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Frustrated FCB vow to 'straighten things out'

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Frustrated FCB vow to 'straighten things out'

Postby FCBayernNews » Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:10 pm

When it's one of those days, "the ball just won't go in," reflected Jupp Heynckes. With the score 1-1, Claudio Pizarro's shot hit Mario Mandzukic's leg, but the ball trickled against the post. And in the dying seconds, as FCB threw everyone forward and even Manuel Neuer joined in the attack, Pizarro looped a header onto the crossbar. "Unfortunately, we were a little out of luck in this phase," noted Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Bayern ultimately fell 2-1 to Bayer Leverkusen at the Allianz Arena on Sunday evening. "We have to accept it and learn from it," commented Heynckes. Mario Mandzukic scored his eighth goal of the season on 77 minutes to cancel out Stefan Kießling's 42nd-minute opener, but a desperately unlucky Jerome Boateng own goal three minutes from time brought an end to FCB's eight match winning streak and sealed their first Bundesliga defeat of the 2012/13 campaign.

Heynckes' side have now hit the goal frame seven times so far this season, more than any other team in the league, and easily dominated Sunday's match with 31 shots to Leverkusen's seven, 14 corners to Bayer's two, and 68 percent of the possession. But it was to no avail, "and we go home empty-handed. It leaves a bitter taste," said captain Philipp Lahm. The result was all the more galling given Leverkusen's 23-year winless streak in Munich. But Toni Kroos sought to add a sense of perspective: "We've lost a match, no more and no less."

Munich remain comfortably top of the standings, although the gap back to the chasing pack has been cut. "We have to watch ourselves," warned Lahm. Second-placed Schalke are four points behind, with Frankfurt and Dortmund five and nine in arrears. "The teams behind us will definitely be delighted," said Rummenigge, "we now have to prove we can cope better with the pressure than at the same time last year."

Bayern bogged down

On 23 October 2011, FCB lost 2-1 away to Hanover, ending an eight-match unbeaten run in the league. In the following month, the men from Munich lost to Dortmund and Mainz, and the pursuing pack caught up with the leaders. "I hope we do better in November 2012 then in November 2011," noted Rummenigge, "and we certainly have the quality."

Heynckes' men struggled for rhythm in the first half against Sunday's visitors. "We didn't invest enough, and then obviously you start running out of time in the second half," Rummenigge observed. As for the head coach, he was far from happy with his side's urgency prior to the break: "We became bogged down in midfield and couldn't generate enough pressure."

Manuel dismayed

It was basically another good defensive display by Munich, but Kießling's goal arose from a couple of ricochets and was in any case totally against the run of play. Galvanised by subs Xherdan Shaqiri, Arjen Robben and Pizarro, the Reds equalised with a quarter of an hour still to play and were pressing for a winner when Neuer conceded a bizarre second goal. Sidney Sam's header would have sailed wide, but the ball struck Boateng in the face and flew into the net with Neuer caught on the wrong foot.

"I've never conceded two goals as strange as that in a single game," the bemused keeper said afterwards, "we were clearly the better team, so it's hugely frustrating." Fortunately, there is little time for FCB to lick their wounds, as Kaiserslautern visit Munich in the DFB Cup on Wednesday. "We'll all see a very good Bayern team again," Heynckes promised. Neuer chimed in: "It's good we're at home and have the chance to straighten things out."
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