Football: ‘World best’ Bayern go top after Mueller double
Pep Guardiola says Bayern Munich can improve their passing even as the Bavarian giants dazzled during Saturday’s 3-0 home win over Bayer Leverkusen that put them top of the Bundesliga.
“We played against the best team in the world, that was obvious. You don’t need excuses when you lose in Munich,” insisted Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt after a Thomas Mueller double and an Arjen Robben penalty sealed Bayern’s home win.
Bayern restricted Leverkusen to just two clear chances, but despite their 86 percent pass accuracy, Guardiola bemoaned the 76 passes which went astray as his side look to become the first side to win four consecutive German league titles this season.
“We had problems with the final pass,” said Bayern’s coach Guardiola.
“We created a lot of goal chances, but the passing wasn’t good enough, which was why it was only 3-0, but that’s okay. We played against a good team.”
Mueller, who has scored five goals in just three league games, said Leverkusen’s 3-0 home win over Lazio on Wednesday, to seal their place in the Champions League’s group stages, had been a factor.
“Bayer Leverkusen play high-risk football which demands a lot of running. During the week they had a highlight-game. which they had to win,” explained Mueller.
“It’s certainly not easy to come here and put in another performance with a high workload.”
The defending champions took the lead when Mueller met Douglas Costa’s cross on 26 minutes, then converted a penalty after Arturo Vidal was pushed in the back by Leverkusen defender Roberto Hilbert on 59 minutes.
Robben claimed his 11th penalty from 12 attempts in his Bundesliga career by drilling home a 71st-minute spot-kick as Hilbert was penalised after a Costa cross hit his armpit.
The 30-year-old ex-Germany defender was at fault for all three Bayern goals having also let Costa get away for the cross for Mueller’s first-half goal.
“That was a very good statement for us, we were strong to go 3-0 against a top Bundesliga and Champions League team,” said the Netherlands captain Robben.
Leverkusen had a goal disallowed when Australia winger Robbie Kruse looked to have scored on 72 minutes, but the referee spotted him bringing the ball down with his upper arm.
“Bayern deserved the win and it could have even been a bit higher,” said Leverkusen’s Germany midfielder Christoph Kramer.
“We had no chance and we have to accept that.”
Bayern will finish the weekend top of the table unless Borussia Dortmund beat Hertha Berlin by more than two goals at home on Sunday to wrestle back first place.