Gotze did not fail at Bayern Munich – agent

The 24-year-old returned to Signal Iduna Park this summer from the Bundesliga champions but his representative insists his time there deserves respect not criticism

Mario Gotze’s agent Roland Eitel is adamant the attacking midfielder did not fail during his three seasons at Bayern Munich.

The Germany international joined Bayern from Borussia Dortmund in 2013, but struggled to live up to the high expectations at the Allianz Arena and returned to BVB ahead of the 2016-17 campaign.

Nevertheless, Gotze’s representative has stressed his return to Dortmund does not mean he failed at the Bundesliga champions.

“We have to treat players differently. Gotze has been playing at the highest level for five years. He deserves much, much more respect,” Eitel told Eurosport.

READ MORE | Gotze approaching top form – Tuchel

“Why are we talking about how Gotze failed at Bayern? He is only 24 years old and has already won five Bundesliga titles, played 118 games for Bayern and fired Germany to World Cup glory. What do you mean a failure?

“Just like it is a lack of respect to say he should be training harder.”

Gotze has netted once in two appearances in all competitions for Dortmund since his return, scoring the opener in the 6-0 Champions League win over Legia Warsaw.

Ancelotti wants lengthy Bayern Munich stay

The veteran coach has set his sights on a long period in charge of the Bavarian giants, but admitted one aspect of settling in has been “complicated”

Carlo Ancelotti hopes to stay at Bayern Munich for a long period of time after settling in quickly at the Allianz Arena.

The 57-year-old succeeded Pep Guardiola at Bayern ahead of the 2016-17 campaign, reportedly snubbing a return to Chelsea in favour of the Bundesliga champions.

He has since guided Bayern to six wins from as many games in all competitions and hopes he will be allowed to remain in Bavaria beyond the expiry date of his initial contract in 2019.

“I would love to stay here longer than two years,” Ancelotti was quoted as saying by TZ, the Italian having departed each of Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid after just two campaigns.

READ MORE | Neuer shines as Bayern get lucky

“There are clubs that feel like a company and there are clubs that feel like a family. Bayern feels like a family.”

Ancelotti has impressed with his ability to speak German at news conferences, but the Italian has admitted learning yet another language has not been easy for him.

“I have to say the Germany language is very complicated,” he added.

Tuchel supports Bundesliga title play-offs

The Borussia Dortmund boss does not see why the top four Bundesliga sides participating in a knockout competition for the title would be a bad idea

Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel would support the introduction of a play-off system to determine the winner of the Bundesliga title.

Dortmund won back-to-back championships in 2011 and 2012, but Bayern Munich have once again asserted their dominance in Germany, topping the pile in each of the past four seasons.

The Bavarian giants have won their opening three matches of the current campaign with an aggregate score of 11-1, with former German Football League (DFL) president and Bayer Leverkusen chief executive Wolfgang Holzhauser telling Kicker on Monday that championship play-offs were “more relevant than ever”.

Asked for his opinion on the idea, Tuchel said: “Why not? It would give the runners-up, third and fourth the chance to be champion.

“I do not think play-offs are far-fetched. I am basically very open to rule changes.”

Dortmund made a number of changes to their line-up, but ran out 6-0 winners over Darmstadt on Saturday, following on from a victory by the same scoreline over Legia Warsaw in the Champions League last Wednesday.

Tuchel expects to have the majority of his players available for Tuesday’s trip to Wolfsburg, but Andre Schurrle is likely to miss a return to his former club with a knee issue while Sven Bender remains sidelined.

“Schurrle remains out. He has not trained to ease his knee and on Monday we trained with very, very low intensity. Otherwise there are no new injuries,” said the Dortmund coach.

READ MORE | Gotze approaching top form – Tuchel

“Bender is still nursing the injury he picked up in the Olympic semi-final, with which he played in the final. He is still feeling pain in his ankle even without movement. He is yet to train with us.

“Wolfsburg always look very dangerous in their games. They attack down the wings a lot. We expect to see a team that wants to beat us.

“The next games against Wolfsburg, Freiburg and what comes after will give us a better idea of our competitive level.

“We made the most out of the last two games. Looking at the performances and the data, we can allow ourselves to acknowledge that. You need top performances to get results like that [successive 6-0 wins].”

Bayern can't always play beautifully, admits Ancelotti

The Bundesliga champions were unconvincing against Ingolstadt on Saturday, but the Italian coach feels they showed different qualities to collect the three points

Carlo Ancelotti acknowledged that Bayern Munich were not at their best in a 3-1 Bundesliga victory over Ingolstadt on Saturday.

The reigning champions fell behind inside eight minutes thanks to a well-worked goal from the dangerous Dario Lezcano, only for Robert Lewandowski to equalise shortly after.

Second-half goals from Xabi Alonso and Rafinha ultimately wrapped things up, but it was by no means vintage from Bayern, who were caused constant problems by Lezcano and Mathew Leckie, and Ancelotti acknowledged it was a tough match.

“We are playing a lot of games, with a lot of new players returning from injury, who are maybe not yet in top condition,” said the Italian. “Sometimes we need to suffer.

READ MORE | Neuer shines as Bayern get lucky

“We were missing a lot of players but we have a good squad. After conceding an early goal the game was difficult.

“We had problems at the back and it wasn’t an easy game. We were able to equalise early and we played well in the second half and wrapped up the points with Rafinha’s goal.

“It was very difficult for us. Sometimes it’s impossible to play beautifully. You have to display other qualities then. The team did just that.”

Bayern Munich 3-1 Ingolstadt: Bavarians battle back to win

The match against the minnows was not all plain sailing for Carlo Ancelotti’s men, who had to come back from a goal down

Bayern Munich fought back from a goal down to beat Ingolstadt 3-1 on Saturday, counting on strikes from Robert Lewandowski, Xabi Alonso and Rafinha to dispose of the minnows.

It was by no means a vintage display from Bayern, who were given plenty of problems by their visitors at the Allianz Arena before making it three wins from three in the league.

Nevertheless, their superior quality ultimately saw them through in spite of a few nervy moments, with Rafinha’s late strike eventually killing off Ingolstadt’s chances.

The away side gave Bayern a bit of a scare when Dario Lezcano broke the deadlock early on, but Carlo Ancelotti’s men looked unfazed and restored parity shortly after through Robert Lewandowski.

Ingolstadt remained a real threat with Lezcano and Mathew Leckie in attack, but Bayern ultimately went ahead through Alonso early in the second half, just before the Australian drew a crucial stop from Manuel Neuer.

The brilliant Lezcano and Leckie inspired another glorious chance that was spurned by Lukas Hinterseer and Ingolstadt were made to rue such wastefulness, as Rafinha secured their sixth successive win in all competitions, unconvincing though it was.

Early on, Bayern looked like a team playing with the confidence that comes from scoring 20 goals in their last five competitive outings, attacking Ingolstadt right from the off.

However, the visitors were intent on giving their more illustrious Bavarian neighbours a shock, as Lezcano latched on to Leckie’s pass into the left side of the area and prodded past Neuer eight minutes in.

But Bayern kept their cool and were level just four minutes later – Lewandowski racing on to Franck Ribery’s intricate pass and cleverly lobbing Orjan Nyland in the Ingolstadt goal.

Bayern struggled to add to that, though, and Ingolstadt crafted the next opportunity nine minutes before the break, as Leckie and Lezcano combined on the edge of the area, with the Australian then blazing over from 16 yards.

Bayern looked more like their usual selves at the start of the second period and took the lead for the first time after 50 minutes.

After patient build-up play, Ribery flicked the ball to his right for Alonso and the Spaniard rifled a rasping drive into the left side of the goal from 25 yards.

That lead only remained intact a few minutes later thanks to a sensational save from Neuer, as the goalkeeper tipped Leckie’s stinging effort over after the excellent Australian left the Bayern defence in knots.

Bayern were carved open again 22 minutes from time and Ingolstadt should have equalised, but Lukas Hinterseer inexplicably missed the target when one-on-one with Neuer following another clever move instigated by Lezcano and Leckie.

The hosts finally ended Ingolstadt’s valiant fight six minutes from time as Rafinha stabbed into the bottom-left corner following a Ribery pass, wrapping up all three points and a win that flattered the champions.