'Another step in the right direction' – Nagelsmann pleased with Bayern response

By Sports Desk October 04, 2022

Julian Nagelsmann feels Bayern Munich's resounding 5-0 win over Viktoria Plzen was "another step in the right direction" for his side ahead of facing Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern followed up Friday's 4-0 Bundesliga thrashing of Bayer Leverkusen with an even more emphatic victory in Tuesday's Champions League tie with Czech champions Plzen.

It marks the first time the Bavarians have won back-to-back matches in all competitions since August, having gone four league games without a win prior to the international break.

Nagelsmann is pleased with what he saw from his side against Plzen, with Bayern returning to form at just the right time ahead of Saturday's Klassiker showdown with fierce rivals Dortmund.

"The boys did well today," Nagelsmann told DAZN. "That's how you have to approach a game. We decided it quickly then controlled it. 

"With a view to Saturday, that was important, serious and well deserved. It was another game that shows we are taking steps in the right direction."

 

The hosts were three goals up inside 21 minutes, with Serge Gnabry and Sadio Mane netting after Leroy Sane had opened the scoring at the Allianz Arena.

Sane doubled his tally early in the second half before substitute Eric Choupo-Moting rounded off the scoring for the leaders in a one-sided Group C contest.

It is the 26th time Bayern have scored five or more goals in a Champions League match, which is five more than next-best Barcelona.

Mane wasted some promising chances to add to the scoring, netting from just one of his six attempts, but the forward was happy with his side's performance.

"The team played a great game, with a lot of chances created," he said. "We deserved to win. 

"The past few weeks have been tough. It was important we reacted. We reacted well after the international break. Hopefully we can continue like this until the end of the season.

"We have nine points from three Champions League games and a good goal difference. We are in a good place. 

"We were disciplined today. We were well prepared for the opponent and that's where most of the goals came from."

Bayern have now gone 31 games without defeat in the group stage of the Champions League, overtaking the record of 30 set by Real Madrid in 2017.

"We rightly received criticism during the international break," said Leon Goretzka, who set up two of the goals against Plzen.

"We used the time well and focused on our game again. Our aim is to perform on a regular basis. We're still extremely upset about the games before that."

Related items

  • Musiala will be an 'important cornerstone' in Bayern's future, says Kahn Musiala will be an 'important cornerstone' in Bayern's future, says Kahn

    Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn believes Jamal Musiala will be an "important cornerstone" in the club's future, with the Bavarian giants eager to secure the teenager's long-term services.

    Musiala has enjoyed an impressive start to the Bundesliga season, scoring nine goals and providing six assists, with his 15 goal involvements the most registered by any teenager across Europe's top five leagues.

    The Germany international, whose tally is also just two shy of Paris Saint-Germain's Lionel Messi (17 - seven goals, 10 assists), is under contract with Bayern until 2026, though Kahn does not want the 19-year-old to be tempted away from the Allianz Arena.

    "Jamal has enormous qualities that he's showing consistently at a high level at 19," the former goalkeeper said. "He's also very ambitious and always wants to improve. We're glad we have him. Jamal will be an important cornerstone in the future of Bayern."

    Musiala's performances provided a rare positive during Germany's disappointing World Cup campaign, with Die Nationalmannschaft exiting in the group stage for the second successive finals.

    Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic believes the experience will benefit the youngster, with whom he soon hopes to open discussions regarding his future.

    "Jamal was one of Germany's bright spots at the World Cup," he said. "Watching him play is simply fun.

    "Playing at a World Cup was a valuable experience for him. Although the elimination is bitter, Jamal is 19 and still has many tournaments to play for Germany.

    "Of course, we told Jamal's mother Carolin and his management before the World Cup that we're very happy with Jamal, and we let them know that we want to sit down with them after the tournament to talk about Jamal's further future at Bayern.

    "We saw that he could transfer his performances at Bayern to the national team. We at Bayern will do everything to continue supporting him in his development."

  • Santos insists Ronaldo relationship unchanged as he hailed captain's 'great example' Santos insists Ronaldo relationship unchanged as he hailed captain's 'great example'

    Portugal coach Fernando Santos insists his relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo is unchanged despite dropping the captain for Tuesday's 6-1 win over Switzerland at the World Cup.

    Ronaldo was benched after Santos expressed his disappointment with the striker's attitude following his substitution during last week's defeat to South Korea.

    Santos said on Monday the matter had been resolved internally, but Ronaldo was then dropped to the bench for the clash at Lusail Stadium, starting a major-tournament match among the substitutes for the first time since 2008 (31 games).

    A fan poll on the website of Portuguese newspaper A Bola suggested 70 per cent of Portugal fans wanted Ronaldo out of the team, and the Selecao went on to produce one of their best performances at a major tournament in years.

    Goncalo Ramos replaced Ronaldo in the attack and had a hand in four goals, including a hat-trick, but Santos did not commit to keeping faith in the Benfica prospect for the quarter-final against Morocco.

    Santos told reporters: "That's still something that has to be defined [who starts in the next game]. I already answered in yesterday's press conference [regarding Ronaldo]; there is no problem between us.

    "I have a strong relationship with him, I always have. I have known him since he was young and at Sporting [CP], and then it started to develop in the national team.

    "This relationship only developed. We've been friends for many years, things don't affect us.

    "I already explained everything was resolved. I said that and I repeat that now. This is something that's finished and resolved.

    "How he came in with a lot of will, he set an example as a great captain."

    In scoring his hat-trick, Ramos became the first player to net three times on his first World Cup start since Miroslav Klose in 2002.

    Similarly, it only took him 17 minutes to do what Ronaldo has never managed: score in a World Cup knockout game.

    For most, Ramos starting the quarter-final clash would be a simple decision to make, but Santos intends to keep people guessing.

    "Obviously I have my ways to observes things, I always have," he continued. "The players we have in this position obviously have many different characteristics.

    "Andre [Silva] plays more advanced, Cristiano is more fixed, he plays in a determined area. Goncalo is dynamic.

    "That's what he ended up showing us, but it was nothing new because he came on in two other games.

    "I have three players I fully trust and for each match I will use what I think is the right strategy, as I have always done in my career."

    Tuesday's success was Portugal's biggest ever victory in the knockout rounds of the World Cup, with it the first time they have scored six beyond the group stage.

    It was a truly rampant performance, though Santos was particularly pleased that his team did not get carried away with the euphoria.

    "It's exactly what I said [to the players]; when we are euphoric, I think we can go beyond what we should do in a match.

    "We can end up having a bit too much fun, to use that expression, and football is not fun. Yes, you have to play, have fun in the field, but too much fun is not appropriate.

    "In this aspect, in terms of how serious they were, they were fantastic."

    Portugal will face Morocco in their quarter-final at Al Thumama Stadium on Saturday.
  • Knockout bow beyond Ramos' 'wildest dreams' but hat-trick hero unsure of quarter-final role Knockout bow beyond Ramos' 'wildest dreams' but hat-trick hero unsure of quarter-final role

    Goncalo Ramos is unsure if he will be picked ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo again in Portugal's World Cup quarter-final after a last-16 experience beyond his "wildest dreams".

    The Benfica striker was a surprise choice from the start in Tuesday's game against Switzerland but justified his selection by hitting a hat-trick in a 6-1 rout.

    The pre-match focus was on Ronaldo's demotion to the bench, but Ramos hogged the limelight once the match kicked off.

    Even starting seemed improbable for the 21-year-old, who made his international debut in November, let alone scoring three times.

    "Not even in my wildest dreams I thought of being in the starting eleven in the knockout stages of the World Cup," Ramos said, but he does not know if he will keep his place for a last-eight meeting with Morocco.

    The forward added to RTP: "These are matters that are not for me. I have to work to the fullest and then you see what's going to happen."

    Ramos was named the player of the match and revealed Ronaldo's support in his post-match news conference.

    "Honestly, in our team, no-one talked about [Ronaldo being dropped]," he said. "Cristiano as captain did as he always does, helped us, encouraged us, not only to myself but to my colleagues."

    The level of Ramos' performance may have come as a shock to some, but not to team-mate Bruno Fernandes.

    "If you've never heard about him, it's because people are not aware of the quality of the Portuguese league," the Manchester United man said.

    "He has been doing really well in the Champions League, first in the group of PSG, so people should be aware of Goncalo, of his qualities.

    "I'm really happy for him, because a hat-trick at his age is a big achievement. But for Goncalo and for everyone else, the most important thing is that we are in the quarter-finals against Morocco."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.