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'Aggressive' FCB target top spot at Christmas

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'Aggressive' FCB target top spot at Christmas

Postby FCBayernNews » Sun Dec 04, 2011 5:50 pm

The Bayern stars and officials set off to their various pre-Christmas Fan Club appointments on Sunday lunchtime bearing not only a selection of gifts, including a shirt signed by the entire squad, but also upbeat spirits and good humour. That was only to be expected following the previous day's 4-1 home victory over Werder Bremen, which sent FCB back to the top of the Bundesliga.

"For preference, we'd always be right at the top," said captain Philipp Lahm. Following consecutive defeats to Dortmund and Mainz, Bayern racked up a tenth league victory of the season against Werder, although it was a much harder-fought affair than the result might suggest. "When you've lost twice in a row, it chips away at your confidence, and you could see that at times today," Lahm acknowledged, "we fought our way into the match and at the end of the day, we deserved to win."

Coach Jupp Heynckes admitted he was "relieved" as a 69,000 full house at the Allianz Arena cheered the final whistle. "Being top of the table matters a lot to Bayern Munich," explained the boss, "I'm delighted about our very positive reaction following our slip-up in Mainz. We looked a completely different proposition today."

Especially in the first half, the home side were "not as dynamic and attractive as we were in the Champions League and the league in the first third of the season, but we had frayed nerves after what happened in Mainz," Heynckes continued. "But we were much better organised, and we found a far better balance between attack and defence. Once again, everyone got back and helped out. We showed our morale is unbroken."

"We've won today because we probably went the extra yard compared to the game in Mainz," agreed Thomas Müller, reflecting on a good round of matches for the club. Daniel van Buyten reckoned the secret was "much more aggression - and I'm sure we ran a lot more than against Mainz." Lahm offered a similar summary: "We were up for the fight right from the start, we were aggressive, and our shape was much better. It was very positive compared to our last match."

The first half, certainly a lot more subdued than most home performances this term from a Bayern point of view, saw Franck Ribéry strike a 22nd-minute opener. Bremen substitute Markus Rosenberg equalised after 52 minutes, "but it was just a minor wobble," Heynckes remarked. Ribéry (77), and comeback man Arjen Robben with penalties on 69 and 83 minutes, settled the issue with three goals in the space of 14 whirlwind minutes.

Tightening the grip

"It was a must-win game for us, but Bremen are good and it wasn't easy. We gave a very good response today, and the three points are extremely important," two-goal hero Ribéry declared, calling for more wins prior to the mid-season break. "Being top at Christmas is important for the players and the club. We have two more games, against Stuttgart and Köln, and I hope we win both."

The club captain was in full agreement. "We have two very important games coming up in the Bundesliga. If we win them both it'll be a happy and peaceful Christmas," said Lahm. The last word went to Müller: "If we win and we're top of the league, everything's fine at Bayern. If we don't win and we're not top, it isn't. We'll enjoy our fan club Christmas party visits now."
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