| 7°C Belfast

Niko Kovac hails Bayern Munich’s second-half display in Stuttgart win

It was a tough first half for the hosts.


Niko Kovac was pleased with Bayern’s second-half display (Nick Potts/PA)

Niko Kovac was pleased with Bayern’s second-half display (Nick Potts/PA)

Niko Kovac was pleased with Bayern’s second-half display (Nick Potts/PA)

Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac was pleased with his side’s second-half display as they beat Stuttgart 4-1 to secure a fifth-successive Bundesliga win.

It was a tough first half for the hosts and the half-time whistle was greeted by frustration from the Bayern fans with the scores level at 1-1.

But Kovac was delighted with his side’s second-half performance which yielded three goals and the victory cut Borussia Dortmund’s lead at the top back to six points.

“We got into the game well, but then we did not play for 35 minutes, we did not find a way to break through the Stuttgart block,” Kovac said on fcbayern.com.

“We did not have a common pressing and we did not prevent the balls being played behind the chain.

“The second half went better for us, we came into the game better through our individual class and we deserved to win because of the great number of chances.”

Bayern were looking to respond to Dortmund’s thumping 5-1 win over Hannover on Saturday.

Thiago fired them ahead after just five minutes, but Anastasios Donis levelled with a superb strike before the break.

Bayern needed a reaction after the break and it came through half-time substitute Serge Gnabry, whose deflected strike put them ahead once again.

Robert Lewandowski then missed a penalty, striking the post after he had been upended by Marc-Oliver Kempf, before Leon Goretzka made it 3-1 with a header from Joshua Kimmich’s corner.

Lewandowski made amends by firing them 4-1 ahead and midfielder Goretzka echoed the thoughts of his manager.

He said: “We started well, as so often this season. After that, we downshifted a gear and probably, deservedly, conceded the equaliser.

“It is positive that in the end we still won clearly. If we lead 3-0 at half-time, then the game is very different.

“With Bayern you always have pressure, because you have to win every game.”

Stuttgart remain just three points clear of the relegation zone after a fourth-successive defeat.

Defender Kempf said that Bayern’s quality shone through in the second half.

“We did a pretty good job in the first half and allowed relatively little here in Munich, so of course it is annoying that we get behind so early, but we did not let ourselves get carried away and did well,” Kempf told www.vfb.de.

“Unfortunately, we were not able to keep up with this over the entire 90 minutes, but Bayern were too strong in the second half.”