Ancelotti aim­ing to keep mo­men­tum

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Carlo Ancelotti can ev­i­dently mark up his first Mu­nich Ok­to­ber­fest visit in the semi-of­fi­cial line of duty as a suc­cess.

“I’m per­fect,” he said with a twin­kle in his eye, asked as to the af­ter-ef­fects on a renowned wine lover of down­ing a cou­ple of litre-mugs of beer in one of the world-fa­mous fes­ti­val tents. More gen­er­ally, the re­con­nais­sance trip with his as­sis­tants ahead of the full FC Bay­ern München squad’s obligatory an­nual ap­pear­ance was “a nice mo­ment, with every­one there to­gether.”

The record cham­pi­ons’ new coach had ev­ery rea­son for good cheer at the Wiesn, with his team hav­ing made a four-game win­ning start to the Bun­desliga.

They stretched that to five a cou­ple of days later with a 1-0 vic­tory at strug­gling Ham­burger SV – a mighty close-run af­fair,

If you’re stay­ing in

Foot­ball 1.30pm, GO Sports 1, English Premier League, Swansea City-Liver­pool (live) 6pm, GO Sports 3, Ital­ian Se­rie A, Pescara-ChievoVerona (live) 6.15pm, GO Sports 4, English Premier League, West Ham-Middlesbrough de­cided only by Joshua Kim­mich’s 88th-minute strike.

“It was a very dif­fi­cult game, Ham­burg played with a lot of in­ten­sity,” said Ancelotti. Come the fi­nal whis­tle, how­ever, as so of­ten, Bay­ern had made their ex­tra class count: “Thi­ago’s pass at the end was fan­tas­tic. That’s one of his great qual­i­ties.”

For de­fen­sive linch­pin Mats Hum­mels, subbed off in­jured early in the sec­ond half, Thi­ago’s volleyed out­side-of-the-boot ball to Franck Ribery was “ridicu­lously good.”

The French wing wizard raced free to tee up Kim­mich’s closerange fin­ish, keep­ing Bay­ern’s 100 per­cent league start in­tact.

The fact that Ancelotti could bring Ribery and dou­ble Copa Amer­ica win­ner Ar­turo Vi­dal off the bench for the fi­nal half-hour against a tir­ing home side serves only to un­der­score the un­ri­valed pool of tal­ent avail­able to the bat­tle-hard­ened Ital­ian tac­ti­cian.

Next up is a home meet­ing with early-sea­son sur­prise pack­age 1. FC Köln, rid­ing the crest of a wave in third place on the back of their best start to a Bun­desliga sea­son in al­most 40 years.

For the first time since the new coach took over, Bay­ern are on the re­bound from a de­feat – 1-0 at Atletico Madrid in their sec­ond UEFA Cham­pi­ons League Group D out­ing.

Should they bounce back in their ac­cus­tomed style, Ancelotti will savour the first fully of­fi­cial Ok­to­ber­fest beer with his play­ers all the more.

Chichar­ito voted Septem­ber Player of the Month

Javier ‘Chichar­ito’ Her­nan­dez has been voted as the Bun­desliga Player of the Month.

Bayer 04 Lev­erkusen’s Mex­i­can striker had a su­perb Septem­ber, grab­bing four Bun­desliga goals in the month as well as an­other in the Uefa Cham­pi­ons League.

A hat-trick capped by a last­minute win­ner against 1.FSV Mainz 05 on Match­day 5 was a high­light, but the pop­u­lar 28year-old has been in fine form all month. Bun­desliga

Yes­ter­day Leipzig-Augs­burg ............................... 2-1 To­day Bay. Mu­nich-Cologne .............................. Hertha BSC-Ham­burg ............................. In­gol­stadt-Hof­fen­heim ........................... Darm­stadt-W. Bre­men ............................ Freiburg-E. Frank­furt .............................. B. Lev­erkusen-B. Dort­mund ................... To­mor­row Wolfs­burg-Mainz .................................... Schalke 04-B. M’glad­bach ....................... Pre­mier­ship

Yes­ter­day Motherwell-Hearts ............................ 1-3 To­day Dundee-Celtic ......................................... Hamil­ton-In­ver­ness CT ........................... Kil­marnock-Aberdeen ............................. Rangers-Partick This­tle ........................... Ross County-St John­stone ...................... To­mor­row Hibs-Dundee ...........................................

GER­MANY

Cham­pi­onship

To­day Ayr-Dun­fermline ..................................... Dum­bar­ton-Queen of Sth ....................... Mor­ton-Raith Rovers .............................. St Mir­ren-Falkirk .....................................

League One

To­day Al­bion-Queen’s Park ............................... Al­loa-Air­drieo­ni­ans ................................. East Fife-Sten­house­muir ......................... Peter­head-Liv­ingston .............................. Stran­raer-Brechin ...................................

League Two

To­day Ber­wick-Clyde ......................................... Cow­den­beath-Stir­ling ............................. Ed­in­burgh City-Ar­broath ......................... El­gin-An­nan Ath­letic ............................... For­far-Mon­trose .....................................

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