Coach Hansi Flick expressed frustration at Bayern Munich after Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller won yellow cards in the win over Bayer Leverkusen, which will rule them out of their next Bundesliga match.
On the other hand, Leon Goretzka was once again an outstanding performer and that wasn’t lost on Flick, who is desperate to remain injury-free for the Germany midfielder.
“He showed exactly what you need as a team, when you still need to find your way to the game,” Flick said. “He has a very strong role on the pitch with respect to his physical condition and that helps us a lot.”
“Of course, it was also because of the intensive pressing that we fought back-we were more aggressive and had good ball possessions. Leon was involved directly in those moments and had a huge influence on the first two goals. We knock on wood [hoping Goretzka will stay fit] and hope he will continue like that,” Flick continued.
By targeting Kingsley Coman, Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry and Lewandowski, Bayern rallied and eventually ran out comfortable 4-2 winners despite falling back early on.
Although at the summit Bayern has a commanding lead, Flick did not hide his irritation that the pair had been ruled out.
“It’s annoying but we can’t change it and the situation has to be accepted,” he said.
“You ‘re emotional on the pitch, but I spoke to referee Manuel Grafe. He said the opponent was hit by Lewandowski and that’s why he saw the yellow card. I didn’t see it so I couldn’t really comment.
“When they had free-kick, Thomas was blocking the ball so the yellow card was all right. It is just what it is. We ‘re accepting it.
For Lewandowski, his effort has taken him on to 44 across all competitions for the season, a personal best.
Meanwhile, Muller claimed a pair of assists to move him to 20 for the 2019-20 Bundesliga campaign, tying the record of Kevin De Bruyne.
But they have booked both of Bayern’s key men, meaning they will miss Borussia Monchengladbach’s visit next weekend:
“We’re going to have two other players. Sometimes it’s also good, but it’s important that both play against Eintracht Frankfurt [in the DFB-Pokal] on Wednesday for 90 minutes. Then we’re trying to prepare ourselves well for the Gladbach game.”