Kovac 'very happy' with his team ahead of Supercup
Trophy firmly in hand, Fiete Arp left the Mixed Zone at the Allianz Arena late on. Unfortunately his efforts were not enough to lift the big, silver winners trophy at the Audi Cup as FC Bayern lost out narrowly to Tottenham Hotspur in 6-5 defeat on penalties. Nevertheless, Arp could feel a bit like a winner in the sixth incarnation of this pre-season tournament as he headed home with the shirt of the Spurs striker Harry Kane.
"It's definitely something I've dreamed about for a long time," said the record champions' new signing who described Kane as one of his sporting role models ahead of the tournament. "It's just a brilliant moment being on the pitch with him today in such an exciting and impressive game from us in the end," said the 19-year-old striker. The shirt will have a special place in his flat: "You should really look after mementos like that."
Arp was not only able to be happy about Kane's shirt after the Audi Cup final but also about his first goal for the German record champions. After going 2-0 down to goals from Eric Lamela (19') and Christian Eriksen (59'), Arp led the fightback for the hosts with a goal on 61 minutes after a great pass from Alphonso Davies. According to Arp, the feeling after his first goal for the Reds was "overwhelming". He added, "It was a brilliant moment that I'd like to experience much more often. I'm looking forward to more."
„"Bayern can be proud to have lads like that"”
Davies (81') levelled the scores at 2-2 late on to take the game to penalties with Tottenham just edging the shoot-out. In spite of missing out on winning the trophy, coach Niko Kovac spoke afterwards about a "successful tournament" and declared he was "very happy" with the pre-season to date. "The team are in very good shape at the moment and we've got time before the start of the Bundesliga for fine-tuning."
Kovac was also happy with the performance of the young players he fielded from the start against last year's Champions League finalists. "They did well and that must give them a boost," said the 47-year-old. In addition to Arp and Davies, the New Zealand U20 international Sarpreet Singh again and again showed his potential. The striker, who has just been voted International Player of the Year in his home country, was cool as ice when he converted his penalty.
"All the young players were outstanding – respect and hats off to them. Bayern can be proud to have lads like that," said goalkeeper Sven Ulreich in praising the youngsters. Davies, above all, has "taken a big step in the right direction" in the last six months and still "has great potential to improve." And the captain Manuel Neuer also happy that the Canadian was "so agile on the pitch." You could see, "the ability he has but, of course, he's got to keep working on it."
FC Bayern are now looking forward to the weekend when they face runners-up Borussia Dortmund in the final of the DFL Supercup that provides the opportunity to lift the next trophy and the first title of the new season. "We've played well in all of the pre-season matches. We have to use the next few days to recover and to prepare for the game at Dortmund," said Neuer. And Kovac added: "It will be an interesting game and we want to win it."