Flick praises Bayern's mentality & 'sensational' Muller after decisive win

By Sports Desk April 03, 2021

Hansi Flick hailed his side's "mentality" after they moved seven points clear at the Bundesliga summit with a 1-0 win over RB Leipzig on Saturday. 

Leon Goretzka's third goal in his last four top-flight games proved the difference at the Red Bull Arena as Bayern took a significant step towards a ninth consecutive Bundesliga title. 

It marked the 62nd consecutive match in which Bayern have found the back of the net, setting a new record in Germany football since the Bundesliga was founded in 1963. 

Bayern did not have it all their own way against Leipzig, who had 14 shots to their nine, and Flick acknowledged his side had to use all of their mental strength to claim all three points against their second-placed hosts. 

"It was a top game and Leipzig showed why they are right up there," he told Sky. "We were on the trigger right from the start. 

"We didn't play forward as we would have wanted, but the goal was played out nicely. Leipzig caused us some problems, but the morale and mentality of my players is really excellent."

Goretzka's goal was created by Thomas Muller, who has now been involved in 11 goals in his last 10 Bundesliga games (four goals, seven assists). 

The 31-year-old has not played for Germany since November 2018 after being deemed surplus to requirements by Joachim Low.

However, there have been growing calls for him to be recalled for the rescheduled Euro 2020 at the end of the domestic season. 

Flick praised Muller for his "sensational" campaign, but said he did not want to influence Low, who he was assistant to between 2006 and 2014.

"I don't have to interfere," he added. "Thomas Muller is playing a sensational season. He can be important for other teams too, but in the end it has to be decided by Jogi. 

"He pushes his team-mates again and again, also in training. I am glad that we have such players in our ranks."

No side leading the Bundesliga by at least seven points after 27 games has failed to go on and win the title, but goalscorer Goretzka is refusing to get carried away.

"There are still 21 points to be awarded," he said. "It was a big step, but not the decisive one."

Bayern host Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday before welcoming Union Berlin to the Allianz Arena in the Bundesliga four days later.

Related items

  • Atletico Madrid defender Hermoso released from hospital Atletico Madrid defender Hermoso released from hospital

    Atletico Madrid defender Mario Hermoso has been released from a German hospital following an episode of intestinal obstruction.

    The centre-back has successfully recovered and able to return to Spain on Monday.

    Hermoso was admitted to hospital on Saturday after complaining of acute abdominal pain leading up to Atletico's friendly against Wolfsburg.

    But after undergoing medical tests, the Spain international was discharged  and will hope to be involved for Diego Simeone's side against Cadiz on Wednesday.

    Hermoso, who arrived from Espanyol in July 2019, has made 48 league appearances for Atleti.

    The 26-year-old played 31 times in LaLiga last season as the club were crowned champions, their first top-flight title since 2014.

    Atletico will launch their defence away at Celta Vigo on August 15.

  • Tokyo Olympics: Rapinoe admits USA 'didn't have that juice' after shock loss to Canada Tokyo Olympics: Rapinoe admits USA 'didn't have that juice' after shock loss to Canada

    Canada sensationally ended a 36-game winless run against the United States, with Jessie Fleming's penalty securing a place in the women's football final at the Tokyo Olympics.

    USA had 17 attempts on Monday but a second defeat at the Games – they had gone down 3-0 to Sweden in their opening group fixture – means the reigning world champions will not have a chance to secure gold in Japan.

    There was controversy surrounding the winning goal, too, as a VAR check resulted in Canada being awarded a penalty for a foul by Tierna Davidson on Deanne Rose in the 74th minute.

    Substitute goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, who had replaced the injured Alyssa Naeher in the first half, guessed correctly but Fleming's penalty still found the net.

    Canada stubbornly held on for the remainder of the contest to secure a first triumph over their rivals since March 11, 2001.

    While USA can still claim a bronze medal, Megan Rapinoe did not hold back when assessing the impact of the result, particularly against opponents they have become accustomed to beating through the years.

    "It's a bitter one to swallow. We never want to lose to Canada. I don't think I ever have, so it's a bitter one," Rapinoe said.

    "Still a lot to compete for. It's not the colour we wanted, but there's still a medal on the line and that's a huge thing. We want to win that game, but this sucks. It sucks."

    Asked why USA had struggled so much to find form during the tournament, Rapinoe replied: "I feel like we haven't had our joy a little bit.

    "It just hasn't flowed for us, hasn't been easy. It's not for a lack of effort, or anyone not giving everything they have. It just didn't click for us.

    "I don't know if it was roster rotation, I know it's a tough tournament when trying to save people, but our bench is as deep as hell. I don't think we can put it on that, and I can't quite put my finger on it.

    "We just didn't have that juice that we normally do."

    USA had been aiming to strike Olympic gold for a fifth time having missed out on a medal of any colour at Rio 2016, where they lost to Sweden on penalties in the last eight.

    The Swedes lost to Germany in the final five years ago but could still go one better this year – they take on Australia in the second semi-final.

  • Rumour Has It: Man City target Grealish set for Monday showdown talks with Villa Rumour Has It: Man City target Grealish set for Monday showdown talks with Villa

    Jack Grealish has been holidaying following Euro 2020, but it is now decision time on his club future.

    Speculation has mounted over the past few days about a potential move to Manchester City.

    City manager Pep Guardiola is a long-term admirer of Grealish, and a big-money bid has apparently been sanctioned by chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak.

    TOP STORY - GREALISH SET FOR MONDAY TALKS WITH VILLA

    Grealish has returned from his off-season holiday and will hold showdown talks with Aston Villa on Monday as a move to City looms, reports The Mirror.

    Grealish has been linked with a £100million move to the English champions and is expected to inform Villa of his intention to leave.

    Villa have reportedly offered Grealish a bumper new deal worth £200,000-a-week.

     

    ROUND-UP

    Tottenham have turned their attention to Wolves winger Adama Traore, according to the Daily Mail. Wolves reportedly want £45m for the Spain international, who would be re-acquainted with manager Nuno Espirito Santo. Goal claims Leeds United are also interested in Traore.

    Atletico Madrid are preparing for Kieran Trippier to exit the club as links with Manchester United intensify, with the Spanish champions lining up a move for Roma's Alessandro Florenzi, claims AS.

    Atletico are also pursuing Inter's Lautaro Martinez and have moved ahead of Arsenal in the race to sign the Argentina international, according to Tuttosport.

    - Borussia Dortmund's Denmark international Thomas Delaney is being pursued SouthamptonNorwich City and Crystal Palace, reports Ruhr Nachrichten.

    - ABC claims Real Madrid will offer forward Karim Benzema a new one-year contract extension.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.