned against euphoria: "It was only a step, not more." Lewandowski too turned his focus to the upcoming tasks. "There's more than a month to go until the winter break. We want to take many points in the Bundesliga, win both matches in the Champions League and advance in the cup. We have to stay fully focused until the end."