Bayern Munich target first win of 2015 at Stuttgart

 Bayern Munich`s stand-in captain Bastian Schweinsteiger says the Bundesliga leaders must raise their game at VfB Stuttgart on Saturday to secure their first league win of 2015.

AFP| Updated: Feb 04, 2015, 22:18 PM IST
Bayern Munich target first win of 2015 at Stuttgart

Berlin: Bayern Munich`s stand-in captain Bastian Schweinsteiger says the Bundesliga leaders must raise their game at VfB Stuttgart on Saturday to secure their first league win of 2015.

After Friday`s shock 4-1 defeat at second-placed Wolfsburg, Bayern took a point despite playing for more than 70 minutes with ten men in Tuesday`s 1-1 draw at home to Schalke, who are fourth.

Arjen Robben`s second-half header for the hosts was cancelled out by Benedikt Hoewedes at Bayern`s Allianz Arena after Germany defender Jerome Boateng was sent off with just 17 minutes gone.

Bayern hold an eight-point lead at the top of the table, but having taken just a single point from a possible six, Schweinsteiger wants both a win and convincing display at second-from-bottom Stuttgart.

"We need a win as well as a good performance in Stuttgart," said Schweinsteiger, Bayern`s skipper in the absence of the injured Philipp Lahm.

"We played better than we did against Wolfsburg, we controlled the game more and didn`t allow them to counter-attack, but we`re not happy to have drawn with Schalke.

"Even with ten men, we still had chances to win the game."

Goal-scorer Robben says Bayern must improve if they want to challenge for this season`s Champions League title as they prepare to face Shakhtar Donetsk away in a fortnight in their last 16, first-leg tie.

"We controlled the game with a man down, but the Schalke result is annoying," said the 31-year-old Robben.

"Of course, we played with ten men for most of the match, but when you go 1-0 up and then let them equalise, conceding a goal like that can be deadly in the Champions League."

Schalke face holders Real Madrid at home in their Champions League last-16, first-leg clash in a fortnight.

Roberto di Matteo`s side face a tough task having been routed 6-1 by the Spaniards at the same stage of the competition in Gelsenkirchen last season.

"We picked up a point in Munich and our plan worked well, but despite that we`re a bit disappointed with the result," said Di Matteo.

The ex-Chelsea boss was forced into giving teenager Timon Wellenreutehr his professional debut in the second-half after Schalke`s two other goalkeepers were injured.

Goal-scorer and captain Hoewedes said the Royal Blues need to beat third-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach on Friday to stay on course for a place in next season`s Champions League.

"We`ve made a good start to the second half of the season, but now it`s all about Borussia Moenchengladbach at home," he said.

"This a direct competitor for a Champions League place and if we play as well as we did at Bayern, we will make Friday count."