Last year’s unlucky Champion’s League finalists were victorious over Valencia this week but the hosts are clearly still carrying the baggage of their cruel defeat to Chelsea last term, and might find it hard to put the past behind them.
Their Group F opening fixture saw them line up against Valencia who put in a solid shift against the German’s but nonetheless left the Allianz Arena with nothing.
Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes conceded that his side’s performance was far from their best:
"There is still room for improvement for the entire team," said the manager who saw his side let a 2-0 lead slip away, agonizingly close to an embarrassment in the front of the home fans.
"The final phase of the game was unsatisfactory. When you lead 2-0 you cannot let your guard down and it is equally annoying that we do not take full advantage of the penalty,"
After a goal from Bastian Schweinsteiger in the first half, the Germans still looked vulnerable in their own half, and failed to take their chances in front of goal at the other end – an all too familiar story for the Munich fans.
Bayern had several opportunities to put the game beyond the stretched Valencia but failed to convert their chances in the first half.
German international starlet Toni Kroos eventually put the tie beyond doubt in the 76th minute but not without a valiant fight from the Spanish side who also squandered their chances in front of goal at the other end.
Valencia left with nothing but a late consolation goal from Nelson Valdez who exposed Bayern’s aerial vulnerabilities with a strong header in stoppage time.
The late goal left the manager less than impressed with his side’s concentration, only compounded by Mario Mandzukic’s weak penalty kick, saved by the keeper, another squandered opportunity hinting to the nightmares of last season’s final.
There are concerns that this Bayern side are still haunted by their penalty shoot-out defeat to Chelsea, in a game that they had dominated but failed to convert their possession and numerous chances into goals.
It would appear there is still plenty of work to do for Jupp Heynckes if he intends to take his team to the final at Wembley this year.
image: © Steenbergs