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Relief all round after victory over Aachen

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Relief all round after victory over Aachen

Postby FCBayernNews » Sun Sep 24, 2006 5:10 pm


Oliver Kahn, the last man to emerge from the dressing room after Saturday's match, was kitted out in traditional Bavarian costume ready for the annual team trip to the Oktoberfest. "That was hard work," the club captain told waiting reporters, referring not to the arduous task of squeezing into tight-fitting <i>Lederhosen</i>, but rather the afternoon's hard-earned victory over Alemannia Aachen.

Bayern's 2-1 triumph sent the champions to the top of the standings and meant they maintained a tradition of winning at home during the Oktoberfest, but Kahn was not alone in announcing his intention to visit the annual celebration of beer and Bavarian tradition "in a muted mood and without alcohol." Manager Uli Hoeneß summed up the feelings of those involved: "That was all nothing like what we imagined for ourselves."

<b>The search for form</b>

"We're not yet where we want to be. That was nothing more than a rpoutine victory, no doubt about it. That wasn't a gala display," coach Felix Magath acknowledged. However, following the previous Saturday's defeat in Bielefeld and a week of mounting pressure on the players, the Bayern camp was keen to stress the vital importance of taking all three points. "Winning was all that mattered," Kahn confirmed.

"I'm happy about the points, but not about the match," Mark van Bommel agreed. Following Sascha Dum's shock 38th minute opener for the visitors and Claudio Pizarro's equaliser with the very next move, the Dutch newcomer turned match-winner with the decisive goal on 55 minutes. "We'll have to play a lot better than that if we intend to stay the course at the top," the increasingly influential 29-year-old remarked.

<b>Unlucky Aachen</b>

Bayern outscored their opponents in all the key match statistics, delivering 23 shots to Aachen's seven, taking the corner count 9-4, controlling 62 percent of the possession and winning 57 percent of their tackles, but were still grateful for three points instead of just one at the end: with 13 minutes remaining, the match officials compounded their distinctly average afternoon by incorrectly ruling out sub Emil Noll's headed effort for offside.

"If that's the case, I'm sorry for Aachen," Kahn observed, offering an explanation for the champions' stuttering form six weeks into the season. "We've not switched to automatic yet. We're still uncertain in many areas, and that won't be fixed for a few weeks yet."

<b>Boost to morale</b>

"The team needs to grow as a unit. That'll take a little while longer," Hoeneß reasoned, taking a hard-headed approach ahead of Wednesday's Champions League trip to face Inter Milan. "Inter would normally be runaway favourites at home. They're a class above us this season," the general manager claimed, adding he would perfectly happy with a point from the visit to the San Siro.

Nevertheless, the official was convinced Saturday's victory would bring a lot more than simply three points and a place at the head of the standings. "Going top of the league restores the old morale and confidence, which we're missing at the moment." The double winners will assuredly need plenty of self-belief when they travel to northern Italy in midweek.
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