'The ball refused to go in'
Sun, 26/11/17, 12:30
FCB unrewarded despite right attitude
FC Bayern took 17 shots in the second half at Borussia Park on Saturday evening, their domination reflected in a 78 percent possession stat. "It was one-way traffic," Jupp Heynckes said in praise of his men. "My team invested a lot, they were hard-running," explained the 72-year-old. But their efforts yielded only one goal, Arturo Vidal's belter finding the net after 73 minutes.
The German record champions failed to take points because they were two down at the break. "We lost the match in the first half," analysed Heynckes, who was beaten for the first time since taking over. "We invested far too little. We were too slow, we failed to up the pace and didn't really find our rhythm," the head coach commented after the 2-1 defeat to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 13.
Armband for Martínez
"They were better in the first half, we didn't play well," agreed Javi Martínez. Saturday's match was special for the Spaniard as he captained FC Bayern for the first time in his career. Unfortunately his premiere was not crowned by success because "we conceded two goals in five minutes," according to Niklas Süle.
Thorgan Hazard converted a penalty after Süle unluckily grazed the ball with his hand. Matthias Ginter soon doubled the lead, when Bayern's rearguard "lost the plot a bit," explained Süle. But Munich upped the pace and showed the right attitude after the interval.
'We're still at the top'
Only one factor was missing. "The ball refused to go in today," Martínez reflected. The Bavarians were luckless on Saturday. Robert Lewandowski and Kingsley Coman hit the woodwork, and arrowed through-balls only just evaded Bayern men in the Foals' box. Ulreich touched the ball with his fingertips but was unable to save Hazard's penalty. Juan Bernat and James Rodríguez had to be subbed off with knocks.
Heynckes gave the all-clear for both pros after the final whistle, confirmed by diagnoses on Sunday morning. Bayern quickly turned their focus to the next week. "We're still top of the table, it's all up to us," Süle said in the light of the three-point edge over RB Leipzig. FCB now have an entire week of training without a midweek match. "We're now able to work and regenerate well to take three points in the home match against Hannover next weekend," announced Sebastian Rudy. The team showed the right attitude and commitment on Saturday after all.