Bayern Munich season can't go better than this, says Heynckes

Bayern Munich boss Jupp Heynckes has praised his side’s start to the season but admitted that their display in the 2-0 DFB-Pokal win against Augsburg was “an off-day”.

Goals from Mario Gomez and Xherdan Shaqiri either side of half time wrapped up the win for the Bundesliga leaders, despite Bayern going down to 10 men.

“We knew it would be extremely tough,” Heynckes told the club’s official website.

“It’s the last match of the year. The players have already moved on mentally.

“We didn’t play well in the first half. In particular, our switching from defence to attack malfunctioned. We’ve had a lot of matches so far this season, and you have to accept you’ll have an off day.”

Despite Franck Ribery picking up a red card in the 47th minute for slapping Ja-Cheol Koo, Bayern were able to close out the victory, but Heynckes remained critical of Ribery’s reaction despite winning the match.

“The red card was the result of provocation, but there’s no disputing the decision. FC Bayern players have to brush that kind of thing off.

“We were much better in defence after the substitutions, and I knew we’d always be a threat on the break.

“Overall I’m very satisfied, because we’ve been outstanding for long periods in the first half of the season. It can’t go better than this,” he said.

Augsburg 0-2 Bayern Munich: Ribery red mars Pokal progression after all-Bavarian battle

Goals in each half from Mario Gomez and Xerdan Shaqiri were sufficient for Bayern Munich to down Augsburg 2-0 in the SGL Arena, taking Die Roten into the quarter-finals of the DFB Pokal and keeping alive their hopes of a domestic double. It was not all plain sailing for Jupp Heynckes’ men, however, who had to play almost the entire second half with 10 men following a straight red card for Franck Ribery.

Playing for a place in the last-eight of Germany’s domestic cup competition, Bayern started brightly and soon settled into their customary rhythm, spraying the ball around with confidence and looking for the gaps to appear in the home defence. It was Augsburg, however, who threatened first to open the scoreline. An excellent passing move culminated at the feet of Ja-Cheol Koo, who hit towards goal from outside the area. A wicked deflection of the heels of Dante threatened to catch out Manuel Neuer, but the goalkeeper responded with a magnificent save to turn the shot onto the post.

As the half progressed, Die Roten began to look more assured around the Augsburg area. Bastian Schweinsteiger went close with a well-hit effort that whistled past the post of Alex Manninger, while Xherdan Shaqiri also worried the goalkeeper with another shot from distance. And 26 minutes into proceedings, the visitors found an opening to force themselves into the lead.

Shaqiri played a fluid one-two with Toni Kroos, and opened up the game for Franck Ribery who had found space on the left. The France international feinted to take on his marker, but opted to send in a low cross that was turned in expertly by Mario Gomez to send the Bundesliga leaders 1-0 up. But Augsburg were not discouraged, and it took another wonderful stop by Neuer to prevent Mulders levelling the encounter after breaking clean through with the shot-stopper.

The half ended with a flourish, as Bayern looked to press home their advantage. A long-range bomb from Anatoliy Tymoschuk came crashing down off the crossbar, appearing to have crossed the line. There was no whistle, though, and from the resulting rebound Manninger pulled off an inspired reaction stop to deny Schweinsteiger before the midfielder hit his follow-up once more against the woodwork.

Barely a minute after the restart, the game suddenly descended into chaos. Ribery and Koo clashed strongly after the France international took offence at his rival’s tackling, and the scuffle peaked with the Bayern man throwing a fist. The South Korean earned just a yellow for his part in the melee, but Franck was not so fortunate as he saw a straight red card that reduced Bayern to 10 men. The next few minutes saw rising temperatures on the field, and Tymoshcuk, David Alaba and Dante were all booked for a handful of of uncompromising tackles.

With Bayern rattled and looking for vengeance, the home team took the chance to exploit the numerical advantage. A goal following Werner’s free kick was correctly ruled out for offside, before the Augsburg attack were left indignant when a handball from Dante in the area was deemed accidental.

The away team, meanwhile, began to try and take the rhythm out of the game, keeping possession and spoiling Augsburg’s attempts to break forward. That is not to say, however, that the league leaders did not have chances; Schweinsteiger was again left ruing his luck when he was played in against Manninger, only for Ragnar Klavan to intervene with a perfect last-ditch tackle. Substitute Mario Mandzukic also squandered a golden chance to kill the game off in the dying minutes, but it mattered not as Shaqiri ended the match with a smart close-range finish to assure their passage into the next round.

Shaqiri: Bayern Munich must win Bundesliga for fans

Xherdan Shaqiri says Bayern Munich will do whatever it takes to win the Bundesliga title for their supporters this term.

The Bavarians currently sit atop of the league table with 42 points from 17 games, holding a nine-point lead over second-placed Bayer Leverkusen, and the midfielder is determined to keep up their current form.

“It would be the biggest highlight of them all if we were to lift the Bundesliga trophy next summer,” Shaqiri was quoted as saying on the club’s official website.

“Our fans need something to celebrate again at last.”

The Switzerland international also took the time to discuss his personal progress since his summer move from Basel, and voiced his satisfaction with the way things are going so far.

“I’m very happy with my first six months at Bayern, because I sense the coach has faith in me. Long may it continue,” he added.

Shaqiri has made 12 Bundesliga appearances so far, scoring once in the process.

Bayern Munich will not sell any players, insists Sammer

Matthias Sammer has insisted that Bayern Munich have no intention in selling any first-team players in the winter transfer window, and added that Mitchell Weiser is the only one who could be allowed to leave the club on a temporary basis.

Players such as Anatoliy Tymoshchuk and Rafinha have recently been linked with a move away from Bayern, but the club’s sporting director is keen to keep their current squad together.

“We have our team for the second half of the season ready, and players like Rafinha and Tymo are part of the squad we count on,” Sammer told TZ.

“Mitchell Weiser is the only one where we could consider a transfer if all the conditions are right. Obviously, only on a temporary basis, though. He’s still a youth player and a loan move could benefit him.”

The 18-year-old joined Bayern from Koln in the summer transfer window, but has yet to make his Bundesliga debut for the Bavarians.

Window Shopping: Bayern Munich could move to replace injured Badstuber in January

After chasing the heels of Borussia Dortmund for two seasons running in the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich heavily invested this summer, with the likes of Javi Martinez and Mario Mandzukic arriving at Allianz Arena.

Subsequently, Jupp Heynckes’ men find themselves nine points clear of second-place Dortmund in the German top flight and, with an already fantastic squad assembled in Munich, it is unlikely that there will be any wholesale changes at the club.

One area in which the Bavarians may look to strengthen is defence, particularly with Holger Badstuber set to miss the rest of the season after tearing his cruciate ligament at the start of December.

Join our panel as takes a look at what Bayern must do to cement their dominance in Germany this season and also the Bundesliga’s superiority over the Premier League.