Bayern got nervous against Hamburg, admits Gotze

The 21-year-old scored in the 3-1 win at the Allianz Arena but confessed his side feared a repeat of their Manchester City slip-up when Pierre-Michel Lasogga hit a late goal

Mario Gotze admits Bayern Munich were made to feel nervous during their Bundesliga win over Hamburg on Saturday.

After Mario Mandzukic had opened the scoring at the Allianz Arena just before the break, Gotze doubled the hosts’ advantage shortly after half-time only to see Pierre-Michel Lasogga’s strike just three minutes from the end of normal time set up a tense finale.

Xherdan Shaqiri ultimately sealed the points for Bayern right at the death but, after throwing away a two-goal lead in their midweek Champions League defeat at home to Manchester City, Gotze admitted that Bayern had again feared the worst.

“It wasn’t easy against Hamburg, who defended very deeply,” the attacking midfielder was quoted as saying by the official Bundesliga website. “The opening goal was very important for us.

“We got a little bit nervous after their goal, but I think we can be pretty pleased with the result.”

Bayern now turn their attentions to the Fifa Club World Cup and Gotze says the squad is buzzing ahead of their trip to Morocco.

“None of us have ever been to the Club World Cup,” the Germany international enthused. “We’re looking forward to it and we want to do the best we can at the tournament.”

Lahm: 2013 just the start for Bayern

The Germany international is eager to wrap up die Roten’s record year with yet more silverware

Phillip Lahm has called on his Bayern Munich team-mates to replicate their achievements in 2013 next year following their 3-1 win against Hamburg on Saturday.

Goals from Mario Manzukic, Mario Gotze and Xherdan Shaqiri sealed die Roten‘s 40th game without defeat and ensured they are on the road to defending their Bundesliga crown. 

And after witnessing the Bavarians’ sweep to a famous treble under Jupp Heynckes last season, Lahm is optimistic the team can only build on their momentum, starting with the Club World Cup.

We have many years of hard work behind us, and we’ve earned our reward in 2013,” the captain told reporters after the match. “But we’re not done for the year yet.

“We’ll give the Club World Cup our very best shot, and we intend to have another successful year in 2014.“

Coach Pep Guardiola likewise praised his men for a milestone year in the club’s history, though he continued to warn them against complacency.

“Congratulations to FC Bayern for an unbelievable 2013,” he said. “We ran into trouble in the second half today because we gave the ball away too cheaply. We have to put that right.

“The players are already thinking about [the Club World Cup in] Marrakech. I have to keep making the players aware of all the hard work we still have to do.

“We’re flying to Morocco now aiming to win the last trophy of the year.”

Bayern will take on Marcello Lippi’s Guangzhou Evergrande in the semi-final of the seven-way club tournament on December 21.

Bayern Munich 3-1 Hamburg: Shaqiri wraps up comfortable victory

Bayern Munich continued their unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season with a comfortable victory over strugglers Hamburg on Saturday.

Following Tuesday’s 3-2 Champions League defeat to Manchester City, the leaders continued their domestic dominance – making it 41 league games without defeat ahead of their Club World Cup participation, which begins next week.

It had looked set to be a frustrating afternoon for the champions but Mario Mandzukic ensured that the hosts went in ahead at half-time, as he edged Bayern in front after 42 minutes.

The striker held off the attentions of Jonathan Tah to head home his 10th league goal of the season and give his side the lead.

Mario Gotze put Pep Guardiola’s men two goals up early in the second half, taking advantage of a poor clearance from the home defence.

After Thomas Muller’s cross was only half cleared, Thiago Alcantara played a neat ball into Gotze’s feet before the Germany international controlled, swivelled and curled past Jaroslav Drobny.

While Pierre-Michel Lasogga pulled a goal back three minutes from time, Xherdan Shaqiri then came off the bench to score Bayern’s third in the final minute and secure victory.

Bayern coach Guardiola made three changes from the defeat to City, with Jerome Boateng, David Alaba and Franck Ribery all failing to make the starting XI.

The latter two were named on the bench, with Daniel van Buyten, Rafinha and Diego Contento handed starting berths.

There were also three changes made by Hamburg coach Bert van Marwijk,  with one coming in goal as Drobny replaced Rene Adler following defeat to Augsburg last time out. 

Jacques Zoua and Rafael van der Vaart also started at the expense of substitute Michael Mancienne and Maximilian Beister.

Drobny was called into action after nine minutes, diving low to his right to smother a long-range Toni Kroos strike, before Manuel Neuer pulled off a similar save to deny Hakan Calhanoglu.

Bayern then began to exert dominance, but they struggled to break down a stubborn visiting defence that had kept two clean sheets in their previous four Bundesliga games on the road.

Mandzukic went close to connecting with a cross from the right and then threatened again eight minutes before the break, heading wide from Kroos’ delivery after failing to make clean contact with the ball.

Mandzukic was not to be denied however, latching on to an acrobatic Rafinha cross, following a delightful cross-field pass from Kroos, to direct the ball past Drobny three minutes before half-time.

The home side doubled their lead seven minutes after the interval, courtesy of Gotze‘s exquisite turn and finish in the area before Lasogga sidefooted home inside the area from Marcell Jansen’s cutback after 87 minutes.

However, Shaqiri took full advantage of Johan Djourou’s poor clearance in the 93rd minute to seal the win, calmly slotting Pierre Emil Hojbjerg’s through-ball past Drobny to ensure an eighth straight league victory for Bayern.

Ribery more loved in Germany than France – Deschamps

The Bleus boss thinks that the Bayern Munich attacker gets more respect outside of his homeland, where he feels there is an instinctive dislike for successful people

Didier Deschamps believes that there is more support for Franck Ribery’s bid for the Ballon d’Or in Germany than his native France.

The Bayern Munich winger will compete with Real Madrid ace Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi for the accolade, which will be presented in Zurich on January 13.

Ribery is considered a strong contender given he played a key role in his club’s historic treble success last season but Les Bleus boss Deschamps feels that the 30-year-old’s chances could be hindered by the fact that he does not have the full support of the French public.

“I think it is relative to history,” the World Cup winner mused in an interview with RTL. “He is certainly better supported and more loved in Germany with everything he does.

“This is the French mentality at times. When you win and you are French, it’s hard to have the whole world behind you.”

Ribery more loved in Germany than France – Ribery

The Bleus boss thinks that the Bayern Munich attacker gets more respect outside of his homeland, where he feels there is an instinctive dislike for successful people

Didier Deschamps believes that there is more support for Franck Ribery’s bid for the Ballon d’Or in Germany than his native France.

The Bayern Munich winger will compete with Real Madrid ace Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi for the accolade, which will be presented in Zurich on January 13.

Ribery is considered a strong contender given he played a key role in his club’s historic treble success last season but Les Bleus boss Deschamps feels that the 30-year-old’s chances could be hindered by the fact that he does not have the full support of the French public.

“I think it is relative to history,” the World Cup winner mused in an interview with RTL. “He is certainly better supported and more loved in Germany with everything he does.

“This is the French mentality at times. When you win and you are French, it’s hard to have the whole world behind you.”