BERLIN, Feb 17 — Bayern Munich captain Manuel Neuer insisted the defending champions should have scored more, despite a 4-1 away win at Cologne sweeping them back to the top of the Bundesliga yesterday.
After RB Leipzig held top spot for 24 hours with a 3-0 home win against Werder Bremen on Saturday, Bayern raced into a 3-0 lead after just 12 minutes in Cologne.
“We could have scored up to ten goals,” said Neuer, clearly irritated by the first-half chances Bayern wasted. “In any case, there was more to it than 4-1.”
Serge Gnabry scored twice, while Robert Lewandowski and Kingsley Coman also netted as Mark Uth, on loan from Schalke, scored Cologne’s consolation goal.
However, Bayern, who have now won seven and drawn one of their last eight league games, rode their luck in the second-half, but went unpunished despite dropping the tempo.
“If only one of those chances had gone in....” rued Cologne general manager Horst Heldt after his strikers Jhon Cordoba and Anthony Modeste wasted clear chances.
Forward Thomas Mueller, who was outstanding with assists for Lewandowski and Coman, agreed that Bayern made life hard for themselves.
‘Too comfortable’ -
“When the lead is too big, we tend to make ourselves too comfortable. Then the opponents comes back at us,” said Mueller.
“It’s human, but then we feel too safe, too comfortable.
“We know we can’t allow ourselves to do that, especially in the Champions League.”
Bayern face Chelsea in the Champions League last 16, first leg tie on February 25 with the return on March 18.
With just three minutes gone in Cologne, Lewandowski claimed his 23rd league goal when Mueller’s pass put him in behind the defence.
Lewandowski then found Mueller, whose pass set up Coman to beat Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn for 2-0 after five minutes.
Gnabry made it 3-0 when his shot hit the bottom corner on just 12 minutes to stun the home crowd.
However, Bayern lost their way slightly as Gnabry fired wide, midfielder Joshua Kimmich hit the post and Mueller went close to keep it 3-0 at half-time.
It was a different story in the second-half when Cologne went for broke and Cordoba could have claimed a hat-trick.
The Colombian forward had two goals ruled out in quick succession — first by the VAR, then the offside flag went up.
Slightly against the run of play, Gnabry grabbed his second goal — his 12th for Bayern this season — with a stunning effort.
The former Arsenal winger beat three defenders and curled his shot into the top corner on 66 minutes with a superb finish.
Uth pulled a goal back for Cologne on 70 minutes as the hosts finished the stronger.
Cordoba slammed his fist into the turf in frustration after holding off defender David Alaba only for Neuer to save his shot in 78 minutes.
French striker Modeste then replaced Cordoba, but squandered two late chances.
The result leaves Bayern a point ahead of Leipzig, while Dortmund, who thrashed Frankfurt 4-0 on Friday, sit third and four points back.
Schalke remain sixth after taking a point in yesterday evening’s goalless draw at Mainz, who sit one place and five points about the relegation places. — AFP