Disappointed Bayern look ahead
The Bayern players were disappointed and subdued as they left the Allianz Arena late on Tuesday night. Following the 1-1 draw with Ajax on Matchday 2 of the Champions League, the record German champions remain level with their Dutch counterparts at the top of Group E, but no one was really pleased with the result in FCB's first European home game of the season.
"It was certainly not a good performance from us," commented Niko Kovac after his home debut as a coach in the Champions League. "We played very well in the first 15 minutes. Then we got careless, we didn't win enough challenges and misplaced too many passes. If you do that in the Champions League, it's extremely difficult to get three points. In the end we have to see it as a point gained," added Kovac.
Arjen Robben was also looking for answers after the clash with his compatriots: "Of course it's disappointing because that's not what we wanted. The quality of our play was not good enough. It's not an issue of desire or commitment. We all wanted it but certain things just didn't come off today. We felt like we weren't in control. We're not used to this and it's not what we as Bayern München expect," reflected the experienced winger.
The game could not have started better for the Reds, with Mats Hummels heading them in front after just four minutes. "We took the lead exactly as we wanted," said Joshua Kimmich. But after an "energetic" opening 15 minutes, "we lost our way and let Ajax get into the game," according to Thomas Müller. Kovac added: "The goal didn't give us any sort of security. On the contrary, we gave the opposition encouragement and that ultimately wore us down." Noussair Mazraoui netted the equaliser for Ajax in the 22nd minute.
Ajax got braver as the game went on and gave Bayern a real battle until the final whistle. "We didn't create enough clear chances and we didn't establish ourselves in the opposition half enough for my liking," bemoaned Müller. "We need to start pinning our opponents back with our possession again, having periods of pressure and creating chances," demanded Kimmich.
Kovac wants to "digest" the game against Ajax first and draw the right conclusions ahead of Saturday's Bundesliga match against Borussia Mönchengladbach. "We need to pick ourselves up and now focus everything on Saturday. In football you always have to look ahead, even if we weren't at our best today," said Müller. Robben concluded: "We need a win to get back on track. We need to show the right reaction and we definitely have to win on Saturday, whatever it takes."