‘A game we have to win’, Champions League 09/10 Matchday 4 Bayern V Bordeaux
Posted by Hendra Gunawan on November 3, 2009
FCB under pressure against Bordeaux
It is early November and this season’s Champions League has only reached Matchday 4, but Bayern face their first final of the campaign on Tuesday evening when French champions Girondins Bordeaux visit the Allianz Arena. “Clubs like Bayern have to win every game. It doesn’t always work out, but tomorrow, we really do have to win. We want to make the next round,” Louis van Gaal declared on Monday.
“We know what’s at stake. We have to win our next two home games in the Champions League,” added keeper Jörg Butt. At the halfway mark in the group programme, Bayern lie third in the table on four points. Bordeaux lead on seven, followed by Juventus with five. Maccabi Haifa have lost all three matches so far and appear out of the running for the top two places, but the Israelis could yet play a decisive role, as they visit Munich on 25 November and have still to entertain Juve and Bordeaux.
Speaking after Saturday’s goalless draw with VfB Stuttgart, general manager Uli Hoeneß confessed to being “a little nervous. There can be no excuses: we have to win on Tuesday.” There was indeed a certain tension in the Bayern camp on the eve of the Girondins clash. “Pressure is all a part of it. That’s why you love playing in the Champions League,” said captain Mark van Bommel: “But it evaporates the moment the ref starts the game.”
Van Bommel called on the sell-out crowd to lift the team. “We need our fans to help us. We did it together against Real Madrid, and we can do it tomorrow,” said the 32-year-old, recalling a famous victory over the Spanish giants in March 2007. Bayern were 3-2 down from the Round of 16 away leg, but won 2-1 in a frenzied atmosphere at the Allianz Arena to make the quarter-finals on away goals.
With an eye on the potential outcome in Group A, Bayern want not only to beat Bordeaux, but also ensure they win the aggregate comparison between the sides. For that reason, Van Gaal was relieved that his men only lost the leg in France 2-1, despite conceding two penalties and having two men sent off. A 1-0 win, or any margin of two goals or more, would see Bayern edge out Bordeaux if the sides finish level on points. However, FCB are unlikely to go hammer and tongs at their opponents from the off. “We need to be smart about it,” said Van Bommel.
Girondins, who would book their spot in the last sixteen with a win in Munich, would have won by more two weeks ago had it not been for Butt’s heroics in saving both spot-kicks. “We mustn’t give away as many free-kicks and corners as we did at their place,” the seasoned keeper warned, as Bordeaux are exceptionally dangerous from set-pieces. All four of their goals in Europe so far have resulted from free-kicks or corners.
Van Gaal will make a minimum of two changes to the lie-up from the first meeting, as Thomas Müller and Daniel van Buyten are suspended. Despite the loss of two in-form players, Van Gaal remained upbeat: “Our players are good enough to win. And I believe we can do it. Our fate is in our own hands.”
Note: Robben set for subs’ bench