Sun, 21/10/18, 11:00
Bayern off to perfect start in difficult phase
At the end of the game, the Bayern players went to the travelling FCB support in the away end. Hand-in-hand, arms aloft in triumph, the relief was clear to see in the faces of the team when they thanked their loyal followers for their support. In addition to an impressive performance, the 3-1 win at Wolfsburg finally brought three points again and a reason to celebrate together.
"I'd like to thank the team, there was a lot of pressure on this game," said coach Niko Kovac in summing up the situation ahead of the match following four games without a win. FC Bayern have produced the right answer at Wolfsburg: "My team produced a very committed, brave and focused performance over 90 minutes," said the 47-year-old manager at the post-match press conference, "the margin of victory was deserved," he continued. "Today we made positive use of the pressure," said Niklas Süle
Lewandowski goals guaranteed
The drought is over – and what applies to the whole FC Bayern team, certainly applies to Robert Lewandowski: The striker produced a double against the team from Lower Saxony to hit back after 315 minutes without scoring. On the half-hour mark, the Poland international found the back of the net to open the scoring after a pass from Mats Hummels and a clever dummy by Thiago that allowed the ball to go through to Lewandowski. Just after the restart, he intercepted a header from Wolfsburg's William and tucked the ball away to make it 2-0 on 49 minutes. "The fact Lewy is ice cold in front of goal is one of his key characteristics," said Kovac before adding: "We know how important he is to us and we’re happy he's scored again."
In his 16th meeting with the team from Lower Saxony, the Poland captain netted his 17th and 18th goals – no other player in the Bundesliga has scored so often against VfL Wolfsburg. But he was unwilling to make a connection between the two facts. "It's probably coincidence. I'm happy when I can score and help the team," said the 30-year-old modestly. Given his impressive performance, it was no coincidence Lewandowski was involved in Bayern's third goal when he provided an assist with a diagonal ball to James who made it 3-1 on 72 minutes. "Two goals, one assist – I'd say it was a brilliant performance," declared team-mate Joshua Kimmich
Success for FC Bayern at Wolfsburg was down to goals up front and a solid defence. It was long into the second half before the visitors conceded any real chances to VfL. There was only one tricky moment for the Kovac team when the hosts had an extra man following the dismissal of Arjen Robben on 57 minutes. VfL pulled a goal back with Wout Weghorst scoring on 63 minutes. "We pick up a more than unlucky red card, then concede to make it 2-1 and nevertheless we continue to play well – even with a man down. It was important we all defended together," explained Kimmich.
The head coach also found words of praise in that respect: "You can see that FC Bayern have footballing qualities as well as battling qualities." Bayern now needs to maintain those strengths in the coming difficult phase with six matches up to the next international break in the middle of November. "We're on the right track and we need to stick at it," demanded Kovac. His striker certainly sees the positives in the busy run of fixtures coming up: "Now we're playing every three days but that rhythm is good and I hope we can go from win to win," said Lewandowski – hopefully a new run will begin with the Champions League match at AEK Athens on Tuesday night (18.55 CET).