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Oct 29, 2012

Rummenigge warns beaten Bayern

With Arjen Robben tucked up on the bench, Bayern Munich went in search of a ninth consecutive Bundesliga victory when they hosted Bayer Leverkusen.

Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told his players they must cope with the pressure of being Bundesliga leaders after Bayer Leverkusen inflicted their first league defeat of the season.

The last time Leverkusen won at Munich, in 1989, Helmut Kohl was Germany's chancellor, an Amiga 500 was state of the art and the Berlin wall was about to fall. Ever since, Leverkusen have returned home from Munich with little or nothing to show for their efforts.

But this weekend, an own goal by Jerome Boateng ended that run. "We had that bit of luck you always need here," the Leverkusen coach, Sascha Lewandowski, said.

"It's definitely a special victory. We held them off with unbelievable stability and unbelievable fighting spirit, and scored a winning goal - a lucky one, without a shadow of a doubt."

Stefan Kiessling gave Leverkusen the lead in the 42nd minute before Mario Mandzukic equalised after 77 minutes. But the game was decided when Sidney Sam's header rebounded off Boateng and flew in.

Leverkusen captain Simon Rolfes added: "I'm delighted all the talk [of a jinx] is over now. It's not an undeserved victory."

Bayern lost an eight-point lead as they were beaten to the title by Dortmund last season, but they remain four clear of Schalke at the top despite this defeat.

Rummenigge warned: "We know must show we can cope with the pressure better than last season. The league will relish this result."

Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes, who will have to do without Holger Badstuber, substituted with a muscle injury, for the next two weeks, said he was not too worried.

"We won't be thrown out of our stride by the defeat, and we'll learn our lessons from it," he said. "We still have a comfortable lead in the table." Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who went forward in the game's dying stages, dribbled past two Bayer players and nearly set up an equaliser, said: "We practically scored the goals against ourselves. We gave it everything we had in the second half and tried to salvage something. The defeat wasn't due to our attitude."

And skipper Philipp Lahm said: "We still have a lead, but we certainly have to be careful now. If we win against Lautern [in the cup] and Hamburg, the world looks different again."

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