Hard work pays off for Bayern
Three wins in three games - FC Bayern have hit the ground running after the international break. Although joy at collecting maximum points was the predominant feeling at the German record champions, a specific concept was being discussed in the Bayern camp after the 2-1 (1-0) win at Mainz: Niko Kovac referred to the match in the Rhenish Hesse region as a "victory for hard work." Thomas Müller mentioned the need to "put in the work at home for the three points".
"We can't expect to play perfectly straight after the little dip we had," said Niko Kovac after the final whistle. He explained why the team is still lacking in fluidity after successful results, but stressed the importance of winning three games in a row after four straight defeats. "Everyone knows we've not been doing well. There's definitely room for improvement. What's important is that we won this game," affirmed Joshua Kimmich.
Fight for victory
It was the right back who managed to put the Mainz back line under pressure for the first time with his scorching 27th minute shot. Just before half time his pass to Leon Goretzka helped Bayern take a 1-0 lead. "The opponents fought for every centimetre. They put a lot into their defensive work," summed up Müller the performance of the home team, who didn't make things easy for the German champions. "A 2-1 win in Mainz is nothing to be ashamed of," added the 29-year-old with a smile.
Mainz held together after conceding and equalised through Jean-Paul Boëtius in the 48th minute, before Thiago's 62nd minute goal allowed Bayern to draw breath. "It was the third game in a row where we had to fight hard for the three points," said Niklas Süle, who epitomised the dedication of the men from Munich. After sprinting the length of the pitch in the 79th minute, the central defender missed a one-on-one chance against Mainz keeper Müller to wrap up the win. I did everything right up until the 18 yard box, then I ran out of energy and lost my coolness in front of goal," analysed Süle later.
Onwards and upwards in Rödinghausen
After the game Kovac was sure the final missing elements would soon come together at FC Bayern. "I'm optimistic that these three wins will give us the self-confidence we need," explained the 47-year-old, adding, "We need to build on this!" His team will have a chance on Tuesday, when they begin a spell of three competitions in nine days, away to SV Rödinghausen and at home against SC Freiburg and AEK Athens. "We want to get into the next round of the cup, we want to win against Freiburg and we want to try and wrap things up in the Champions League, said the head coach. For as is well-known, after work, comes pleasure.