Effective Bayern seal top spot at halfway point
Sun, 10/12/17, 13:00
One shot, one goal, that's Bayern!
Two weeks before Christmas Eve FC Bayern’s players have already had the chance to get into the festive spirit. On Saturday evening the players, coaches and officials celebrated the team’s Christmas party at the appropriately decorated Palais Lenbach in the heart of Munich. And the timing couldn’t have been better, as the Bavarians posted a narrow 1-0 victory away to Eintracht Frankfurt earlier in the afternoon, meaning Bayern will be top at the season’s halfway point.
“It couldn’t have come at a better time. If we could have chosen ourselves how things would turn out, we would have wished for a situation like today. It’s Christmastime, Bayern München have won, we’re top. And so I’d like to express my congratulations to the team. Bravo!” said chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, paying tribute to coach Jupp Heynckes’ team in his speech to around 250 guests.
Fight for the win
Before Heynckes‘ return as coach the men from Munich were five points behind in the league. Eight games and seven wins later FCB lie eight points clear at the top and will lead going into the winter break for the 23rd time in the Bundesliga. However, Heynckes is determined to keep the excitement in check. “It doesn’t matter who’s top at the halfway point,” said Heynckes frankly. “We’re not getting ahead of ourselves. It’s important that we’ve won and been able to build on our lead.”
Four days after the 3-1 Champions League win against Paris Saint-Germain, a slick performance in the sold out 51,000 capacity Commerzbank Arena was enough for Bayern to wrap up their eleventh win of the season. “It wasn’t our best game technically, but physically it was a good team performance,” summed up Joshua Kimmich. “You can’t always dominate the opposition, sometimes you’ve got to fight for the win.”
Müller praises the Bayern spirit
Just like in the chant “Ein Schuss! Ein Tor! Die Bayern!” (One shot, one goal, that's Bayern) Arturo Vidal scored with the team's only shot on target. “Today we struggled to push forwards and had few clear chances. But we won 1-0. And that’s what makes FC Bayern different, winning these important games,” analysed Heynckes after his 650th Bundesliga game as coach.
Afterwards Thomas Müller praised the “Bayern spirit” and spoke of a “quality characteristic” that top teams demonstrate. Not just playing attractive football and winning games, but having the fight to really push for the win when needed. “It was a heated game but we enjoyed defending our lead. I’m proud of the team.”
After a busy Saturday with the win in Frankfurt and subsequent Christmas party the annual fan club visits take place on Sunday. And on Monday preparation begins for the upcoming game against FC Köln on Wednesday. Niklas Süle observed: “You don’t win anything for being top at the halfway point. Now we want to continue and win every game before Christmas.”