International

Bayern eye top spot as feel-good factor returns under Flick

2019-11-29 07:19
Hansi Flick
Hansi Flick (Getty Images)

Berlin - Bayern Munich are eyeing a return to top spot in the Bundesliga this weekend with interim boss Hansi Flick enjoying the best start in the club's impressive history.

They are third in the Bundesliga table ahead of Saturday's home game against Bayer Leverkusen, only a point behind leaders Moenchengladbach, who host fourth-placed Freiburg on Sunday.

Bayern underlined their form in Tuesday's 6-0 win at Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League when Robert Lewandowski scored four goals in 15 stunning minutes.

The romp handed Flick a fourth straight win, with 16 goals scored and none conceded, in the three weeks since being made interim coach after Niko Kovac was sacked.

No other coach has enjoyed a better start at Bayern.

"It's a tremendous series, we are on an incredible run," enthused club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who has said Flick will remain in charge until at least January.

With a game to spare, Bayern are through to the last 16 of the Champions League as guaranteed group winners.

Now Rummenigge has set the challenge of regaining top spot in the Bundesliga for the first time since early October.

"We are still only third and it would be nice if we could be looking down from the top by Christmas," he said.

"That should be our big goal."

A fifth straight win under Flick would set Bayern up for a showdown at Gladbach's Borussia Park a week on Saturday.

The secret to his immediate success has been how quickly Flick has won over Bayern's stars - no easy feat. 

Under Kovac, nearly a third of Bayern's goals came from set-pieces, yet since Flick took charge, 15 of the Bayern's last 16 goals have come from open play.

Lewandowski has scored seven of them, but stars like Thomas Mueller, Philippe Coutinho and Javi Martinez are thriving again after struggling for form in Kovac's final weeks.

"The changes Flick has made are mainly tactical," said Coutinho.

"He places emphasis on compact, coordinated and, at times, high pressing so that our opponents can't get into their game.

"From the start, we understood what he wants on the pitch and in the changing room.

"That’s why things are going well and we’re all happy."

Germany stars Joshua Kimmich and Serge Gnabry, who were rested in Belgrade, are likely to start against Leverkusen.

Leon Goretzka, who capped a strong display with the opening goal in Belgrade, should keep his place after another outstanding midfield display. 

Read more on:    bayern munich  |  bundesliga  |  soccer

 

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