Joshua Kimmich, FC Bayern

Fighting spirit needed for Barca spectacle

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The clouds descended on the Allianz Arena in more ways than one on Saturday afternoon. As the heavens opened, FC Bayern conceded a last-minute equaliser to draw 2-2 with VfB Stuttgart. Although back on top of the Bundesliga - overnight at least - the result just didn’t cut it in the FCB camp. It was the club’s third successive league draw, after all.

Müller furious

There were no post-match celebrations in front of the fans. Instead, Benjamin Pavard, Marcel Sabitzer, Lucas Hernández, Sadio Mané and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting warmed down with a light jog, while Thomas Müller vented his frustrations.

“I’m annoyed with our performance,” he admitted. “We have to understand that we play until the final whistle if we want to win every game. We gave it away today. If we want to be at the top, we have to take a long, hard look at ourselves.”

Chances were there

Bayern expected more of themselves. Prior to the game, Julian Nagelsmann had spoken of going “full throttle” and “finding top gear”, and for a while the signs were pretty good. Mathys Tel (36’) put Bayern ahead, while Jamal Musiala needed just three minutes to restore their advantage following Chris Führich’s equaliser (57’).

Bayern continued to create chances and play with tempo, but something was missing. “We lacked our usual cutting edge when we had men over on the counter,” explained Nagelsmann. “I would have liked to see more cut and thrust. There wasn’t enough hunger in front of goal.”

Not long before Barcelona

With the games coming thick and fast, there’s little time to gripe. Bayern will reconvene for team training on Sunday and Monday, before welcoming Barcelona and a certain Robert Lewandowski to the Allianz Arena for Tuesday’s Champions League Group C clash.

"Good match plan for Barcelona"

“We need to prepare as planned and work on a good match plan for the Barcelona game,” said Nagelsmann. “I expect a big performance from us and our next win in the Champions League,” added Serge Gnabry. “We need to give more.”

Happily, fighting spirit is in the Bayern DNA. “Keep on keeping on” is one of the club’s mottos. Once again, the time has come to stand up and be counted.


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