Gotze accepts substitute role, claims Sammer

The Bavarians’ director of football has downplayed suggestions that the Germany international was unhappy to have been dropped for Saturday’s win

Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer has stressed that Mario Gotze was fine with Pep Guardiola’s decision to bench him versus Borussia Dortmund.

The Germany international was desperate to make an impact against his former team heading into the game, but eventually had to settle for a substitute’s role in his side’s 1-0 win.

Gotze only featured for the final 10 minutes of the game after replacing Thomas Muller, but Sammer has insisted the 2014 World Cup winner realises the team’s interests come first.

“Of course, Mario would have preferred to play from the start,” Sammer was quoted as saying by TZ.

“We are Bayern Munich, though. The individual has to realise the team’s success comes first.

“And Mario understood and accepted this.

“There are plenty of big games coming up and we have to be flexible. He will get the chance to score some important goals in the weeks to come and everything is alright again then.”

Gotze has been a key figure for Bayern this term, scoring nine goals in 25 Bundesliga appearances.

'Football is my life' – Thiago thrilled at Bayern comeback

The midfielder admits it was an emotional moment when he came on as a substitute against Dortmund to make his first appearance in a year

Thiago Alcantara could barely contain his delight after making his first Bayern Munich appearance in 12 months against Borussia Dortmund.

The Spain international replaced Philipp Lahm as second-half substitute in Saturday’s 1-0 win, having been out of action since March 29 last year when he suffered a serious knee injury against Hoffenheim.

The 23-year-old’s brother Rafinha tweeted “The magic has returned!” as he returned to a rapturous reception and Thiago was eager to pay tribute to everyone at the club for their support.

“It’s crazy. I have to thank everyone: the club, the coaches, my team-mates. They’ve all been really supportive,” he told Bayern’s official website.

“The fans have helped me. It was an emotional moment. I’m very happy.


— Rafinha Alcantara (@Rafinha) April 4, 2015

“Some people think football is just a game, but when I saw how emotional the fans were, I knew: football is my life.”

Thiago admits he is still far from full fitness but is now hoping to get back into the side as Pep Guardiola’s men continue their hunt for the treble.

“I’m not ready for 90 minutes, I felt tired after 10!” he added. “My goals haven’t changed: to win games and win titles.”

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Lahm: Bayern need more possession

The captain was unhappy after the champions recorded their worst passing statistics in almost four years in the win over Borussia Dortmund

Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm was less than impressed with his side’s possession play in the 1-0 win over Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.

A solitary goal from Robert Lewandowski in the first half was enough to seal the points for the leaders in a scrappy game at Signal Iduna Park.

Bayern and Dortmund had equal possession throughout the 90 minutes and Pep Guardiola’s side completed just 78.1 per cent of their passes – their lowest total in the Bundesliga since their 8-1 destruction of St Pauli in May 2011.

And while he was happy with their defensive display, Lahm accepts his side’s use of the ball must improve in the coming weeks.

“It was close right to the end,” he told the club’s official website. “We defended well, only Marco Reus had the one chance from open play.

“We weren’t good in possession and we had too little of the ball. It was a hard-working victory. Winning in Dortmund is always a bit special.”

Bastian Schweinsteiger picked up a knock in the match but sporting director Matthias Sammer is confident it was nothing serious.

“It’s not too bad,” he told ZDF. “Basti’s a tough guy. We hope to have him back in a day or two.”

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Klopp fumes at 'tactical' Alonso fouls following Bayern defeat

The BVB boss feels his side were denied clear penalty shouts and was frustrated at the disruptive approach of the Spanish midfielder

Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp was angry at Xabi Alonso’s “tactical” fouls following his side’s 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich.

Robert Lewandowski scored the only goal of the game on his return to Signal Iduna Park as Pep Guardiola’s injury-hit side maintained their charge towards the Bundesliga title.

Klopp conceded on Saturday that his side did not deserve a more positive result, but felt Alonso was fortunate not to be sent off for a cynical display in midfield.

Asked whether he felt Alonso had been discreet in his fouls, Klopp told Ruhr Nachrichten: “Do you think he hid it well? I saw them. We coaches are all agreed: holding must warrant a yellow card. But that didn’t happen.

“Xabi Alonso is an outstanding player but, now and again, he grabs people. It’s not brutal, but tactical.

“They were robust and made tactical fouls at the right moment. There were little things where they were better. That’s why they won.”

Klopp was also left frustrated that Bayern avoided conceding a penalty for a trip on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and an alleged handball from Jerome Boateng.

“How can you disagree?” he said of the incident. “There was the handball from Boateng later, too.”

The defeat leaves Dortmund in 10th place, 15 points off the top four, while Bayern maintain their 10-point lead over Wolfsburg.

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Guardiola: I'd like 1000 Dantes in my team

The coach is excited to be close to retaining the trophy he lifted with the Bavarians last season and dedicated Saturday’s win over Dortmund to the Brazilian

Pep Guardiola dedicated Bayern Munich’s 1-0 away win over Borussia Dortmund to Brazil international centre-back Dante.

Robert Lewandowski scored the only goal against his former club at Signal Iduna Park, ensuring that the Bavarians kept their 10-point lead over Wolfsburg at the top in Germany.

The Spaniard, however, reserved praise for the South American, who has not featured regularly of late.

“I would like to congratulate my players and dedicate this victory to Dante,” he said. “He hasn’t played often recently but he played very well today.

“He is an incredibly important player for us. I’d like 1,000 Dantes in my team.”

With just seven games to go until the end of the campaign, a proud Guardiola has done the maths and knows the Allianz Arena club cannot be caught if they win four of the remaining league games.

“People often don’t know how hard it is to play against teams like Dortmund or Bayer Leverkusen,” the former Barcelona head coach told Sky. “But every match is incredibly hard as we saw today.

“I would actually like to have played differently than we played today. But I also have to pay attention to who is available.

“It is not easy to win here – Bayern have done that only twice since 2009. Now we have to win four games before the end of the season to become German champions, and we want to do that.”

Bayern are still in with a chance of claiming their second treble in three seasons as they are in the DFB-Pokal semi-finals and Champions League last eight.