Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer couldn’t prevent his side from going down to a 3-2 loss against league leaders Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 11, but the Bayern skipper feels that the defending champions can still recover in the title race – if they focus on their own game.
Defeat in the Klassiker means that Bayern are now trailing Dortmund by seven points in the standings. Neuer told bundesliga.com what went wrong, and why he feels his side can bounce back.
bundesliga.com: In the end, Bayern finished a spectacular game with nothing to show for it. How do you assess the match?
Manuel Neuer: For us it’s obviously disappointing. We put a lot into it. We did well in the first half but Dortmund were able to get to grips with our game after the break. What makes them stand out is not something we’re only finding out about this season, but it’s something we know about them from previous years. They create danger with a lot of pace and break with four or five players really quickly. And that is exactly what they demonstrated against us again this time. As a result they caught us out, you have to admit.
Watch: See why Neuer wasn't too down after the Matchday 11 loss to Dortmund
bundesliga.com: What does a seven-point gap to Dortmund mean for the coming weeks and the rest of the season?
Neuer: We can all see the table but we can’t look at it now. We know that we’re playing catch up. We just have to win our games now. We’ve been under pressure in the past and now we're under pressure again. So as I said, we have to win our games – and keep going like that until at least the winter break.
bundesliga.com: But with the way Dortmund played in the second half, it could already be difficult to make up those seven points…
Neuer: We won’t be playing against Dortmund every week though. And you also know that Dortmund have problems against certain other teams. When teams sit back, then it’s also harder for them. You saw that against a couple of different teams. But for us it’s more important to think about ourselves than to talk about Dortmund. Everyone has to do everything they can to make FC Bayern better and to win our games.
bundesliga.com: Can the team build on what they produced in the first half?
Neuer: You can always build on something. We were also able to build on the second half in Athens for this game. But we didn’t finish the game out clinically so that we were in the lead for a longer time. Most of all, the fact that we couldn’t hold on to a 2-1 lead was our problem.
bundesliga.com: It was the same situation against Freiburg, when Bayern couldn’t hold on to a lead until the end.
Neuer: You can’t compare the two. I already described what the problem was this time – the whole counter-attack situation. That really killed us. The chances were that Dortmund could have put the ball elsewhere too, because it felt like they always had someone free in the penalty area.
bundesliga.com: Was it a problem for you to keep up with them?
Neuer: With their changes Dortmund were able to inject more pace. Their faster players were able to hurt us then.
In conversation with Dietmar Nolte