- Bayern skipper Lahm confident despite losing semi-final first leg 1-0.
- "We didn’t expect to get as many opportunities away to Atletico."
- Lahm hopes to win Bundesliga title vs Gladbach on Saturday.
Despite losing by a single goal in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final to Club Atletico de Madrid, FC Bayern München captain Philipp Lahm insists that his side’s hopes of winning the trophy for the sixth time are still very much alive.
Lahm, who became the competition’s most-capped German player on Wednesday, said the side firmly believe they will reach the final. And on Saturday, Bayern could clinch a record fourth-straight Bundesliga title with victory at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Question: Philipp Lahm, you said at the pre-match press conference you were hoping to score at least one goal away to Atletico. Why didn’t you?
Philipp Lahm: We just did not convert our chances. We didn’t expect to get as many as we did actually, especially in the second half. Unfortunately, we weren’t clinical enough in front of goal.
Question: It took you a while to get into the game…
Lahm: We really shouldn’t have conceded the way we did. You have to say that we didn’t allow them many chances, though. We tried not to take too many risks at the beginning which is why we played more long balls than we usually do. We were aware of how strong Atletico are. As the match progressed, we tried to play football again which worked out better for us.
Question: How confident are you of reaching the final despite the defeat?
Lahm: The fact that we created several opportunities after the break helps me believe we can make it. We’ll have to be more clinical when we play them at home, however. I don’t think there are a lot of teams that managed to create as many chances away to Atletico in the past few years. That will give us confidence.
Question: What did you make of the mood in the team following the loss?
Lahm: Of course we’re disappointed at having lost and not having scored. But we’re looking ahead now, this tie is anything but over yet. We know there’ll be a great atmosphere at the Allianz Arena. With the support of our fans we certainly have a chance of reaching the final.
Question: Atletico are strong on the break. In what areas will you have to improve to get the better of them on Tuesday?
Lahm: We’ll have to play a similar game like today. We didn’t allow them much. They managed one proper counterattack in the second half through [Fernando] Torres when we gave away possession in midfield. I’m still vey positive, despite this defeat. Also the pitch in the Allianz Arena will be better which should play to our advantage.
Lahm: We have a big squad with a great deal of quality. It’s up to the coach to decide who plays.
Question: Looking ahead to Saturday, would clinching the Bundesliga against Borussia Mönchengladbach help the team’s confidence going into the Atletico game?
Lahm: We hope to be champions on Saturday - the earlier you win the title the better. But this will have no effect on the return leg.
Question: How would you celebrate winning the Bundesliga?
Lahm: We wouldn’t be able to celebrate it too much. That will happen once the season’s over!
Alexander Barklage reporting from Madrid
Watch: Gladbach duo Oscar Wendt and Fabian Johnson relive their Matchday 15 goals against Bayern.