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Reds vow to bounce back from Cup exit

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Reds vow to bounce back from Cup exit

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu Dec 21, 2006 9:05 pm


The Bayern dressing room at half-time in Wednesday's Cup clash with Aachen must have been packed with bewildered faces. The holders raced off the blocks at the Tivoli Stadium and created a host of golden opportunities, but the teams turned round with the home side three goals clear.

"We went in at half-time unable to understand how we were 3-0 down. We were patently the better team," a mystified Roy Makaay pondered on Thursday. Munich ultimately fell 4-2 in the German Cup Round of 16 after a cracking Cup tie unlikely to be forgotten in a hurry by both teams and the 21,000 full house.

<b>Total domination</b>

Bayern delivered 31-13 shots on goal, won the corner count 12-1, and sent over 22-8 crosses, stats which serve to underline the visitors' supremacy on the night. That fact was acknowledged by Alemannia coach Michael Frontzeck: "Bayern had the clear-cut chances, but all of our shots went in." Mark van Bommel tended to agree. "With the number of chances we created, it was a game we had to win," the midfielder sighed.

The Dutch enforcer struck a fine 68th minute goal to make the score 3-2 and set up the prospect of a grandstand finish. Laurentiu Reghecampf (11, 39) and Marius Ebbers (44) rattled in Aachen's first-half goals, before Lukas Podolski pulled one back two minutes after coming on as a half-time substitute. It was one-way traffic for much of the second half, but the final goal fell to Alemannia with Jan Schlaudraff's excellent solo effort in the last minute.

<b>Hoeneß ruffled by reporter</b>

"Obviously we're very disappointed, but we can't criticise the team," Uli Hoeneß declared afterwards, although the manager was displeased at his side's profligacy. "We should have been 3-0 up after a quarter of an hour. We were extremely careless with our clear-cut chances, and we were punished for that."

Hoeneß momentarily lost his cool when a TV reporter suggested Bayern had had a "poor" first half of the season. "Don't come to me with a stupid question like that," the general manager fired back, "we're undefeated in the Champions League, we're only three points behind the leaders in the championship, so you can't tell me it's been a bad season so far."

<b>Bogey team Aachen</b>

Nevertheless, the board director would be the first to admit the tricky nature of the campaign to date. Victory in Aachen would have lifted the mood ahead of the mid-season break, although Hoeneß and company were keen to move swiftly on from Bayern's first German Cup defeat in three years.

"So, we've lost a game, but I don't think that's such a disaster," the general manager insisted. Bayern had won 14 Cup ties in a row before Wednesday, lifting the trophy twice during that period. Alemannia now appear to be the Bavarians' bogey team in the competition: the dethroned holders' most recent Cup defeat came at the same ground in the quarter-finals in 2004.

<b>Assault on top spot</b>

"We've been knocked out, so we've lost our grip on the trophy, but these things happen," Magath commented. Following the flight back to Munich, the coach dismissed his players for a two-week Christmas holiday, ordering them to report back on the evening of 4 January for the flight to the fourth annual winter training camp in Dubai.

"We'll take it easy for a while, then we'll be back with a bang," Van Bommel promised. "After the Christmas holidays, and in contrast to the summer, our mid-season preparation will involve all the players," Magath reminded reporters. "And after that, we'll win the league."
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