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'Fighting spirit & a strong mentality'

Bayern defy odds and setbacks against Bielefeld

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FC Bayern had to overcome some adversity in the 3-3 draw against Arminia Bielefeld. Coach Hansi Flick had to do without eight first-team players before kick-off and, of course, the exertions of the FIFA Club World Cup were still being felt by the players. On top of that, heavy snowfall set in just in time for kick-off and ensured that Bayern could not play their usual passing game on the snow-covered pitch. "The pitch conditions were not ideal for our game," Flick said afterwards. 

Aggressive and ruthless opponents

The Bielefelders threw themselves into every duel, making life even more difficult for Bayern on the snowy surface.

On the other side was a Bielefeld team that, according to Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, were "really aggressive" and proved themselves to be ruthless in front of the Bayern goal in the frosty temperatures. But FCB actually took well to the difficult circumstances and the fight on the almost completely white playing surface. However, due to the visitors' ruthlessness in front of Manuel Neuer's goal - they converted two chances into two goals - they went into the interval with a 2-0 lead.

Herrmann lends a hand

Full effort for the team. At half-time, 'Tiger' Hermann Gerland helped make the turf more playable.

During the break, the grounsdmen gave their all and cleared the turf of snow. Even assistant coach Hermann Gerland grabbed a snow shovel himself to help. On the now shiny green surface, the reigning club world champions were able to go up a gear. Finally, the ball moved as usual, and Bayern created chances and scored goals.

Bayern morale rewarded

Yessss! Alphonso Davies shouts for joy after scoring the equaliser.

"When the snow was gone, it became difficult for us," Arminia captain Fabian Klos admitted. But Robert Lewandowski's strike shortly after the break was promptly followed by Arminia's response, who restored their two-goal advantage. Another setback, though that did not deter Bayern. FCB went on the offensive, which resulted in a deserved equaliser. Corentin Tolisso (57') and Alphonso Davies (69') rewarded Bayern's efforts with their goals to secure a final 3-3 scoreline. 

Flick delighted with character

"Keep going, lads! Keep going!" From central midfield, David Alaba kept driving his teammates forward.

"To come back like this after the long trip and the games, I see it as very positive," Flick assessed at the end, paying tribute to his players. "The team fought and showed an incredible mentality," the 55-year-old head coach said after his team proved once again that they're able to dig in and fight back as well as play beautiful football.

In fact, Bayern are the comeback kings of this season, having already collected 19 points from losing positions. "We showed fighting spirit and a strong mentality. That's a quality too," Choupo-Moting said. And it is precisely this quality that could prove key over the remaining course of this long, arduous campaign.

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