Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Bayern Munich still underdogs, says van Gaal

Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal has insisted that despite his side's "sweet" victory over Manchester United tonight, they remain underdogs to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Bayern came from behind to notch a 2-1 win at the Allianz Arena which puts them in the driving seat of the tie ahead of the return leg in Old Trafford next weekend and Van Gaal praised his side's powers of recovery.

Wayne Rooney, who left the pitch limping at the end, had put United ahead in the second minute before Franck Ribery's diverted free-kick after 77 minutes set the scene for Ivica Olic's dramatic injury-time winner.

"We fully deserved to win," he said. "I was not happy with the first minute and the shock (of conceding).

"We had to get back to the right mentality and that is hard; it's hard because ideally we didn't want Manchester United to score but they have gone and done that straight away.

"So I am proud of my players that they got back into the game with this mentality and in the first half we were already superior to Manchester United.

"We played excellent in the second half, created plenty of chances and never gave up right to the very end.

"Sweet is a good word."

Although Olic's 92nd-minute strike has given Bayern a one-goal lead, Van Gaal bemoaned the fact that his side travel to Manchester in a week's time having conceded an away goal at the Allianz Arena.

Nevertheless, he is optimistic that his side will also be able to find the back of the net at least once at Old Trafford.

"I think that Man United has a great chance because they have scored a goal away from home," he said.

"I had not accounted for that; I wanted a 0-0 or a 1-0 and 2-1 is not the best result.

"But we have always scored at least a goal in the Champions League I think.

"Against Haifa we scored three, against Bordeaux one, against Juventus four and against Fiorentina two.

"That is a lot of goals away from home so we can have a bit of faith."

Van Gaal praised his Croatian match-winner, although he also took his own share of the credit for the winning goal.

"I think that Ivica Olic is always sharp and he also has the mentality to give everything and that is very good for a coach," said the Dutch coach.

"I know that I can always count on him and I think that it was also clever from the coach to let him play on the right so he could come in and score with his left foot."

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