‘It feels good to us'
Bayern could have just settled for one point and then focused on the Champions League Round of 16 tie against Besiktas. However, anybody who knows this Bayern team realises they won't give up. "We're just having much too much fun by winning instead of saying we've got an important game on Tuesday," said Thomas Müller after the 2-1 last-minute win at VFL Wolfsburg. And that encapsulates what all Bayern fans think: "The team is absolutely brilliant."
There was almost a completely new line-up in Lower Saxony with Jupp Heynckes making eight changes -- providing the opportunity for time on the pitch and remaining in the groove. Or to find out how Thiago reacts after 87 days on the sidelines. With so many changes it's "never easy," as Hasan Salihamidzic said, "we did very well," added a happy sporting director.
The team needed a bit of time to get used to each other," observed Müller who watched from the sidelines as Bayern moved the ball around the pitch "really well." There were few chances in the first half. "We had far too many players behind the ball in the first half," said Arjen Robben, "that's why there were too few outlets up front." The Reds were left chasing the game early on following the goal scored by Wolfsburg's Daniel Didavi on eight minutes.
Robben's top stat
The league leaders were "much more aggressive" in the second half as Müller observed, "we closed down the spaces better." It did not take long before the chances came to equalise: Robben had the best one on 55 minutes but the Wolfsburg keeper Koen Casteels saved his spot kick. "Missing for the first time in six years can happen," declared a much-relieved Robben after the game. "It's still a good stat."
The Dutchman also worked hard to help secure the 13th win in succession for Bayern. Robben provided an excellent assist for Sandro Wagner to level with a header ("He has a very, very good mentality," Hasan Salihamidzic). And shortly before the end of the game, the winger broke into the box again where he was fouled. This time, Robert Lewandowski stepped up to convert the penalty (90+ 1') as he netted his 20th goal of the season.
Don't underestimate Besiktas
"Even if we're losing or it's 1-1: We carry on right to the end," said Robben in praising the mentality of the team. "You could say it's a bit lucky. But you can also say it's a quality." Müller agreed: "When you look at the faces of the opposition asking themselves why they've once again just failed to beat Bayern then it does seem a bit unfair but it feels good to us." That also applies looking at the table -- the gap at the top after the Monday night game between Frankfurt and Leipzig will be at least 18 points.
However, Bayern have something else on their minds from Sunday. The German record champions resume the Champions League campaign on Tuesday with the Round of 16 first leg tie against the Turkish team Besiktas. "You can see from their games against Leipzig that you can't afford to underestimate them at all," warned Müller, who wants to see a game against the Turks follow-on from the second half of the Wolfsburg match, "with that quality and desire." The striker knows: "We're absolutely ready."