Pep Guardiola Happy with ‘Best Performance in Three Years’ After Late Winner

Bayern Munich were able to breathe a sigh of relief after managing to get a late winner in the Bundesliga game against Hoffenheim. Pep Guardiola faced accusations of turning Bayern Munich into a team with Spanish mentality just ahead of the game. Former coach of the German giant, Ottmar Hitzfeld, had claimed that too many Spanish players coupled with a Spanish manager is threatening to take away the core of German mentality from Bayern. The Germans are known for being extremely efficient and there was not much of it to be seen in the latest game against Hoffenheim.

Bayern conceded after just 10 seconds on the clock with Kevin Volland opening the scoring. It was a huge shock to the champions, who are gunning for the Champions League title this season. Despite controlling possession in true Guardiola style, Bayern were unable to unlock the opposition until the half-time break when Thomas Müller scored the equaliser. It should have provided the impetus for Bayern to go on and get the winner sooner rather than later, but Hoffenheim were proving a tough nut to crack indeed. Müller said:

“Both in terms of the temperatures and the match it was fiery stuff today.

“We had good chances throughout the match, we stuck to the job even with 10 men, and we’ve earned our reward for a really terrific game.”

A major setback for Guardiola came in the second half when defender Jerome Boateng was sent off for a second yellow card. Being reduced to 10 men certainly did not help matters, but Bayern kept persisting with their philosophy of patient football. This finally paid dividends late on after Robert Lewandowski pounced on to score from a Douglas Costa cross. This goal would have just levelled things had it not been for goalkeeper Manuel Neuer coming up with an impressive penalty save in the 75th minute. Eugen Polanski failed to provide a lead for Hoffenheim after missing from the spot.

Guardiola later termed this performance has one of the best his team had put in the league since his arrival to the club almost 3 years ago. The result, however, does not offer anything new to those looking to see Bayern lift the Champions League title once again. The team still has some way to go before being capable of regarded as favourites. Guardiola may look to the transfer window, which is nearing its end, as a means of strengthening the team. Guardiola said:

“I’m happy with the win, but especially with our performance. We’ve always found it tough in Hoffenheim in recent years, so we knew it would be hard work.

“The last 10 minutes were a little crazy. That was one of our best Bundesliga performances in the last three years.”

Bayern’s next match is against Bayer Leverkusen at the Allianz Arena. It will be a match between two teams who have made 100% starts to the season.