BATE vs. Bayern München  3 - 1

Article

Hleb: We knew we could win

5 October 2012 18:11

BATE Borisov midfielder Aliaksandr Hleb said his team had no doubt they could beat German giants Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

The Belarusian outfit caused one of the shocks of the season with their emphatic 3-1 victory over the Bavarians on Tuesday.

It was their second consecutive win in the group stages - after beating French side Lille away on Matchday 1 - and it has left them as the surprise leaders of Group F.

The much-travelled Hleb was ecstatic with his team's most recent triumph and is adamant that even before the match, his team felt they could record an unlikely win.

"Of course it's a great sensation to win. We always believed in it all along," Hleb said.

The former Arsenal man has had a difficult few years, being farmed out to Stuttgart, Birmingham City and Wolfsburg on loan while at Barcelona.

The 31-year-old then left the Catalans for Russian side Krylya Sovetov at the tail end of last season before joining BATE in July.

Now back in his homeland, Hleb is focusing on the Belarusian side, but is thankful for the opportunities he has had in his career - getting to play for some of the best teams in the world.

"Everyone wants to play for a big club. That was my goal and I achieved it," he said.

"I love this game. I have been around the place, that is for sure, but, I achieved my goals."

Article

Badstuber laments Bayern loss

3 October 2012 17:33

Bayern Munich defender Holger Badstuber has voiced his dismay with his team's performance in their Champions League loss to BATE on Tuesday.

The Bundesliga giants were beaten 3-1 in their second Group F match, but Badstuber has stressed that his side did not underestimate their opponents.

"We don't know how we conceded against that team, but we just weren't aggressive enough in one-on-ones to win balls, and they were just clinical with their counterattacks, and that can be enough," Badstuber told UEFA.com.

"They scored the opener, but if we had then taken the chance we had to score, it would have ended differently. After that, we were trying to equalise, and their second goal was decisive.

"We take every opponent seriously. We knew what to expect here, especially after they beat Lille 3-1 away.

"Now we just have to stay calm. We shouldn't lose our heads – we know what we are capable of. We have to win our next home game (against Lille) and then it looks different again."

Bayern resume Bundesliga action on Saturday when they host Hoffenheim.

Article

Badstuber reeling from BATE loss

3 October 2012 04:05

Bayern Munich defender Holger Badstuber was at a loss trying to explain his team's 3-1 defeat to BATE Borisov on Tuesday.

The Bundesliga giants were shock losers at Stadyen Dynama as goals from Aleksandr Pavlov, Vitali Rodionov and Renan Bressan fired the Belarusians to a surprise win.

Badstuber said he was unsure how his side conceded three times and feels the showed more desire than Bayern during the Champions League clash.

"The other side played with more passion than we did. I've no idea how this team scored three goals against us," he said.

"In the end we just needed to fight more, be more aggressive and win the ball. They stayed cool under pressure though."

Franck Ribery netted a consolation goal in the first minute of additional time before Bressan sealed the win in the dying moments.

Bayern captain Philipp Lahm said his team were surprised by the performance of Viktor Goncharenko's side, who are top of Group F, with the German heavyweights down to third.

"We've had the chance to take the lead against a very defensive team and if you don't score it'll be dangerous," he said.

"We went 1-0 down, which shouldn't have happened. Then you're under pressure and you need to run forward all the time.

"Their team was very defensive. If you can't score it gets more and more difficult in the end. Then we went 2-0 behind, we came back and they scored again on the counter-attack.

"Of course we didn't expect that."

Article

Lahm urges Bayern to stay focussed

2 October 2012 14:40

Philipp Lahm has stressed that Bayern Munich have not achieved anything yet and has urged his team-mates to stay focussed.

The Bavarians have been in superb form so far this season, having won all their nine official games to date, and Lahm has insisted that they cannot afford to lose concentration now as they prepare for Tuesday's Champions League game away against BATE Borisov.

"We've achieved nothing yet, and we can play better than we did at the weekend (against Werder Bremen)," Lahm was quoted as saying on the official Bayern website.

"This will be a difficult away game, but we want to build on what we have done so far this season, that much is clear."

Meanwhile, shot-stopper Manuel Neuer was equally cautious ahead of Tuesday's encounter in Minsk.

"We need to watch we don't take a step backwards, but continue to take steps forward," Neuer stated.

"We have to take Borisov very seriously. We need the right attitude in that we don't underestimate them and do concentrate hard."


Article

Heynckes not underestimating BATE

2 October 2012 11:26

Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes insists that BATE are favourites heading into Tuesday's Champions League match between the two sides.

The Bavarians have won all nine of their matches so far this season, including victories over the likes of Schalke, Borussia Dortmund and Valencia.

BATE shocked Lille in their first group match with an away win while Bayern picked up three points at home to Valencia.

However, due to the long-haul nature of their trip to Minsk, and with the hosts having had more playing time this season, the veteran manager feels his side are at a disadvantage.

"BATE will have a slight advantage as they play at home, and with BATE's season in full swing, Bayern have no advantages," the Borussia Moenchengladbach legend said.

"I must say I was impressed by BATE's performance and victory at Lille. BATE played a great game in France, so we must take them seriously.

"BATE have become Champions League regulars in recent years and perform with relative success. They are a unique team. As for our side, we have big targets, but it is too early to speak of them.

"First of all we have to successfully qualify from our group. Playing in the Champions League is a big challenge for our side."

Former Barcelona midfielder Aliaksandr Hleb plies his trade for the Borisov outfit, and Heynckes went on to voice his admiration for the 31-year-old.

"I have a lot of respect for Hleb, who I remember playing in the Bundesliga. He is perhaps BATE's key player, and he has found his Stuttgart form," he said.

Bayern midfielder Anatoliy Tymoschuk faced BATE while playing for Zenit St Petersburg and the 33-year-old believes they must be at their best to make it two wins from two games in Group F.

"I have already played BATE with St Petersburg. They are a well organised team. They play a physical style of football, they do a lot of running," he said.

"With the audience supporting them it won't be easy for us. Nonetheless we have to give our best to win the game."

Article

Hleb backs BATE in Bayern clash

1 October 2012 18:12

Aliaksandr Hleb claims all the pressure is on Bayern Munich in Tuesday’s Champions League group match against BATE.

The Belarusian club won at Lille 3-1 in their first match and top Group F, ahead of last year’s runners-up in the continental competition on goal difference.

The former Barcelona and Arsenal midfielder believes the Bundesliga giants possess quality in abundance but that a victory is not implausible.

"The pressure is on Bayern as they're the favourites," he told Bundesliga.com.

"It will be difficult, they're a fantastic team, but anything is possible.

"I believe we (relish the role of underdog). But we're not looking too far ahead as we know that other teams, in particular Bayern and Valencia, are favourites in this group.

"Likewise, Lille could still progress despite the defeat. We're just trying to take it step by step and we'll see how far we've got after the six matches.”

Hleb's contract with BATE runs out at the end of the season, and he wants to use this European charge as an opportunity to announce himself to bigger clubs.

"I haven't even started thinking about what I will be doing next year," the 31-year-old said.

"But one thing is for sure: I want to play in a good league and with a club that's involved on the international stage.

"In a sense, I'm using BATE as a springboard but at the same time I want to help the team achieve their goals and maybe even make a bit of Belarusian football history in the process."

Hleb said a return to the Bundesliga - where he has played with Stuttgart and Wolfsburg - is not out of the question.

"Definitely, I love Germany," he said.

"There are no stadiums like those in the Bundesliga. It's the league with the best atmosphere as well. I've always really enjoyed playing in Germany."

Article

UEFA Champions League Group F preview: Bayern go to Belarus

1 October 2012 14:03

Bayern Munich will travel to Belarus for the first time to take on Group F leaders BATE Borisov in Champions League action on Tuesday.

The German giants have won all of their competitive matches so far this season, including six Bundesliga matches - conceding just two goals in the process - one DFP Pokal clash, and their opening European game against Valencia 2-1.

BATE are flying in their own way, dominating the less-heralded Belarusian top-flight, and being unbeaten in 16 matches across all competitions - with one of those results being their first win in the Champions League group stage at their 13th attempt.

Viktor Goncharenko's men beat Lille 3-1 away in France, scoring three times, all in the first-half, to put the result beyond doubt.

They again displayed their scoring prowess with a 5-1 thrashing of Neman Grodno domestically at the weekend, which included a run of four goals in the space of 19 minutes.

This, however, was in a league below what Bayern ply their trade in every week, and the German club will still be expected to beat their lesser experienced opponents in Minsk.

But the hosts at Dynamo Stadium will be full of confidence their game plan can at least see them score, and be competitive against one of the favourites for the European title.

Despite Jupp Heynckes' side having not played at the ground as a unit, his players are not completely foreign to the surface, with Franck Ribery featuring there for France against Belarus in a Euro 2012 qualifier in June 2011.

Ukrainian international and Bayern midfielder Anatoliy Tymoschuk also featured in Minsk for his country in a World Cup qualifier in 2009, while star Bayern striker Mario Mandzukic also played at the ground for Croatia in that same qualifying campaign - meaning the Bayern squad will also have a sense of familiarity with the venue.

At least one of Valencia or Lille will open their Group F account when they clash in Spain, in a battle of the two matchday one losers.

Valencia have struggled to 10th spot in La Liga through six games, most recently recording a 2-0 win at home to Real Zaragoza to break a two-game losing streak in all competitions.

However, that form pales in comparison to Lille's horror run of results, which sees them sitting 15th in Ligue 1 with seven points from as many matches, and winless in their past five matches.

And Lille will need to turn around recent form and history to win in Spain as Valencia have a perfect record against Ligue 1 opponents in European competition, conceding just three times in seven wins while helping themselves to 18 goals in the same stretch.

Article

Kroos targets Champions League glory for Bayern

1 October 2012 10:21

Toni Kroos says Bayern Munich are brimming with confidence and are keen to go all the way in the Champions League this season.

The Bavarians were beaten by Chelsea in the final of last year's edition of club football's premier competition, and Kroos is determined to make amends this season.

"The Champions League title is incredibly important for me, as important as the Bundesliga title," Kroos told German sports magazine Kicker.

"When you've made the final once, you want to get there again. We have added more depth to our team to make sure we can compete in all competitions, also in the Champions League.

"We will do our utmost to win the Champions League. That's our only goal. We want the trophy. We are very motivated to go all the way.

"It's impossible to forget the lost final against Chelsea, because we were so close, but we have moved on. The defeat serves as a motivation to do better this year. We all want to make it to Wembley."

Bayern Munich beat Valencia 2-1 in their Champions League opener, and will take on BATE Borisov on Tuesday in their second game.

Article

Hitzfeld tips Bayern to win Champions League

30 September 2012 05:17

Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has labelled Bayern Munich one of the favourites to win the Champions League.

The 63-year-old expects Bayern to make up for last season's disappointment by delivering silverware come the end of the season, but he not only believes they can conquer Europe, and tipped them to usurp two-time defending Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund domestically.

"I think Bayern belong to the big favourites to win the Champions League, because they're stronger this season than last term," Hitzfeld told Welt.

"They will also conquer the Bundesliga this season. The strength in depth is excellent. Bayern can win 5-10 percent more games than they did last season.

"(Bastian) Schweinsteiger's intelligence of play is of the highest quality. He's the spirit of the team, and belongs with the best in the world."

The Bavarian giants sit pretty at the top of the German championship after an impressive run of six consecutive wins, and are seven points clear of champions Dortmund.

"No one can do better than (coach Jupp) Heynckes right now. He'll continue training them next year, I'm sure."

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 21 +33 48
2 21 +23 46
3 21 +12 37
4 21 +1 32
5 21 +0 31

Bundesliga table

# Team MP D P
1 1 +2 3
2 1 +2 3
3 1 +1 3
4 1 +1 3
5 1 +1 3