Flick 'not entirely happy' with Bayern display in 4-0 win

By Sports Desk January 24, 2021

Hansi Flick can still see room for improvement from his Bayern Munich side despite brushing aside Schalke 4-0 to move seven points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.

The reigning champions capitalised on RB Leipzig's shock defeat at Mainz by seeing off Schalke, the division's bottom side, at the Veltins-Arena on Sunday.

Thomas Muller scored either side of Robert Lewandowski's record-breaking goal - netting in an eighth successive away league match - before David Alaba got in on the act in the final minute.

Bayern did not have things all their own way in the first half, though, with Manuel Neuer reacting well to keep out Mark Uth's header from the best of Schalke's opportunities.

Flick is pleased his side have rediscovered their form with three wins in a row since suffering back-to-back losses earlier this month, but he acknowledged there is still more to come.

"I'm not entirely happy with what we showed," he told Sky Sport. "We scored four goals, but we should have done better, especially with the way we positioned ourselves.

"However, I am very satisfied with the nine points with have obtained from the last three games. After defeats to Holstein Kiel [in the DFB-Pokal] and Monchengladbach, it was important to find stability.

"We now have a certain cushion, but it is still important that we approach every game the way we have approached the last few games, that we perform 100 per cent. 

"We're going to take two days off now. This is important to clear your head from time to time. From Wednesday, we will then prepare intensively for Hoffenheim."

Bayern have now kept clean sheets in successive league games for the first time this term, with Neuer making three saves in total - all in the first half.

Neuer's 197th shutout is a new Bundesliga record, surpassing Bayern great Oliver Kahn, but it was bittersweet coming against his beleaguered boyhood club.

Schalke are bottom of the division with one win from 18 games but Neuer is hopeful they can avoid the drop.

"Obviously, it's difficult for them against teams like us," he said. "I think that they have to beat two or three clubs that are in the lower half of the table, one after the other.

"I wish the Schalke players luck that they can stay in the league and that they can still turn the tide. Of course, I'll keep my fingers crossed for that."

Of his own team's display, which saw Bayern register a season-high 31 shots, Neuer said: "We improved and still had one or two more scoring chances. 

"We certainly would have signed for a 4-0 win beforehand."

Meanwhile, Muller's double took him to nine goals in 18 Bundesliga games this season, already beating his tally from the entirety of 2019-20.

The forward, who scored a clinical header in each half, echoed the thoughts of Flick in saying his side were slightly flattered by the margin of the scoreline.

"We neglected some aspects of our game," Muller said. "We besieged the opposing goal in the first half, played a few chances well, but the last action was missing.

"Overall, you noticed that when we increased the pace and played our game, we were always able to get ourselves into good final positions. 

"We have won all three games this week and made a giant leap forward in the table. That is what counts."

Related items

  • Xavi praises Barca for saving their season as Dembele's potential final game looms Xavi praises Barca for saving their season as Dembele's potential final game looms

    Xavi hailed Barcelona for saving a season that "could have been worse" but wants improvements next term from the Blaugrana, who Ousmane Dembele could play his last game for on Sunday.

    Blaugrana great Xavi was appointed in November as the successor to Ronald Koeman, with Barca languishing in ninth in LaLiga after an underwhelming start to their 2021-22 campaign.

    However, Xavi has reinvigorated Barca as the Catalan giants have climbed up to second in the league, albeit 13 points behind champions Real Madrid with one game left to play.

    Barca conclude their campaign at home to Villarreal, and with second place already secured Xavi praised the recovery his side has made, but urged them to improve to compete with Madrid next season.

    "We have saved a situation that could have been worse," he told reporters at a pre-match news conference on Saturday. "We have gone from less to more. We have competed but it has not given us any reward. We have to win titles. 

    "I don't give myself a grade because whatever is said will be criticised. We have improved a lot. I am the first to demand more from myself. From now on, we will look to improve further.

    "We have to improve in every way – psychologically, physically, which we have already improved, and reinforce the squad with two players per position. And also tactically, so everyone understands our ideas."

    The game against Villarreal could prove to be Dembele's last at Camp Nou as contract negotiations remain ongoing.

    Bayern Munich and Chelsea are reported to be keen on the World Cup-winning winger, whose 11 LaLiga assists in 2022 is more than any other player has registered across Europe's top five leagues.

    Blaugrana president Joan Laporta has reiterated his desire to keep the France international at Barca, and Xavi hailed Dembele for his efforts in the second half of the season.

    "It could be the last. You have to be optimistic. He has played excellent games and when he has not been involved we have noticed," he said of the former Borussia Dortmund player.

    Barca have won their last five games against Villarreal in LaLiga, and could register six wins in a row against them for the first time in the competition.

    However, Xavi expects a tough task when his team host Unai Emery's side, who made it to the Champions League semi-finals this season, where they were defeated by Liverpool.

    "The result will be important. I would like to see a team with good feelings, bravery and finish with the best feelings," he continued.

    "Villarreal is the best team we have faced. They have a lot at stake, and are a difficult opponent. You have to have a personality that the fans come to enjoy. There will be chances and it will be a good show."

    Barca have confirmed Ronald Araujo will return to the squad after recovering from a head injury that caused him to spend a night in hospital following the game against Celta Vigo on May 10.

  • Lewandowski received Bayern contract offer and will not be sold – Kahn Lewandowski received Bayern contract offer and will not be sold – Kahn

    Bayern Munich chief executive Oliver Kahn insists Robert Lewandowski was offered a new contract and will not be allowed to leave in the close season. 

    Lewandowski has one year remaining on his existing deal and it was previously reported Bayern could look to sell the striker ahead of the 2022-23 campaign to avoid him going on a free.

    The Poland international, who has scored 110 goals over the past three Bundesliga seasons, has asked to leave and said after their final game against Wolfsburg last week that he had not received a proposal for new terms. 

    But Kahn denied that is true, telling Welt: "We submitted a concrete offer to his agent, otherwise we wouldn't have said that."

    Asked what fee would be required for Bayern to grant Barcelona-linked Lewandowski an exit before the end of his deal, Kahn was defiant. 

    "This isn't a question for us. Robert Lewandowski has a contract until 2023 and he will fulfil it," he said. 

    "I cannot say how Uli [Hoeness] or Karl-Heinz [Rummenigge] would have acted. When I started here, I was aware that the bar was set very high and that there would be situations where the past would always be brought up. 

    "Every situation is different and I act as I believe is right." 

    He added: "Bayern is not and will not become a development club. Bayern are still a big force. There are many players who would die to play for us. 

    "A development club is forced to sell players every now and then. That's not us. We want to keep our top players for as long as possible.

    "That's why we renewed [Joshua] Kimmich, [Leon] Goretzka, [Kingsley] Coman and [Thomas] Muller this season. Jamal Musiala is also key for the future." 

  • Eriksen has 'an idea' but yet to decide future as Man Utd and Tottenham speculation persists Eriksen has 'an idea' but yet to decide future as Man Utd and Tottenham speculation persists

    Christian Eriksen has declared he "has an idea" over his future but is yet to make a decision amid reported interest from Manchester United and former club Tottenham.

    Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest when playing for Denmark against Finland at Euro 2020 last July and was brought back to life on the pitch.

    However, the 30-year-old was unable to play for Inter on medical grounds as Italy prevent players from competing after having a cardioverter-defibrillator fitted.

    Brentford offered the midfielder a six-month contract in January and he has subsequently delivered, scoring once and assisting four in 10 league games to help the Bees away from the relegation zone.

    Eriksen has also created 26 chances since his Brentford debut in February, with only Son Heung-min (27), Martin Odegaard (33) and Kevin De Bruyne (37) providing more opportunities in the Premier League over that period.

    Speculation persists over Eriksen's future with his short-term deal to expire in June, with Spurs and United reportedly interested.

    Eriksen has suggested he dreams of playing in the Champions League again and, although Thomas Frank has stressed his desire to keep him at Brentford, the Denmark star is yet to make a decision.

    "I don't know what the future holds," he told BBC Sport. "It will be a decision from a sporting perspective but also be a family perspective going into the decision of where we're going to go."

    Asked if staying at Brentford remains an option, he said: "They are, they definitely are. I haven't made up my mind 100 per cent of where I'm going.

    "I have an idea, but what's going to happen I don't know. But Brentford are definitely in the category of one of the clubs."

    Eriksen also reiterated his hopes to compete for trophies at the top level with whoever he opts to join.

    "I've always wanted to win trophies. I'm always on the competitive side, I always want to be the best version possible in any way, playing at the highest level possible," he added.

    "In the end it takes time and also it changes perspective if something like that happens and how my family reacts.

    "Just the feeling of being with my family is more important, not that it wasn't important before, but you just realise: 'Oh, this is something that I care about even more now'."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.