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Champions enjoy confidence-booster

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Champions enjoy confidence-booster

Postby FCBayernNews » Sun Oct 29, 2006 9:00 pm


Bayern remain hot on the heels of in-form Bundesliga leaders Werder Bremen, and will now go in pursuit of a first-place finish in their Champions League group with new-found confidence, following a supremely comfortable 2-0 victory at home to Eintracht Frankfurt in which the double winners displayed glimpses of their customary swagger and belief. Three days after a heavily-criticised 1-0 Cup victory against Kaiserslautern, the Reds were a significantly improved proposition and will expect a good result from Tuesday's meeting with Sporting Lisbon.

"It was important to register a convincing victory," declared Roy Makaay as the Bavarians contemplate the prospect of qualifying for the Champions League knockout round with games to spare, and a giant stride towards winning the group. "I hope we can maintain the trend of the last two matches," the striker reflected.

<b>Man of the Match Makaay</b>

Saturday's visitors arrived as one of the league's two undefeated teams but found the Dutch ace on fire, delighting the majority of a 69,000 crowd with a 24th minute opener and a superb assist for Mark van Bommel to double the advantage five minutes later.

Makaay was only denied a second of his own by the post on 61 minutes, and team-mate Claudio Pizarro on the stroke of half-time. The Peru star was fouled in the box and seized the ball ahead of the club's acknowledged number-one penalty-taker, only to be "punished" for his initiative when Frankfurt keeper Oka Nikolov made the save. "It will only be Roy from now on," Makaay grimaced on Sunday.

<b>Must keep going</b>

"Fortunately it didn't hurt us," boss Felix Magath reflected, describing the result as "a fine victory," although he was less than entirely pleased with his men. "I was satisfied up until the sending off," the coach advised: Eintracht's Vasoski was dismissed after 64 minutes for a second bookable offence, "but we stopped playing after that and failed to make it more clear-cut," Magath grumbled.

"We have to learn to knock out an opponent when he's down," the boss continued, "we need to grasp the fact it may come down to goals." Leaders Brennan have struck 27 times to Bayern's 14 so far. "We failed to offer evidence we're capable of high-scoring wins in the Bundesliga," Magath concluded, while accepting "the players had probably turned their attention to Lisbon."

<b>Another clean sheet</b>

The Reds find themselves in the unaccustomed domestic role of leading the chasing pack, "but it's OK to have Bremen in front of us. Let them build up their expectations. We'll be back with a vengeance soon enough," Andreas Ottl warned. Centre-half Daniel van Buyten, pleased at another clean sheet alongside Martin Demichelis, reckoned the Reds would be back at the top before too much longer. "We'll overtake them at some stage. Top spot is not where they belong."

First of all, the Bavarians are looking to retain top position in their Champions League group with a win on Tuesday evening, against a Lisbon side who cannot afford to lose. "I think Sporting will make a game of it," Magath declared hopefully, "that's the way they are." Makaay offered his customary concise summing up: "Another win and we're there."
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