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Kroos: We won't be knocked out of our stride

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Kroos: We won't be knocked out of our stride

Postby FCBayernNews » Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:00 pm

It will have been a short Friday night for the Bayern players and coaching staff at their temporary team base in Düsseldorf, more due to the early airport transfer time of ten past nine on Saturday morning, and less because of lost sleep following the previous evening's 3-1 Bundesliga restart defeat away to Borussia Mönchengladbach, unexpected and frustrating though that was.

"We're bitterly disappointed. We came here looking for a good result, but we fell hopelessly behind due to our own mistakes," mused FCB captain Philipp Lahm shortly after the final whistle at Borussia Park. "We made too many mistakes and we conceded silly goals. You'll always be punished for that," Lahm continued. Despite a fifth league defeat of the season, Bayern will remain top of the standings following the 18th round of matches, barring freak results in the matches involving Schalke and Dortmund.

The first fixture after the winter break began promisingly enough for the men from Munich, as the 54,047 sell-out crowd saw the visitors impose their trademark passing and movement on the play, searching for gaps in the home team's packed defence. However, Manuel Neuer's 11th-minute error allowed Marco Reus to hand Gladbach a shock lead with their first chance.

"I'm very sorry. I set us on our way to defeat with a misplaced pass. Obviously, I'm gutted," the downcast keeper said afterwards. His Germany colleague Bastian Schweinsteiger, returning to competitive action from a two-and-a-half month lay-off with a broken collarbone, felt FCB "weren't bad at all at times in the first half. But the opening goal played right into Gladbach's hands."

It was undoubtedly the perfect situation for the home team, disciplined and well-organised in defence, and a constant threat with their lightning quick counter-attacks. After Bayern were caught in possession while going forward on 41 minutes, Patrick Herrmann finished off one such counter-attack to double the advantage. "The tipping point was their second goal just before half-time. It's always hard to stage a comeback against team which defends so well," Jupp Heynckes remarked.

The visitors applied rather more pressure in the second half, but were repelled time and again by Gladbach's determined rearguard. A glance at the match stats shows Munich ahead in almost all the major measures, but a figure of just 34 percent successful tackles underlined Heynckes' analysis: "We never looked determined enough at the decisive moment."

Learning from mistakes

Once Herrmann had added his second and his team's third with 20 minutes to play, yet again from a fast break, it was clear Bayern would lose on the day. To rub salt into the wound, Daniel van Buyten hobbled off with what turned out to be a metatarsal fracture, before Schweinsteiger pulled one back on 76 minutes. "We tried everything we knew in the second half. We invested a lot, and I don't think we can be accused of the wrong attitude. The job now is to analyse it and learn from our mistakes," said Lahm.

"I'd rather lose like that than by the only goal of the game. We're not yet where we have to be. We have to improve significantly next week," commented Arjen Robben. The Dutch ace also thought back to the opening day defeat to Mönchengladbach in Munich last August. After that, Bayern went 13 games without defeat. "It won't knock us out of our stride. We'll stay top," Tony Kroos confidently declared.
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