Neuer's razor-sharp reflexes ensure Bayern win against Freiburg
Manuel Neuer kept his cool in the intense closing stages of this top-of-the-table clash, ensuring FC Bayern could hold on for the win: In the hard-fought 2-1 defeat of SC Freiburg, he demonstrated razor-sharp reflexes very few goalkeepers on the planet today could hope to match. Consequently, he once again played a major part in registering Bundesliga win number 302 and he continues to chase down record holder Oliver Kahn (310).
Nagelsmann: He's incredibly fast, incredibly reactive.
"The way he stopped that set-piece today was extraordinary," marvelled Julian Nagelsmann after the match, commenting on the visitors' chance in the 85th-minute with the score at 2-0 for the Reds. Following a free-kick, Freiburg's Nicolas Höfler almost pulled one back from close range, but Neuer made a lightning-quick dive to parry the header. "He's incredibly fast, incredibly reactive, you don't notice one bit that he's 35," continued the FCB coach, who himself is just a year younger.
Up until this incredible save, the record champions' number 1 had only had to stop one effort on goal, before also making a crucial save late on in the game from a Lucas Höler strike after Höfler's header. Once again it was evident: When Neuer's needed, he's always on the spot. When the visitors scored in the third minute of stoppage time to make it 2-1 (Janik Haberer), it was too late from Freiburg's point of view. "It's a pity we didn't score a few minutes earlier," said SC coach Christian Streich afterwards, in the full knowledge of who had stood in his team's way.
Goretzka: He's like a machine
"He's been the one player in several matches this year who's kept us in the game and held on to the points. He's still the best goalkeeper in the world," said Nagelsmann, lavishing extra praise on his keeper, which was also echoed by Neuer's teammates: "Neuer is, all things considered, the best goalkeeper in the world. We're happy to have him," said Leon Goretzka: "He's like a machine. He's been a constant over the years. That's world-class." And probably also one of the reasons why Bayern so impressively extended their lead at the top of the Bundesliga following the win over the team from the Breisgau region.
FC Bayern head into the international break with a four-point lead over their nearest rivals: