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Arjen defies the pain, Bastian uses his head

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Arjen defies the pain, Bastian uses his head

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:00 pm

Goalscorers Arjen Robben and Bastian Schweinsteiger offered basically the same analysis in the wake of Bayern's 2-0 Champions League play-off victory over Zürich. "It's a good result, but we're not playing well enough yet," the Dutchman said. "It's satisfactory, but there are many areas where we need to improve - taking our chances, for example," commented the Germany midfielder.

The senior pair, the two players boasting more Champions League experience than any others involved in Wednesday night's match, led by example with the match-winning goals. Schweinsteiger opened the scoring with a header from Robben's precise cross, after which the 27-year-old sprinted across the pitch, slapping his forehead with his hand, almost in disbelief.

"It's not often I score with my head," Schweinsteiger explained - and indeed, it was his first headed goal in European club competition. On this occasion, his aim was unerringly accurate, and the ball passed just inside the far post, even though the cross took a slight deflection. "It wasn't that easy," the scorer grinned.

Is Bastian Bayern's new aerial weapon? The FCB youth product, who first scored a header in the Bundesliga six months ago in his 239th top-flight appearance, is suddenly making it a habit: his last two goals in the Bundesliga, against Stuttgart and Mainz, were both headers.

Long 16-month wait

As for Robben, the world already knows about his scintillating left foot, and the winger again showed all his shooting quality on Wednesday. In a scene reminiscent of his Champions League stunners against Fiorentina and Manchester United in the 2009/10 campaign, the 27-year-old dribbled to the right edge of the Zürich box before curling his side's second into the far top corner with 20 minutes to go.

"I try that fairly frequently and sometimes it comes off. It was a good one," Robben commented following his first goal in Europe for almost 16 months: his last successful strike came in a 1-0 Champions League semi-final home victory over Lyon in late April 2010. As he supplied the cross for Schweinsteiger's opener, the Dutchman finished with a goal and an assist in a European fixture for Bayern for the very first time.

A cracking goal

Despite that, It was not a particularly comfortable evening for the Dutch superstar, who is still struggling with a back problem. "It wasn't a lot of fun," the player revealed, "I felt the pain for the full 90 minutes, but I was determined to play. I was at about 60 to 70 percent of my capacity, and that makes it difficult. I hope my fitness improves quickly."

Jupp Heynckes is also looking forward to a fully-fit Robben. "Arjen still has a few minor problems," the coach confirmed, "he didn't risk everything today, but he gave it his best shot for the team and did his share of the defending. He also played a smart game against a very good defender, and he scored a cracking goal." Very few in the 66,000 capacity crowd at the Allianz Arena would disagree with that.
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