Guardiola: Easy to see why Bayern struggle in Nurnberg

The Spaniard said it was clear to see why his side have found it difficult to beat their Bavarian rivals in recent years and was pleased with his players’ attitude

Pep Guardiola says it did not take him long to see why Bayern Munich have struggled to overcome Nurnberg in recent years following their 2-0 win over their Bavarian rivals.

The victory, courtesy of Mario Mandzukic’s 12th league goal of the season and captain Philipp Lahm’s effort, extended their unbeaten run in the Bundesliga to 45 games, while it was only their second win at the Grundig Stadion in seven attempts.

“I saw immediately why Bayern have won here in the last six years, only once,” Guardiola told reporters.

“Nurnberg were very aggressive and [played a] very intense game. They attacked very quickly and had two or three clear chances.

“At 2-0 it was a bit easier for us. It was difficult to play well here – especially for our short passing game.”

Bayern lead the way in the Bundesliga with a 13-point gap to second-placed Bayer Leverkusen. Nurnberg, meanwhile, remain in the relegation play-off spot one point behind Freiburg.

Bayern started poorly, admits Lahm

The Germany international feels his side reacted well at half-time as his first goal in 95 appearances helped the Bundesliga leaders to a 2-0 win over Nurnberg

Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm admits his side were below their best in the first half of their 2-0 win over Nurnberg.

Mario Mandzukic put the Bundesliga leaders in front in the Bavarian derby on Saturday but they had to wait until the second half for Lahm’s first goal in 95 appearances to seal the three points.

Lahm believes the playing surface meant his side were forced into a more direct approach in the opening 45 minutes and was thrilled with the way they improved their standard after the break to stretch their unbeaten league run to 45 games.

“We didn’t start very well and while this shouldn’t be any excuse, the pitch wasn’t great when you want to play your way out from the back,” Lahm was quoted as saying by the official Bundesliga website.

“That meant we had to play more long balls and then had difficulty with the second ball as more of them went to Nurnberg than to us. We reacted well at half-time and then were better in the second half.”

Mario Gotze felt die Roten took control once Mandzukic opened the scoring after 18 minutes and insists the victory – their 18th in 20 league games this season – was fully deserved.

“The game was completely different after we broke the deadlock. We deserved to win,” said Gotze.

Bayern now take on Hamburg in the DFB-Pokal on Wednesday.

Nurnberg 0-2 Bayern Munich: Mandzukic and Lahm on target as leaders cruise to victory

A goal each for Mario Mandzukic and Philipp Lahm were enough for Bayern Munich as they saw off Nurnberg 2-0 on Saturday.

It took Pep Guardiola’s side 15 minutes to get into their stride, but only after the defending champions survived an early scare when Hiroshi Kiyotake struck the woodwork before Mandzukic opened the scoring with his 12th league goal of the season.

The Croatia international striker then turned provided three minutes after the break with a perfect pass to find Philipp Lahm and the midfielder fired past Raphael Schafer to end a 95-game goal drought.

Victory sees Bayern extend their unbeaten run against their Bavarian rivals to 13 games in all competitions and make it 45 games without defeat in the Bundesliga, while also extending the team’s lead over Bayer Leverkusen at the top of the table.

Gertjan Verbeek’s Nurnberg side drop into the bottom three after their seventh defeat of the season, with Freiburg moving ahead of them following a draw with Hoffenheim.

Bayern, who were without Franck Ribery following surgery, started slowly and were unfortunate not to fall behind in the opening minutes as Japanese midfielder Kiyotake clipped the crossbar with an acrobatic volley.

Nurnberg looked lively, but their profligacy in front of goal came back to haunt them as Mandzukic opened the scoring with Bayern’s first chance of the game in the 18th minute.

Mario Gotze released David Alaba down the left and he delivered a perfect cross into the six-yard box that the Croatian striker fired past Schafer, despite close attention from Marvin Plattenhardt.

Arjen Robben went close to doubling Bayern’s lead with a 25-yard free kick just after the half-hour mark that struck the post with Schafer well beaten and Thomas Muller should have converted the rebound, only to see his header crash against the crossbar.

Bayern were starting to exert real pressure on Nurnberg, but, moments after Mandzukic saw a header easily saved by Schafer, the hosts spurned a decent chance to level.

Substitute Tomas Pekhart, who replaced Daniel Ginczek in the 22nd minute, was unmarked on the edge of the penalty, but he fired wide after good work down the left.

Three minutes into the second half the visitors, Bayern did double their lead through Lahm, with Mandzukic turning provider with a neat square pass from inside the penalty area that the Bayern captain made no mistake with from six yards.

Robben went close to adding a third in the 55th minute after a reaching a throughball from Lahm, the Netherlands international did not fully connect with his volley and that nearly caught Schafer out at his near post.

Muller and Robben were both withdrawn from the action with the result beyond doubt as Bayern comfortably recorded an 18th league win of the season.

Martinez won't leave for Madrid – Guardiola

The coach dismissed the possibility of the former Athletic Bilbao midfielder departing the Allianz Arena for the Liga giants

Pep Guardiola has insisted that Javi Martinez will snub reported interest from Real Madrid to stay at Bayern Munich.

The Bavarians midfielder joined from Athletic Bilbao for €40 million in 2012 and remains the Bundesliga giants’ record signing.

However, he has been linked with a return to La Liga, but the former Barcelona boss has insisted that the 25-year-old will remain at the Allianz Arena while he is in charge.

“That is a question for the player, no?” he responded when asked if the player wanted to join the Santiago Bernabeu side,

“I do not think that a move will happen. I am of the opinion that as long as I’m here, Javi is here. We need him, Javi is 100 per cent important to us.”

Martinez has finally rid himself of a long-term ankle injury and is in line to feature for die Roten in Saturday’s clash with Nurnberg.

Ribery sidelined after undergoing surgery

The France international faces a spell on the sidelines after he went under the knife, but it is unknown as of yet how long he will be unavailable

Franck Ribery is unavailable for Bayern Munich’s weekend Bundesliga encounter against Nurnberg after having surgery earlier this week.

The Frenchman visited a hospital on Thursday afternoon to have a hematoma removed from his buttocks, which was pressing a nerve, and will consequently be out of action for a while.

The 30-year-old will remain in the clinic until Sunday and is scheduled to undergo further examination on Monday before Bayern make a decision on his recovery process.

“I hope that Franck will resume regular training again as soon as possible,” commented Bayern coach Pep Guardiola on the winger’s absence at a press conference.

Ribery has been a key figure at Bayern so far this season, scoring seven goals in 14 Bundesliga appearances, while creating nine more.

The reigning Bundesliga champions currently sit atop of the league table, holding a 13-point lead over second-placed Bayer Leverkusen.