Neuer hails Bayern defence after Bremen victory

Manuel Neuer celebrated his return to first team football by captaining his Bayern Munich side to a deserved 2-0 win over Werder Bremen on Saturday.

The Bayern goalkeeper, who had been sidelined for 133 days with a broken foot sustained in last season’s Champions League quarter final against Real Madrid, made a triumphant return to his club’s first XI – keeping a clean sheet to help the reigning Bundesliga champions to their second win of the new season.

In conversation with the official Bundesliga website after the match, the 31-year old spoke about his delight at being able to make an on-field contribution after such a prolonged period away from the action.

“Of course I was happy to be back on the pitch and to help the team,” he stated. “I think we were defensively very well organised, especially compared to the Bayer Leverkusen game,” referring to his side’s unimpressive defensive performance in their 3-1 victory over the Werkself last weekend.

“Last week the score could have been 6-3,” he continued. “Today we gave Werder no chances. This is thanks to the defence. We were much more compact.”

Neuer agreed with the observation that the Bremen defence looked like it may hold its own against a strong Munich attack.

“That’s true,” he said. “We were too slow in the first half. We didn’t get going and our runs weren’t good enough. We lacked a final ball too. 

“Bremen played very well with a five-man defence. In the second-half we made them run a bit and we took full advantage thanks to the individual class of Robert Lewandowski,” he added.

“I have to say I didn’t really get to test it today,” the Germany international responded when asked how his foot held up against the rigours of 90 minutes of Bundesliga action.