Robben: Bayern Munich are hungry for success

Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben has admitted the Bavarians’ strong opening to the campaign has only served to intensify their hunger to win the Bundesliga.

Bayern, who comfortably saw off Schalke 2-0 at the Veltins Arena on Saturday, have won their opening four games and look formidable contenders to Borussia Dortmund’s crown.

After two seasons of disappointment, in which Dortmund have won consecutive titles, Robben remains wary of the reigning champions, but is up for the challenge.

“We are just in great shape, our organisation is spot on and we are creating many chances,” he told Bundesliga.com

“I had the feeling from the first day of pre-season that we are really hungry. The team wants to prove and achieve something. We have not won a title for two years now and that is not a nice feeling.”

The 28-year-old was also quick to salute Bayern’s strength in depth in light of their positive response to the loss of key players through injury.

“We are now able to cope better when players aren’t available because we have more strength in depth than we had last season,” he continued.

“Of course it is nice when this works right from the start of the season. Whether Franck [Ribery] has a small knock, or like I did last week, we are always able to compensate.

“The title has been our aim right from the beginning. That is not going to change. Just because we are currently ahead of Dortmund does not mean we will automatically win the league.

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Bundesliga Round 4 Results: Frankfurt maintain unbeaten record while Leverkusen and Gladbach share the spoils

More On :  Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Eintracht Frankfurt, F. Düsseldorf, FC Augsburg, FC Bayern München, Greuther Fürth, Hamburg, Hannover 96, Hoffenheim, Mainz, Nürnberg, SC Freiburg, Schalke 04, VfB Stuttgart, VfL Wolfsburg, Werder Bremen
1. FC Nürnberg v Eintracht Frankfurt: Takashi Inui celebrating his goal with team mates

Bongarts

NURNBERG
1 2 EINTRACHT FRANKFURT
The weekend’s Bundesliga action began in Nurnberg on Friday but the hosts were unable to match Armin Veh’s men as they maintained their 100 per cent start to the season.

Frankfurt began the game well and managed to put themselves ahead in the 25th minute. Der Club failed to clear a corner properly and as the ball was sent back into the danger area it broke for Erwin Hoffer. Despite only being on the pitch a matter of minutes as a replacement for Olivier Occean, the Austrian lashed his first goal of the season with an accurate strike.

The visitors continued to remain in control and they added a second through Takashi Inui on the hour mark when the Japanese skipped into the middle of the park and fired a low shot home. Sebastian Polter halved the deficit for the hosts with 15 minutes remaining but it proved to be little more than a consolation.

The win ensures Frankfurt keep pace with Bayern Munich at the summit and sit second by virtue of goal difference. Nurnberg, meanwhile, can remain positive with their start to the season as they occupy sixth position.

WOLFSBURG
1 1 GREUTHER FURTH
A disjointed Wolfsburg side were held to a 1-1 draw at the Volkswagen Arena by newly promoted Greuther Furth.

The Cloverleaves took a surprise lead in the 28th minute as a long kick by Max Grun caused a mix-up in the Wolves defence. Under pressure from Ilir Azemi, Emanuel Pogatetz tried to shield the ball back to his keeper but as Diego Benaglio came to claim, he inadvertently turned the ball into his own net.

Felix Magath’s men rallied and restored parity moments before half time. A lovely move from the home side was almost given the perfect finish by Thomas Kahlenberg but his lob came back off the bar. Fortunately for the hosts though, Ivica Olic was lurking to nod the rebound into the net.

In a stale second half there was nothing to separate the two sides leaving Wolfsburg in ninth position, one point ahead of 14th-placed Furth.

MAINZ
2 0 AUGSBURG
Augsburg’s awful start to the season continued on Saturday as they were defeated by Mainz at the Coface Arena.

The Oh Fives made an electric start to the game, storming ahead with just 10 minutes on the clock. Maxim Choupo-Moting broke forward on the left flank and his cross into the area was deflected into the net by Andreas Ivanschitz after a poor clearance from Sebastian Langkamp.

Fifteen minutes later Adam Szalai showed great strength and feet to wriggle free in the area and poke the ball into the bottom corner. Both sides hit the post later in the game but the scoreline remained the same.

Mainz rise to 11th with their first win of the season while Augsburg drop to the foot of the table with another lacklustre display.

FORTUNA DUSSELDORF
0 0 FREIBURG
Fortuna Dusseldorf continued their unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season but their third consecutive 0-0 draw may raise some worries.

In a vastly underwhelming first half the best chance went the way of Freiburg but Cedric Makiadi was unable to slide the ball past Fabian Geifer.

Jonathan Schmid failed to tap the ball in from close range after a darting run by Daniel Caligiuri and he almost paid for it as Nando Rafael rattled the bar in the closing stages.

Both teams remain in the top half, with Dusseldorf one spot above Freiburg in seventh place.

BAYER LEVERKUSEN
1 1 GLADBACH
Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach shared the spoils at the BayArena, but the hosts may feel they should have had more.

Gladbach have made a stuttering start to this campaign after a tremendous fourth-placed finish last season but they began extremely brightly on Sunday. With just three minutes played Lucien Favre’s men opened the scoring through Patrick Hermann as the winger controlled Juan Arango’s fantastic pass before stabbing into the net.

Leverkusen were level just nine minutes later though as Czech left-back Michal Kadlec thumped in a powerful cross-goal effort that offered Marc-Andre ter Stegen no chance. Stefan Kiessling and Andre Schurrle were both guilty of missing chances before the break but the latter also failed to convert from the spot with 20 minutes remaining.

It meant the Foals could hang on for the draw which leaves them in ninth position while Leverkusen fall to 13th.

WERDER BREMEN
2 2 STUTTGART
Werder Bremen threw away a two-goal lead at home to Stuttgart, missing a chance to shoot up the table in the process.

Kevin De Bruyne

picked the ball up in his own half and played a give-and-go with Elijero Elia. He then did the same with Nils Petersen to break into the area and he finished the move with a low strike at the near post. Shinji Okazaki missed the chance to equalise for Stuttgart and his side found themselves two goals down soon after. Petersen drilled a cutback into the danger area, following some shoddy defending, and Zlatko Junuzovic got a foot on it, diverting the ball into the back of the net.

Within minutes of the restart Martin Harnik reduced his former club’s advantage with a header from Ibrahima Traore’s centre. A vastly improved second-half display followed from Bruno Labbadia’s men and they scored a deserved second 10 minutes from time through Cacau.

Werder hold on to 11th, though they will rue the missed chance to catapult themselves up the table. For Stuttgart a point was not enough to stop them dropping to 17th and still looking for a win.

HOFFENHEIM
3 1 HANNOVER
Hoffenheim picked up their first points of the season after coming from behind to defeat Hannover at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena.

After an absurdly slow start in Hoffenheim, the game burst into life with a flurry of action midway through the first half. Mirko Slomka’s team were handed the match’s first goal in the 26th minute as a Konstantin Rausch cross was headed in at the near post of his own goal by Mathieu Delpierre.

Almost instantaneously, Hoffenheim equalsied. A long ball was sprayed out to Fabian Johnson wide on the left and he drove into the area before bending an effort past Ron-Robert Zieler. But it was two second-half substitutes, Sejad Salihovic and Kevin Volland, that changed the match. The pair combined in the 82nd minute with the Bosnian handing the hosts the lead before a brilliant Volland run set up Daniel Williams for another in stoppage time.

In winning, Hoffenheim rose out of the automatic relegation places and up to 16th but Hannover stay put in third.

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    The 10-man hosts took the lead through Steven Gerrard’s volley just after half-time but were pegged back by a fine Rafael goal and then Robin van Persie’s penalty kick won it

Rummenigge warns Bayern Munich despite 100 per cent start to the season

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has warned Bayern Munich not to get too excited about the club’s flawless start to the Bundesliga season.

The 56-year-old, who currently serves as a director at the German giants as well as president of the European Club Association, maintained that whilst the club are enjoying a good run of form, they should be wary of their rivals.

Bayern beat Schalke 2-0 in Gelsenkirchen on Saturday, making it four wins out of four, and putting Jupp Heynckes’ side five points clear of champions Borussia Dortmund.

“We cannot allow euphoria. Last season, we were eight points clear of Dortmund [at one point], and we know how it all ended,” the former striker told Sky.

Meanwhile, Germany coach Joachim Low is pleased with the form Bastian Schweinsteiger has been showing for the league leaders.

“He [Schweinsteiger] exudes an incredibly strong presence. He is the personality on the pitch, always unplayable, he moves well without the ball,” the national team trainer said.

“You can tell, somehow, he has the pleasure of playing again.”

Bayern host Wolfsburg on Tuesday, in the fifth round of matches of the Bundesliga season.

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Heynckes: It is nice to have a five-point lead over Dortmund

Bayern Munich boss Jupp Heynckes believes his side’s fourth straight Bundesliga victory puts them in a good position to wrest the league title away from Borussia Dortmund.

The Bavarians are joint top of the division with Eintracht Frankfurt and five points clear of reigning champions Dortmund, following their 2-0 win against Schalke, which came courtesy of goals from Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller.

“It was a very intense performance from both teams, especially in the first-half, when Schalke matched us,” the 67-year-old told the club’s official website.

“We showed all our class in the second-half, we were extremely composed, and at the end of the day we deserved the win.

“It’s nice we now have a five-point advantage [over Dortmund]. But, the championship is still a 34-game marathon. We’re on a good run, but must not ease off.”

Jurgen Klopp’s men lost further ground to the early leaders on Saturday, slumping to a 3-2 defeat to Hamburg, a result which ended their 31-game unbeaten streak.

Thomas Muller feeling physically and mentally strong

Thomas Muller was in a positive mood after his side completed a 2-0 victory over Schalke in Gelsenkirchen. 

The Bayern Munich attacker played a key part in the first goal by playing a clever one-two with Toni Kroos, who then went on to place the ball past Schalke goalkeeper Lars Unnerstall.

Muller then scored himself by shaking off two Royal Blues defenders and proceeding to hit a neat shot into the far corner.

“I feel good physically. Anyone who has seen the game also knows that I do not always score. But I have a clear head at the moment and can quickly [get] rid of any negativity,” said Muller after the game.

“For example, I started the second half with plenty of the ball, and I thank my teammates for threading through the right passes.”

Bayern Munich play against Wolfsburg next at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday.