Thiago knows it, Thomas Müller knows it, Franck Ribéry certainly knows it. Despite 86% pass accuracy in Der Klassiker in Dortmund, FC Bayern just could not find the back of the net. And so after failing to find that killer final pass and losing 1-0 to Borussia Dortmund, they returned home empty-handed.
“We did well until we reached the penalty area and then we just lacked the final ball,” said Robert Lewandowski, summarising 90 minutes in which FC Bayern had a total of 18 shots on goal. “We played very well,” according to captain Philipp Lahm, who was not unhappy with his team’s performance but recognised that at times the visitors lacked “precision in the final ball. That meant we couldn’t create many good chances.”
Mats Hummels offered a similar analysis: “Although we missed out on three or four big chances through bad passes, we still had plenty of opportunities.” The centre-back himself had three chances to score, two of them on target, and set up two further chances. Xabi Alonso was unlucky just after the hour with a curling effort that hit the bar. “We didn’t have much luck, which you need sometimes in games like this.” Lewandowski added: “We deserved at least a point but that’s football. If you don’t score you can always lose.”'Lots still to happen'
After their first defeat of the season – their 250th in the Bundesliga – Bayern must, temporarily at least, get used to an unfamiliar picture in the table. It’s the first time since September 2015 that the record title-winners are not at the top of the league after a matchday. “Obviously you can’t be happy when you lose top spot and drop points,” expressed Lahm. “We always want to be at the top.” But Hummels knows that the current situation is certainly not a “catastrophe” or “the end of the world. We’re only eleven games in. Lots will happen between now and the end of the season.
In any case, Bayern are already looking ahead. “Now it’s back to the Champions League and after that we face Leverkusen. There are interesting weeks ahead,” said Lahm. Lewandowski wants to take lessons from the Dortmund game into the coming assignments, particularly when it comes to finding the final ball: “We need to look at what we did wrong.” Hummels for one is confident: “If we keep playing the way we are and score a few more goals, we’ll all be happy.”