Munich - FC Bayern München’s 2-0 win over Hannover 96 on Matchday 5 might have been something of a workmanlike display from the record title-holders, but for one man in particular, it was a match to remember.
Manuel Neuer's clean sheet was the 100th of his Bundesliga career and at the age of 27, FC Bayern's custodian became the youngest goalkeeper in history of Germany's top flight to have reached the milestone. After the game, Germany’s No1 admitted the record had come as a surprise to him, and preferred to focus on the collective efforts of the team, who begin the defence of their UEFA Champions League title this coming Tuesday.
Question: Manuel Neuer, congratulations on keeping your 100th Bundesliga clean sheet. What does the achievement mean to you?
Manuel Neuer: I wasn’t counting myself, but there’s still room for improvement for me.
Question: In the first half, we might have been talking about a Hannover goal. They had two good chances...
Neuer: Set pieces like the corner they had can always be dangerous, we know that. If one of their taller players manages to get a flick-on, then you can be in trouble. And the shot [from Didier Ya Konan] was deflected, otherwise I would have had it comfortably. That was actually luckier for them than it was for us.
Question: Why did Bayern seem to struggle today?
Neuer: We had chances in the first half, but our problem was that we didn’t execute our attacks as well as we could have. We did that twice in the second half. Those are the types of chances we need to be creating and converting. Then we’ll take the lead much earlier.
Question: What was the reason for things not quite going 100 per cent according to plan?
Neuer: Maybe there was a little fatigue in our legs after the international break, and if that was the case, we got it out of our system in the first half. After half time we played with a lot more energy, and that was important.
Question: On Tuesday you begin your Champions League campaign against PFC CSKA Moskva, and the fixtures will come thick and fast in the next few weeks. As defending champions, what is the mood in the camp like before the first game?
Neuer: We’ve already had a good start to international competitions with the , and it’s good for us that we can take that experience into the Champions League. We certainly want to keep that momentum going.
Tim Tonner reporting from the Allianz Arena