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Klinsmann: Everything's slipping into place

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Klinsmann: Everything's slipping into place

Postby FCBayernNews » Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:15 pm

From time to time, football matches produce moments which are still being talked about weeks afterwards. The 64,000 at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday evening were treated to one such incident after 71 minutes of Bayern's meeting with Steaua Bucharest, when the home side served up a flowing move and a goal which were worth the admission money on their own.

Steaua were in possession close to the Bayern goal line, where Zé Roberto recovered the ball with trademark elegance and grace to initiate a blinding counter-attack. The Brazilian advanced 20 yards before releasing a slide-rule pass towards Franck Ribéry, bisecting two Romanian midfielders for good measure. Still in his own half, the Frenchman controlled the ball and jinked past his marker in one smooth movement, before accelerating at lightning pace and releasing Miroslav Klose at just the right instant. The striker accepted the pass and guided the ball past keeper Robinson Zapata with the outside of his right boot to round off a 3-0 victory.

"We have rhythm and confidence. Things are happening automatically again. We scored good goals too. All in all, we can be very satisfied today," commented Uli Hoeneß after a fine win which sealed Bayern's place in the Champions League first knockout round. "The goals were the logical consequence of the way the team played. It was enjoyable to watch, and it was even possible to relax a little by the end," a contented Jürgen Klinsmann said.

His team have comfortably advanced to the next stage with a game to spare, and now approach their sixth and final Group F fixture on 10 December away to Olympique Lyon aiming to finish top of the section. A scoring draw or better will suffice. "We should try and finish top. That would give us a first leg away from home in the last sixteen, potentially against one of the less good second-placed finishers," Hoeneß advised.

It would be hard to bet against the men in red hitting their target if they can maintain the form which saw off Steaua. "We totally dominated the match," Klinsmann enthused. The German champions were in control from the start, responding to the excellent Ribéry's promptings with some slick football. "We're really getting into the groove," commented Klose. "It's great watching the team passing at speed, and the way everything's slipping into place. We're maturing," Klinsmann argued. "We've slowly but surely come together as a team. We've improved in attack just as much as we've improved in defence," added Philipp Lahm.

The only criticism after a thoroughly entertaining performance was Bayern's failure to make even more of their numerous chances, especially in the first quarter of an hour. "We have to convert more of our chances into goals. You don't get so many in big Champions League games," Klose warned, although the Germany striker could be happy enough with his personal strike rate. He opened the scoring and netted the third himself on 57 and 71 minutes, and provided the assist for Luca Toni's 61st-minute effort. "We're a dream trio," laughed Toni, indicating himself, Klose and the outstanding Ribéry, who was involved in all three goals. "Franck's one of the three best players in the world right now," Toni declared.

With their initial target in the Champions League safely achieved, Munich will now turn their attention to the Bundesliga. "We want to end up where we belong, top of the league," Klinsmann stated ahead of the crunch meetings away to second-placed Bayer Leverkusen this Saturday, and home to leaders Hoffenheim a week later. "They're two vital and crucial games," Toni said. Lahm reckons the players are "well prepared. We want to be top of the pile by Christmas."
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