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Self-critical stars offer blunt assessment

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Self-critical stars offer blunt assessment

Postby FCBayernNews » Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:15 pm

Despite consecutive home and away defeats to French Ligue 1 leaders Girondins Bordeaux, Bayern still have a chance of making the Champions League last sixteen. Munich must win their remaining games, at home to Maccabi Haifa and away to Juventus, and hope the men from Turin do not beat Bordeaux in their next match. So although there is still hope, Bayern's fate is no longer solely in their own hands.

"We're not out yet. We still have a small chance, but we're dependent on Bordeaux," confirmed Louis van Gaal in the aftermath of Wednesday evening's sobering 2-0 defeat at home to Girondins Bordeaux. "To make progress in the Champions League, you have to be winning your home games. We've had two of our home fixtures and won neither. I'm bitterly disappointed," commented Jörg Butt.

A few weeks back, the performance against Juventus at the Allianz Arena was encouraging and the goalless draw not really a fair reflection of the play, but the 66,000 at the stadium on Wednesday loudly voiced their displeasure at the end. "That was a long way from our best performance, but you have to be at your best in the Champions League," complained Van Gaal. Mario Gomez agreed: "We didn't play anything like as well as we wanted to."

It was not that the home side created no chances. An Edson Braafheid cross-cum-shot landed on the crossbar, Girondins-Keeper Cédric Carrasso made an acrobatic save from a Bastian Schweinsteiger free-kick, Luca Toni blasted over with the goal at his mercy, Arjen Robben shaved the post with an angled drive, Carrasso blocked at Gomez' feet - and if he had not been unsighted, the referee would surely have whistled for a penalty when Michael Ciani prevented a Klose effort entering the net with his hand. "With a little bit of luck we'd have taken the lead. That would have made it a totally different game," said Gomez.

However, it was an evening when Lady Luck favoured the French, whose two on-target efforts both went in: Yoann Gourcuff netted with a far-post header from a free-kick on 37 minutes to hand his side the lead, before Maroune Chamakh wrapped it up on the break in the last minute. "We failed to score, we conceded two silly goals, and with the score still 0-0, we should have had a penalty," Butt ruefully summarised.

However, the Bayern players and officials were not using the lack of a penalty award as an excuse. "We have to be critical of ourselves: we didn't play well enough," said Robben, echoing Van Gaal's terse analysis: "We were unlucky, but we also weren't good enough." The upshot is that FCB could miss out on the Champions League Round of 16 for the second time in their history after a previous failure in 2002.

"It'll be very difficult now, but it's never too late until it's no longer possible. We have to pick ourselves up and get back to work," demanded Gomez, refusing to throw in the towel just yet. Robben struck a defiant note: "The most important thing for now is to stay calm. Obviously we're disappointed, but there are still games to play." The next fixture brings Schalke to the Allianz Arena on Saturday. "And we'll have to be ready again," Robben concluded.
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