We Have A Clear Goal Before Our Eyes
Before the match against Basel in the second round, Bayern’s captain Philipp Lahm speaks in this exclusive interview about chances and lays out the principles of success against the Swiss.
Mr. Lahm, you’re going into this with the tailwind from the victory 7:1 against Hoffenheim. Was that a sign at the right time?
Lahm: Of course, it was an important victory. It was crucial that we stayed focused and used our chances. Unfortunately, that hasn’t always been the case in the past. The excitement of victory certainly gives the team confidence. The five goals in the first half alone did very, very well.
The opportunities were used more wisely. What else was further improved?
Lahm: Apart from the five goals in the first half, one could see that we allowed very little when it came to defending. One can clearly say that it was much better. What’s left is once again the realization [of the opportunities to score]. It is really important that one makes each of them count. If we take the lead, it is very difficult to win against us.
There was a lot of pressure on the team. For how long have you longed for such a victory as that against Hoffenheim?
Lahm: We always scored during home games. That wasn’t a problem. The problem lies elsewhere. What is important now is that the match against Basel is also a home game, in which we can certainly build on the Hoffenheim game.
In times of crisis, Bayern questions everything. Even the coach was criticized. Can you retrace that?
Lahm: Oh, that was a public discussion. We, the players, have not gotten involved into that and won’t do so. When FC Bayern isn’t at the top, i.e. the number one, then it’s logical that everything is questioned. That’s normal, and that’s how it is with us.
The away game against Basel was dramatic for the club. In the end, the dream to participate in the final on May 19 at your own stadium is still alive. In reality, how big is the pressure on FC Bayern?
Lahm: We have a clear goal before our eyes. The 7:1 gave us confidence that we can recover from the 0:1 in the first round and advance further. I’m very confident, as far as the match against Basel is concerned, because we can put pressure and play with concentration. Now, we must react similarly.
What are the chances of reaching the next round?
Lahm: The chances in the knockout stage in the Champions League are always the same: 50/50. Basel has obviously an advantage, but we know this: when we deliver, we can win 2:0 or 3:0.
What do you expect from the opponent? A rather defensive game? After all, they “only” managed to pull of a 1:0.
Lahm: I don’t know if, overall, they can play that defensively. Their great strength lies in the offense. We must be very careful when it comes to counter-attacks. But we’ll see. We must play as we played against Hoffenheim, i.e. with concentration. If we do so, we have every chance of moving on to the quarterfinals.