Bayern’s Mats Hummels: ‘Leverkusen win good for us psychologically’

Hummels puffs his cheeks in relief after Bayern returned to winning ways thanks to his goal on Matchday 12.

Summary

– Hummels scored Bayern’s winner against Leverkusen on Matchday 12.

– Victory ended Bayern’s two-game winless Bundesliga run.

– Hummels: ‘It’s been a good weeeknd for us’

There was plenty of relief mixed in with the jubilation as Mats Hummels let his emotions wild after putting FC Bayern München ahead against Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Matchday 12.

The 27-year-old’s first Bundesliga goal for Bayern was enough to earn the record champions all three points from a tight encounter in which, after back-to-back defeats in the Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League, it was imperative for Bayern to win.

Check how Hummels’ performance has affected your Official Fantasy Bundesliga score here.

The performance did not have to win a beauty contest – and Hummels admitted that Bayern’s display on Matchday 12 certainly did not – but it had to suffice for three points. That is why the central defender was beaming when he faced the cameras after opening his account for his new club…

Thiago Alcantara (r.) celebrates with Hummels after he scored his first Bundesliga goal for Bayern

Question: Congratulations on the win and your first Bundesliga goal for Bayern, Mats Hummels. After going so close and being unlucky on numerous occasions, it was about time, wasn’t it?

Mats Hummels: It’s been a mix of bad luck and me not doing well enough. We had chance after chance from set pieces and I’ve wasted plenty of them, so the word ‘overdue’ had been heard in the dressing room. For me personally it was important and the win was important for us too. It certainly wasn’t a game that will be remembered much for its attractiveness, but it was a hard-fought win. We put a lot of effort into it, but we also made a lot of mistakes. All in all, there was a bit of luck involved, but we deserved it also after we didn’t necessarily have luck on our side in two of our last four games, where we hit the woodwork a few times. It was a nice day, but far from being a perfect one because we know we’re capable of a lot more, even if we’ll take this today.

“This win is good for us psychologically; it was one of those scrappy games.”– Mats Hummels

Question: Was the set-piece you scored from one you had worked on in training?

Hummels: We have indeed taken a good look at set pieces and the way in which we score goals from them, but this was not down to that. Joshua Kimmich was not even meant to take it, but he’s one of the best when it comes to putting the ball in and I’ve benefitted from that. As soon as the ball is in front of the goal, ten metres out, there’s always a chance of you putting it in. We’ve been dangerous from there all season, we just hadn’t been putting the ball in – I more than anybody. So now it’s even nicer that I’ve done it.

Question: You seem to be lacking a bit of your usual dominance in defence, what’s the explanation for that?

Hummels: We were facing one counterattack after the next in the end. Suddenly we were being faced with four-against-four and five-against-five situations when it did get a bit hairy and we were struggling to relieve the pressure. We needed to control the game a bit better. This is not particularly our best period of form so you’ve got to expect that your opponents will get in front of our goal a bit more often than we would like. We’re not always finding the balance, but we’re working on it.

This win is good for us psychologically and having more class or being tactically superior didn’t really matter – it was one of those scrappy games.

After three games without a win, victory was a relief to all the Bayern team.

Question: Did RB Leipzig’s win on Friday put more pressure on you?

Hummels: Of course it did a bit, but we put ourselves under pressure before every game. If you disregard Leipzig’s win, it’s actually been a good weekend for us. Three of the four teams behind us have dropped points so we’ve made up a bit for last weekend, which was a bit of a mess for us, and that is what we wanted to do. Now we’ve got to carry on. This was just one game, no more than that.

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Question: Did you have it in the back of your mind what would have happened if you didn’t beat Leverkusen?

Hummels: We knew that our deficit on Leipzig would have grown if we didn’t win, but nobody was even close to thinking about the league table when the game got underway. We wanted a win for us and we’re delighted to have got it, even if we’re not 100 percent happy.

Maximilian Lotz reporting from Munich