'Bayern are a one-man team with Robben'

Dietmar Hamann criticised the over-reliance on the Dutchman and suggests Robert Lewandowski’s misuse could force out the striker

Bayern Munich have become a “one-man team” with Arjen Robben at their epicentre and are risking alienating “best No.9 in the world” Robert Lewandowski , according to Dietmar Hamann.

The five-time European champions drew 0-0 with Shakhtar Donetsk in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie in Lviv on Tuesday, despite losing Xabi Alonso to a second-half sending-off.

And the former Bayern midfielder said after the match that the team are expecting too much from Robben as they aim to regain the continental crown they last won in 2013.

“Bayern are a one-man team at the moment,” Hamann told Sky Sports. “Mario Gotze has had his ups and downs, and Franck Ribery is back from injury but didn’t get involved tonight.

“Thomas Muller is better deeper when he can come from deep and use his pace.”

Hamann went on to add that the exclusion of Lewandowski, who came off the bench for the last 15 minutes in Lviv, could lead the Poland striker to consider quitting Pep Guardiola’s side for another of Europe’s top clubs.

“I’m surprised Lewandowski started on the bench. His head is not in the right place,” Hamann said.

“If you want to be successful against the best teams, like Barcelona and Real Madrid, you need Lewandowski and I don’t know how much he’ll be on the side of the coach.

“There are no assurances he’ll be there next season. The way they play under Guardiola, I don’t think it suits Lewandowski. At Bayern, he simply doesn’t get enough balls.

“Manchester United could do with a Lewandowski. I think he’s tailor-made for Arsenal or Manchester United. He’s the best No.9 in the world.”

Bayern will host Shakhtar in the second leg clash at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday March 11.

Shakhtar Donetsk 0-0 Bayern Munich: Alonso sees red in scrappy stalemate

Chances were at a premium in Lviv as Mircea Lucescu’s side frustrated the German champions, who had their Spanish midfielder sent off for two bookings

Shakhtar Donetsk held Bayern Munich to a 0-0 draw in a scrappy first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash on Tuesday, in a game which saw Xabi Alonso sent off.

More to follow

Next three weeks are crucial – Badstuber

The Germany defender has spoken of the importance of delivering in big games ahead of a crunch period of fixtures for his side

Bayern Munich defender Holger Badstuber believes the next three weeks will be decisive for the club as they bid for success both domestically and in Europe.

The German champions currently sit top of the Bundesliga and have recorded back-to-back victories following a minor blip upon their return from the mid-season break.

Bayern are also into the third round of the DFB Pokal and visit Shakhtar Donetsk in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday.

But despite their fine season so far, Badstuber says there previous results will matter for nothing if they fail to produce the goods in big games.

“The important weeks start now for the club, for us,” said Badstuber. “We need to focus. Every game is do or die, so you need to deliver at the right time.

“These weeks will get interesting, so we need the whole team and we will try to get positive results.”

Badstuber, whose recent career has been blighted by knee and thigh injuries, is yet to feature in this year’s Champions League but urged caution ahead of Tuesday’s encounter with Shakhtar in Lviv.

“Everyone knows Shakhtar, they have been in the Champions League for many years,” he added. 

“We’ve been warned about their strength and we’ll analyse and face Shakhtar well prepared in both games.”

Lahm worried about Shakhtar's Brazilians, not security

EXCLUSIVE: The World Cup-winning defender has admitted his concern about the Champions League trip to the Ukrainian champions

By Oliver Maywurm

Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm says he is worried about the Champions League last-16 first leg at Shakhtar Donetsk – but not because of the conflict in Ukraine.

The eastern city of Donetsk has been the scene of heavy fighting between the domestic army and separatist troops, which Ukraine claims are backed by neighbours Russia. 

As a result, Shakhtar’s home matches have been played in Lviv, in the west of Ukraine, though even their temporary hometown has been hit by sporadic outbreaks of violence.

Still, Lahm is not fearful of the security situation in Lviv and believes the only threat posed to Bayern is one on the pitch, particularly from the Brazilian contingent.

“The game has been moved to a more western region of the country and I believe many arrangements have been made so that nothing bad can happen,” the German, who is currently recovering from a fractured ankle, told Goal.

“I am not worried about playing there. We have to achieve a good result in Ukraine but I am not that worried about the game at home.

“Nevertheless we have to be alert because, of course, there are no weak opponents in the last 16 of the Champions League.

“Shakhtar have a good team and they have been working together for quite a long time now. Because of the amount of Brazilian players in the squad, they are especially strong technically. In addition they have good pace.

“In particular I think the away game will be very tough for us.”

Fellow defender Holger Badstuber, who is slowly being eased back into action after two nearly years out with a knee injury, agreed with his skipper that the European elite regulars will not be easy opponents.

“Everyone knows about Shakhtar, they have been a constant team in the Champions League for a long time,” the 25-year-old told Goal.

“So we have been warned and will be very well prepared. We will analyse them carefully.”

Bayern head into their Champions League last-16 first leg against Shakhtar on the back of an 8-0 mauling of Hamburg on Saturday.

Bayern always aim to win the Champions League – Bernat

The defender and his team-mate Medhi Benatia are hopeful of winning the European trophy but admit that it will be a difficult task

Bayern Munich defender Juan Bernat says he believes his side have what it takes to win the Champions League this year.

The Bundesliga leaders take on Shakhtar in the second round of the competition and are seen as one of the tournament favourites as they look to win a second European title in three years.

And the 21-year-old, who joined in summer from Valencia, says the Bavarian club are confident of reaching their goal.

“Bayern are always a team that aspires to lift that trophy, and of course we believe in it,” he told Uefa’s official website. “For sure, it won’t be easy because there are some very strong teams involved.

“It will be difficult, but we believe in ourselves and we’ll do everything to reach the final, especially since it is played in Germany, in Berlin. We want to win the title, but it’s not time to think about that now.”

Fellow Bayern defender Medhi Benatia admitted that the team have stumbled a bit since the turn of the year, having started 2015 with a 4-1 defeat and a 1-1 draw before going on to record 2-0 and 8-0 wins over Stuttgart and Hamburg in the league, and the former Roma player believes they have to keep working to improve.

“We have experienced a few more difficulties since coming back from the winter break. I don’t think we are perfect yet, just as Pep Guardiola said.

“There’s always room for hard work. We have a great coach and so many champions in our side, but that isn’t everything. Maybe one day, we can achieve perfection.

“Here at Bayern you have to win every Saturday and you have to win every Champions League match, because that’s the target.

“It doesn’t matter who the opposition is – we have to be focused, ready to play aggressively and give our opponents a tough game.”