WOLFSBURG, Germany: Joshua Kimmich says Bayern Munich proved they can “pull together” by ending their winless streak with a 3-1 victory at Wolfsburg, the day after senior club bosses launched a ferocious attack on the German media.
Robert Lewandowski scored twice on Saturday as Bayern earned their first win in five matches, despite finishing with ten men after Arjen Robben was sent off for a second booking.
After consecutive league defeats, Bayern jumped from sixth to third in the table on Saturday, four points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund, who romped to a 4-0 victory at Stuttgart.
Bayern's win came after chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and president Uli Hoeness slammed the media on Friday for what they deemed “disrespectful and disgusting” reporting.
Kimmich says the outburst showed the squad and head coach Niko Kovac that senior club bosses are behind them following sharp criticism for poor recent performances.
“It was a great sign that the club is behind the players and will protect them,” said Germany international Kimmich.
“We have the feeling that the club has pulled together.
“It is clear that people like to talk about Bayern Munich when things don't go so well.
“It's good for the feeling within the club, that we didn't let any of that criticism get to us and at the same time protected ourselves from it”.
'Ice cold' Lewandowski
As Kovac put it, Lewandowski took his chances with “ice-cold” finishing to put Bayern 2-0 up just after the break at Wolfsburg, who are now winless in six games.
It ended the Poland striker's goalless run of five games for club and country.
There were nervous looks in Bayern's ranks on 57 minutes when Robben was sent off for a second yellow card after fouling Elvis Rexhbecaj having already been booked for a first-half dive.
Wolfsburg pulled a goal back just after Robben's dismissal through Dutch striker Wout Weghorst, but James Rodriguez calmed any nerves with a stunning strike 18 minutes from time.
“I want to congratulate the team for a top performance,” said Kovac.
“There was a lot of pressure on this game and it was a very concentrated display.
“It is the first step and showed that FC Bayern can fight back”.
Kovac said he was not angry with Robben, 34, despite being sent off for the first time since April 2011, when the Dutchman was shown a straight red in a 1-1 draw with Nuremberg for insulting the referee.
“The first situation wasn't a yellow card (when Robben dived in the area), two players just collided,” said Kovac.
“The second was a booking, but there was no need to have given the first.
“Importantly, it (Robben's dismissal) didn't shake us.
“Wolfsburg didn't have any more high-quality chances, while we had two or three good ones, so the win is very much deserved”.
Kovac said he took off left-back David Alaba, who suffered a second-half thigh knock, only as a precautionary measure ahead of Tuesday's Champions League game at Greek side AEK Athens. — AFP