Munich - FC Bayern München striker insisted “the most important thing is the three points,” after the defending Bundesliga champions kicked-off the 2014/15 season with a 2-1 victory over VfL Wolfsburg on Friday.
Lewandowski: 'Luck not on my side'
Bayern may have dominated large spells of the game but their new striker’s relief at getting off to a winning start was clear, as the visitors attacked with greater verve in the second period and went close to snatching an equaliser.
Indeed, the Wolves should have pulled level when midfielder Junior Malanda somehow contrived to skew the ball wide of an open goal, but by that time the home side should have been out of sight having missed several clear-cut opportunities - with Lewandowski the chief culprit. “We had a lot of chances to score,” said the Polish frontman afterwards. “It would have been good to hit the net today but luck wasn’t on my side. I hope I can do better next time and the luck will be with me, because today there were a few chances where normally I’d put at least one of them away.”
However, the 26-year-old also highlighted that some teething problems were always going to be inevitable: "It’s normal that in the first few games [at a new club] that things don’t always work out perfectly, but I hope those small details will be better in our next game. Today there were two or three situations where I was a step too quick or too slow, but that’s to be expected."
Work in progress
Team captain Philipp Lahm was also upbeat following the victory, but likewise conceded his side had not been at their best throughout: “I think it took us the first quarter of an hour to get into the game and then we played very well until the 60th minute, but towards the end you could see that we were running out of steam a bit. It was obvious a few of us weren’t at 100 per cent.”
Bayern’s difficulty in asserting themselves at the beginning was also in part down to the new 3-5-2 formation coach Pep Guardiola is keen to employ. “We started with a three-man backline,” Lahm continued. “But then we realised it was putting us at a disadvantage out wide and that we weren’t able to close down the spaces well enough so we switched to four at the back.”
To be sure, then, the use of different tactics, a post-World Cup shortage of fitness among certain squad members and the new players’ need for time to adapt to their surroundings contributed to the lack of complete fluidity and dominance over 90 minutes that Bayern fans became accustomed to last season.
Yet there was also the distinct sense that although the Bavarians weren’t at their barnstorming best, it is only a matter of time before Guardiola irons out the wrinkles and has the Bayern juggernaut chugging along in gear once more. Next week’s opponents FC Schalke 04 will be hoping that happens later rather than sooner.
Jonathan Stockitt reporting from Munich