Bayern eager to learn from BATE defeat

Published Oct 22, 2012 12:37pm

bayern munich, BATE Borisov, champions league
“Our goal is to march ahead and not have to chase.” -Photo by Reuters

MUNICH, Germany: Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos has said the Bavarians must learn from their shock defeat at BATE Borisov when they tackle Lille next in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Bayern's 19-man squad left for Lille on Monday with Belgian defender Daniel van Buyten missing with a rib injury while striker Claudio Pizarro is included having recovered from jet lag after playing for Peru last week.

The pair were the only changes from the Bayern squad which won 5-0 at Fortuna Duesseldorf on Saturday to set a new Bundesliga record for the most games won at the start of the season.

Last time out in Europe, Bayern were humbled 3-1 at BATE Borisov, who top Group F with Bayern third, and Kroos said the team must do better in France with Lille bottom of the group.

“We are taking a lot of confidence and momentum to Lille,” said Kroos.

“We are favorites in the group and want to do that title justice, but the defeat to Borisov has, of course, put us under pressure, no question.”

Kroos said Bayern can ill afford to make errors and must be on their guard for quick counter-attacks, which was their downfall against BATE.

“We can not afford any simple errors and we have to make the most of our opportunities,” said Kroos.

“I honestly think the defeat in Belarus is behind us, we're written it off.

“We are in great shape and that is what counts.”

Bayern will be without Dutch winger Arjen Robben, who is recovering from a hamstring strain, while striker Mario Gomez is still working his way back to fitness after ankle surgery.

Munich may have set a new German league record, but Kroos said he is more interested in the 24 points Bayern has collected as they look to win titles this season after two barren seasons without silverware.

Bayern are smarting from losing the Champions League final at home to Chelsea in May having lost the German Cup final to Borussia Dortmund the week before.

“Of course we are happy with the 24 points,” said Kroos.

“Our goal is to march ahead and not have to chase.

“It's working so far, we are off to the best possible start.”

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