Bayern München vs. Valencia  2 - 1

Article

Heynckes rues lapses in concentration

20 September 2012 01:50

Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes was critical of his team's second-half display in the 2-1 win over Valencia on Wednesday.

The Bundesliga giants dominated the first half but stepped off the gas after the break and failed to close out the Champions League opener.

Although Toni Kroos added to Bastian Schweinsteiger's earlier strike, Valencia netted a consolation effort in stoppage-time, through Nelson Valdez, to deny the hosts a clean sheet in Group F.

"Valencia tried to counter-attack, but we gave them few chances to score," Heynckes said.

"We conceded a late goal, which cannot happen so easily in future. Missing the penalty is also something we won't get away with again."

While he was pleased his team collected all three points at the Allianz Arena, Heynckes said there was still room for improvement.

"It was not that easy to win today," he said.

"Nevertheless, we should have made more of our midfield pressure and maybe could have been a bit more adventurous going forward."

Valencia coach Mauricio Pellegrino expressed his disappointment after the loss, which ended with Adil Rami being sent off when he picked up his second yellow card in additional time.

The La Liga side were second best for large periods of the game and Pellegrino voiced his concerns with the way his team approached the game.

"It has not been a good game. We had too much fear at the beginning," the 40-year-old Argentine told reporters.

"Perhaps we showed them too much respect. That is one of the reasons for our defeat, but overall we were solid."

Pellegrino watched his side fail to create goalscoring opportunities in a toothless first-half performance, but was pleased with how they responded after the break.

"We gave the ball away a lot, especially in the first half. We had no support when we brought the ball out, and we were not in the right positions," he said.

"In the second half we improved, but against a team like Bayern mistakes like these make things very difficult."

Article

Bayern brimming with belief

19 September 2012 13:24

Jupp Heynckes has stressed his Bayern Munich side is full of confidence ahead of their Champions League opener against Valencia.

The Bayern coach is aware Valencia are among the top teams in Spain, but believes his side have more than enough quality to come out victorious in Wednesday's encounter at the Allianz Arena.

"We go into tomorrow's game high on confidence," Heynckes told reporters.

"It really seems we have added quality to our squad over the summer and it is good to have alternatives on the bench – that will be important for the rest of the season.

"Valencia are among the top three in Spain – just remember 2000 and 2001 (when they twice finished Champions League runners-up).

"The team of today is very well organised and physically strong. Their pressing is great and I have a lot of respect for them."

Heynckes then went onto say that Bayern are no longer thinking about last season's loss against Chelsea in the Champions League final, the coach saying his side are merely focused on surviving the group stage.

"We no longer linger on our final defeat (by Chelsea), Heynckes said.

"This is a new season and we have to concentrate on our group now – everything else is just hypothetical.

"The past is the past and I do not think about it anymore. It is not relevant to talk about the Champions League final in London either.

"We have to survive the group and then we will see."

Article

Soldado eyes positive start

18 September 2012 16:34

Valencia striker Roberto Soldado is backing his team to win their Champions League opener at Bayern Munich.

The prolific forward sees the Bavarians as their strongest opponents in Group F, but feels they have already shown in La Liga games against Barcelona and Real Madrid that they can compete with Europe's finest.

"We have to win in order to get the good start we are aiming for," Soldado said.

"It will not be an easy game against the strongest team in our group, but we have already shown versus Barcelona and Real Madrid what we can do.

"We are full of confidence and want to start our Champions League campaign on a high.

"However, Bayern have some great players and are among the best teams in Europe. They made it to the Champions League final for a reason last term."

Both sides met in the final of the 2000/01 Champions League, which Bayern won on penalties.

Article

UEFA Champions League Group F preview: Bayern, Valencia set for battle

18 September 2012 10:58

Last season's runners-up Bayern Munich host Valencia on Wednesday in a relatively favourable Champions League Group F.

The Bundesliga giants fell agonisingly short at the last hurdle to Chelsea in their own stadium last term but have the chance to atone for their penalty shootout heartbreak against Mauricio Pellegrino's side.

Bayern were dealt a group including French side Lille and Belarusian outfit BATE Borisov, who also face off on Wednesday, and are raging favourites to top the pile.

Bundesliga record signing Javi Martinez produced a fine cameo on debut in a 3-1 win over Mainz on Saturday while fellow recruit Mario Mandzukic continued in the absence of the injured Mario Gomez, slotting in the opener.

Valencia have had to reshuffle their pack following the off-season departure of Barcelona new boy Jordi Alba, but managed to bolster with the money brought in.

The likes of Fernando Gago, Andres Guardado, Joao Pareira, Sergio Canales, Aly Cissokho and Nelson Valdez on loan have offset Alba's departure and Valencia will be looking to go one better after troubling group opponents Chelsea and Bayer Leverkusen last season.

The Spanish outfit are strong favourites to finish second, with Lille another likely contender for the knockout stages.

The Ligue 1 side have gone through a similar transition, losing key playmaker Eden Hazard to Chelsea in the off-season.

The Belgium's move followed a long line of key departures with Yohann Cabaye, Moussa Sow and Gervinho securing big-money moves abroad.

Lille struggled last season with only one win in six group games and have started their domestic campaign poorly.

An inability to juggle European and domestic commitments would appear to lie at the heart of Lille's difficulties and given they only qualified through knocking out Copenhagen in extra-time of the qualifying round, it is hard to see them getting out of the group here.

Wednesday's opponents BATE Borisov are easily the least storied of the four clubs and will be hoping to finish third to qualify for the Europa League.

After a lengthy qualifying process just to make it to the group stages for the second consecutive season, BATE have been dealt another tough group of opponents having faced both Barcelona and AC Milan last year.

BATE did not make it out of the group stage last year and were on the receiving end of nine goals over two matches against Barcelona.

They held AC Milan at home but eventually succumbed to the sheer strength of opposition and finished with only two draws from six matches.

Bundesliga table

# Team MP D P
1 30 +62 78
2 30 +35 61
3 30 +18 58
4 30 +13 51
5 30 +8 50

Primera División table

# Team MP D P
6 33 +14 52
7 33 +6 51
8 33 +0 44
9 33 -5 41
10 33 -11 40