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Gala evening, but level heads prevail at FCB

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Gala evening, but level heads prevail at FCB

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:30 pm

Uli Hoeneß, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Karl Hopfner and the rest of the 68,000 at the Allianz Arena spent the first half hour or so of the Champions League meeting with Lille repeatedly bouncing out of their seats, such was the extraordinary class and entertainment on offer. It was unprecedented too: no team has ever taken such a big lead so quickly in the history of Europe's elite club competition.

"It ran like clockwork. We saw textbook passing and wonderful finishing," summarised head coach Jupp Heynckes following the whirlwind first half. After the break, three-goal Claudio Pizarro (18, 28, 33), Bastian Schweinsteiger (5), Arjen Robben (23) and their team-mates eased back a shade, with the match ultimately ending in a 6-1 home win.

Heynckes' side never stopped creating chances, and with a shade more luck and accuracy a record margin of victory might have been possible, "but I''m totally satisfied," reflected Rummenigge, "if we''d scored ten, which was well within the bounds of possibility, there''d have been no stopping the euphoria, and we don''t need that!" On the other hand, the chairman made no secret of his satisfaction: "We''re delighted. I think it''s good we have such continuity and stability in the squad at the moment."

Yet another superb team display by Bayern emphasised the gulf in class between the Bundesliga leaders and the French visitors. "The first half was a nightmare," Lille coach Rudi Garcia lamented, "it looked like youths versus seniors." Goalkeeper Mickael Landreau, his team''s best player despite conceding six goals, felt Bayern were "from a different planet. I''ll admit they''ve really impressed me."

No let up, demands Sammer

Naturally, the home stars were beaming as they left the Arena. "We can be proud and overjoyed. We''ve done exactly what the coach wanted us to do," said Schweinsteiger. Robben, denied by the brave Landreau on numerous occasions in the second half, thought it was all "really good. You have to enjoy it out on the pitch."

Nevertheless, the chorus of praise was repeatedly punctuated by notes of warning. "We have to retain our focus," said Robben, "there is a super mentality in this team and we'll keep both feet firmly on the ground." Board director for sport Matthias Sammer insisted the players must "understand that every game starts 0-0. We have to keep it up." Heynckes' main concern was complacency, "because it''ll be much harder against Frankfurt on Saturday."

Tight situation in Group F

FCB will do all they can to prevent it, but the odd point dropped here and there would be just about tolerable in the Bundesliga given the Reds' seven-point lead. The situation in Champions League Group F allows no slip-ups at all. Bayern and Valencia lie top of the standings with nine points apiece, but Borisov are within striking range on six points. If the Belarus side beat Lille, who are already out of the competition, when the teams meet in Kyiv in the next round of matches, the loser of the Valencia v Bayern clash could yet be knocked out on Matchday 6.

"We''re up there at the top, and naturally our goal is to win the group, but to do so we need at least four more points," advised captain Philipp Lahm. The minimum target for the trip to Valencia in two weeks is a draw, although a win would be ideal, as it would book FCB''s place in the last sixteen. The presence of Schweinsteiger will be crucial, as he again turned in a superb display against Lille, but was fuming afterwards after collecting a ridiculously harsh yellow card from the Romanian match official.

Looking ahead to Saturday

It was the Germany international''s second yellow of the current campaign, and he will receive a one-match ban should he collect a third booking. "Apart from the yellow card, it was a really enjoyable evening," the player said, although his frustration soon subsided as he and his team-mates turned their attention to Eintracht Frankfurt.

"We have to regenerate well and continue to follow the path we're treading," urged Sammer. Franck Rib�ry, again in unplayable form against his former club, knows Saturday''s meeting with the highflying promoted outfit will require total concentration. "By tomorrow, we have to forget what''s happened today," the star winger warned, before heading out into the chilly autumn night.
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