Pep Guardiola: Bayern hit new heights
Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola hailed his side’s 5-0 win against Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday as their “best home game so far” -- a result which takes the Bavarian’s unbeaten run to 44 Bundesliga games.
Bayern demolished Frankfurt at the Allianz Arena, with goals coming from Mario Goetze, Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Dante and Mario Mandzukic.
The win ensured the European champions maintained their comfortable 13-point lead at top of the Bundesliga, while they have now won all 33 points available since their 1-1 draw at Bayer Leverkusen in October.
“That was our best home game so far. I’m very pleased indeed,” Guardiola said. “It was a good step forward. We controlled the game well, we had lots of possession and we kept releasing our special attacking players.”
Bayern midfielder Thiago Alcantara set a new Bundesliga record with 185 touches of the ball, and was later singled out by Guardiola.
“He does not fear to get the ball, no matter what happens. That’s his big quality,” Guardiola said.
Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer was equally thrilled with the performance, although he did concede that the team are still searching for their real rhythm.
During the winter break Bayern suffered a 3-0 friendly defeat to Salzburg, while a late Thiago strike was needed to see off Stuttgart 2-1 on Wednesday.
“We weren’t in such an easy position after the Salzburg match, but we were good against [Borussia] Moenchengladbach [last month], before a relapse back towards Salzburg in Stuttgart,” Sammer said. “We need to rediscover our rhythm very soon. We’re pleased about the players coming back from injury now. It helps with the competition for places and team spirit.”
Robben, who sat out the Stuttgart match and is still waiting for his first start following his knee injury sustained in December, was also pleased with the display, but added that Bayern will have to maintain their focus for the rest of the season.
“Everyone wants to beat the leaders, the champions. So we have to stay focused. Nobody is going to give us anything for free,” Robben said.
This, however, was questioned by several German papers on Monday, after Frankfurt coach Armin Veh rested two of his key players against Bayern. Sebastian Rode and Carlos Zambrano -- who are both only one yellow card away from a one-match suspension -- were saved ahead of the club’s upcoming clash against fellow strugglers Eintracht Braunschweig.
Reviersport called Veh’s decision “a fatal signal” for the rest of the league, and a sign of a “disgraceful attitude.”