Niko Kovac hailed Bayern Munich’s 3-0 victory at Eintracht Frankfurt as they closed the gap to Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund back to six points.
Bayern moved into the top two after finishing the year with a fifth successive league win, Franck Ribery’s brace and Rafinha’s lucky finish late on securing the points in Frankfurt despite the hosts threatening throughout.
Frankfurt were well on top early on with Luka Jovic, Sebastien Haller and Danny Da Costa spurning great chances before the visitors finally grew into the match, with Ribery finishing a great team move to break the deadlock 10 minutes before half-time.
Ribery doubled his and the Bavarian’s side account with 11 remaining before Rafinha added gloss to the scoreline when his right-wing cross looped over goalkeeper Kevin Trapp and into the net.
And Kovac was complimentary of his side’s recovery after the sluggish start.
He told fcbayern.com: “Apart from the first 20 minutes we turned in a really good display. We didn’t disrupt their counters and made a few mistakes at first, but then we put into practice what we had planned.
“Our passing play was quick, with few touches of the ball so that our opponents couldn’t press us. Our last few matches were very good, that’s what marks FC Bayern out.”
Bayern’s win keeps them within touching distance of Dortmund and forward Thomas Muller, who was denied by a superb Trapp save and also hit the crossbar, is looking ahead with optimism as they chase a seventh successive league crown.
“We had slight problems in the first quarter-hour, then we created good chances,” Muller said.
“Frankfurt had one or two shots. We were out of luck when I hit the crossbar, unfortunately I couldn’t connect any better.
“We put up a fight and had good moves. It’s not easy to win 3-0 in this atmosphere in Frankfurt, it boosts our confidence for the second half of the season.”
Frankfurt boss Adi Hutter admitted the better team won at the Commerzbank-Arena but he could not fault the effort of his players.
Speaking at a post-match press conference, Hutter said: “We were the better team in the first half-hour if you ask me. We had chances to take the lead. Bayern’s class shone through when they scored the opener. We didn’t have such a good phase then but we tried to level the scores.
“Taken altogether they were the better team and won. I can’t blame my team for the performance. They were bold and attack-minded, and I think the scoreline is a little too high.”