Guardiola showing strain

2015-02-06 10:36
Pep Guardiola (AFP)

Berlin - Pep Guardiola is showing signs of feeling the pressure as Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich hunt their first win of the year at strugglers VfB Stuttgart on Saturday.

Bayern have failed to impress so far in 2015 in their two matches since returning from the Bundesliga's winter break with an 11-point lead.

Their shock 4-1 thrashing at second-placed Wolfsburg last Friday was followed by a 1-1 draw at home to Schalke on Tuesday after playing for 70 minutes with ten men.

The usually calm and composed Bayern coach sprinted 45 metres to remonstrate with the assistant referee after a Robert Lewandowski goal was disallowed in the 66th minute against Schalke.

"It was an emotional thing to do. I just spoke to him. It was very, very nice," said Guardiola tongue-in-cheek after the heated confrontation.

But despite his brush-off remark, Guardiola needs an impressive display from Bayern to sooth any jarred nerves after the Wolfsburg defeat.

Having steamrollered their domestic rivals before Christmas, Bayern were rattled in Wolfsburg and allowed Schalke to equalise, albeit with a numerical disadvantage following Jerome Boateng's dismissal.

The Germany defender is banned for the next three games and misses the Stuttgart trip, plus home matches against Hamburg and away to Paderborn

Stuttgart present the ideal chance to get back on track as Huub Stevens side are third from bottom after winning just one of their nine home games this season.

Arjen Robben headed Bayern into the lead at the Allianz Arena before Schalke equalised and the Dutch star says they can ill afford similar performances as they bid for silverware.

"Of course, we played with ten men for most of the match, but when you let them equalise, conceding a goal like that can be deadly in the Champions League," said the 31-year-old.

Bayern have two league games before they face Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukrainian city of Lviv in the Champions League last 16, first-leg clash.

Read more on:    bayern munich  |  bundesliga  |  pep guardiola  |  soccer


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