Munich - Franck Ribery scored the only goal in FC Bayern München's 1-0 win over Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Saturday evening, but it was the introduction of Sebastian Rode that changed the pattern of the game in the Bavarians' favour at the Allianz Arena.
After the visitors dominated the first half, Rode's appearance gave Bayern the balance they needed to step up a level and win the match, and the 24-year-old was undoubtedly pleased with his contribution at full time. bundesliga.com has all the post-match reaction from Bavaria...
FC Bayern München
Sebastian Rode: In the changing room Pep Guardiola hugged me, so I assume from that that I played well. I came on and wanted to show what I’m capable of. I think I managed to do that quite well so now we’re looking forward to the Champions League game on Wednesday. I’ve been accepted into the team and when I play I don’t think there’s a dip in quality in our team. Arjen Robben: I don’t think it was as much of a spectacle as was expected before kick-off. We’re both teams who like to get forward and not sit back too much. Both teams were very wary because both sides have quick, dangerous attackers going forward. That’s perhaps why it wasn’t as dramatic a game as anticipated. My nose hurts a bit after the clash of heads, but I’m ok. Life goes on. Thomas Müller: Before every game the coach thinks about a strategy of how to win and that was especially the case here against Leverkusen, who have a special style of play. We were very well prepared and drilled in our tactics. We’re very satisfied overall. If the tactics are good for the team then they’re good for me too. I'm not bothered about scoring in every game but rather that we win all three points. If you have a tactical role to play then you have to fulfil it. Lewandowski and I had to play out wide in the first half. We deliberately wanted to make the pitch as wide as possible. The reason we did that was because Leverkusen usually push their full backs very far forward, so the idea was that we’d have a lot of space on the flanks when we won the ball back. Or that it would pin the full-backs into their own half due to our presence. I think it worked pretty well, even if they defended very well. Against Moscow [in the UEFA Champions League next week] we want to put in a good performance and pick up a win at home in front of our own fans. We need to put on a show for them. Robert Lewandowski: We played well in the first half but didn’t have that many chances to score. In the second half we had more opportunities and managed to score. The most important thing was winning the three points. When you play with new tactics for the first time you sometimes need a bit of time and you could see that in the first half. We didn’t play badly but didn’t create enough in attack. On the left I didn’t get forward as much and had to get back a bit. If the coach asks you to play on the left or the right it’s not a problem for me.
Simon Rolfes: I wanted to give the club a clear answer so that the issue didn’t hang over our heads. I’m going to go into sport management. Karim Bellarabi: It was frustrating that my shot didn’t go in at the start of the game - I didn’t quite catch the ball properly. If it had gone in then the game could have turned out differently. It’s a shame we lost. You could see today that we’re a top team but unfortunately we didn’t get anything for our efforts. Josip Drmic: We all know how good Bayern are and they showed that once again. They made life very difficult for us today - you could see right away that they were playing with a specific set of tactics against us. I think it was a pretty even game. At the start we had good chances to go ahead, but that was the difference: Bayern scored and we didn't. Once you go behind against a team like that then it's always difficult. We gave it everything but unfortunately it wasn't enough today. Ömer Toprak: In the first half we had one or two good chances and if we'd scored early on it would have been fantastic for us. Nevertheless, we made life really difficult for Bayern and I don't think they had any absolutely clear-cut chances today. They scored from a set-piece, which was frustrating for us. But you could see that Bayern played long balls forward. They only rarely do that, so I think we played well today. Now we go up against Benfica and we want to win there.
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