Kimmich: Bayern need to stay ‘hungry’ for Champions League bid

Bayern’s head coach Hans-Dieter Flick and his players after winning the German soccer cup (DFB Pokal) final match against Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday. (AP)
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Updated 09 July 2020

Kimmich: Bayern need to stay ‘hungry’ for Champions League bid

  • Under head coach Flick, Bayern have won all 11 games since the season resumed in mid-May

BERLIN: Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich says the double-winning German champions must stay “fully focused and greedy” for more silverware during their two-week holiday before launching their assault on the Champions League.

“Now it’s time to recharge our batteries and then tackle the Champions League with full focus and greed,” the 25-year-old told magazine Sport Bild.

Head coach Hans-Dieter Flick sent Bayern on a two-week holiday after winning the German Cup last Saturday before fine-tuning their preparations for the Champions League.

After completing the double with a 4-2 cup final win over Leverkusen, Bundesliga champions Bayern are on a 17-match winning streak dating back to February.

Under Flick, Bayern have won all 11 games since the season resumed in Germany in mid-May amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Bayern are chasing a treble and are among the favorites in Europe after routing Chelsea 3-0 in London in the last 16, first leg, last February before the Champions League halted due to COVID-19.

Bayern still need to finish the tie to reach the quarterfinals and the draw for the remaining rounds in the knockout stages takes place this Friday. Kimmich called on his teammates to keep training during their break to maintain the “hunger” for the Champions League finals in Lisbon next month.

“It will be decisive how we return from vacation: We want to keep that feeling, that hunger,” Kimmich added.

Having stumbled last November, when Flick succeeded Niko Kovac who was sacked following a 5-1 thrashing by Frankfurt, Bayern are now in great form.

Robert Lewandowski has scored 51 goals this season, including 34 in the Bundesliga and is the Champions League’s top-scorer with 11.

Behind the Poland striker, Thomas Mueller has 25 assists, including a record 21 in the Bundesliga.

Kimmich has bossed the defensive midfield alongside Germany teammate Leon Goretzka and suggests Bayern have developed a mental edge.

“In the last two seasons, mentality has been the most important factor in winning the German league title,” said Kimmich.

“FC Bayern may be ahead of other teams in this respect.”


Chiefs rout Broncos 43-16 as Mahomes barely breaks a sweat

Updated 26 October 2020

Chiefs rout Broncos 43-16 as Mahomes barely breaks a sweat

DENVER: On a freezing afternoon in the snow, Patrick Mahomes barely broke a sweat.
The Kansas City Chiefs routed the Broncos 43-16 for their 10th consecutive win over Denver despite failing to convert a single third down (0-for-8) and getting just 200 yards and at touchdown from their star quarterback.
The Chiefs got a pick-6, a kickoff return for a TD, two rushing TDs, including one from his backup, and three field goals to more than make up for Mahomes’ pedestrian numbers.
“I deal with him every day and all he wants to do is win,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “It’s crazy. You know how he’s wired. But that’s what’s real every day. He wants to rip your heart out when he’s out there playing. He wants to do well and do all that. But when other people are scoring, he’s jumping up and down, likewise. He just wants to win. That’s the beauty of him.”
“Whenever you feel like you don’t play a great game offensively and you win by 27 it’s a good feeling,” Mahomes said. “A win’s a win.”
And for Denver, a loss is a loss. Again.
“I can play a whole lot better, and I’m going to,” said Broncos QB Drew Lock, who threw for 254 yards with no TDs and two interceptions.
Mahomes completed 15 of 23 passes but said he only worries about results, not statistics.
“A young Patrick would’ve probably tried to force it and thrown a ball and maybe made a bad interception or something like that,” Mahomes said, relaying a conversation he had with teammate Tyrann Mathieu. “Whereas, now, seeing the way the defense was playing and knowing it’s not there, just kind of either taking the sack or not completing the pass and throwing it away” is the way to go.
“You have to learn ways to win in this league,” Mahomes said. “It’s not always going to be 400 passing yards or 200 rushing yards or whatever it is. It’s going to be finding ways to win. I think this team is doing a great job of doing that.”
The Chiefs (6-1) found other ways to dominate Denver (2-4) on a snowy afternoon that began with a temperature of 14 degrees at kickoff, the coldest October game in Broncos history.
Kansas City took a 24-9 halftime lead even though Mahomes completed just one pass in the second quarter and had only 99 yards through the air in the first half.
Mahomes finally extended his NFL-leading streak to 17 consecutive games with a touchdown throw when he hit Tyreek Hill from 10 yards to make it 37-9 with 11 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
Mahomes’ lone TD throw followed the Chiefs’ fourth takeaway, an interception by Mathieu when rookie KJ Hamler let Lock’s pass bounce off him and right into the arms of the Chiefs star safety.
A week after the Chiefs ran more times than they threw it for the first time in Reid’s eight seasons in Kansas City, it was K.C.’s ground game, special teams and defense that did the damage in Denver in the NFL’s first snow game of 2020.
In the first half, the Chiefs scored touchdowns on Byron Pringle’s 102-yard kickoff return and Daniel Sorensen’s 50-yard interception return to go with Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s 11-yard run in which he broke five tackles.
“You’re not going to beat a team like Kansas City doing that,” lamented Broncos coach Vic Fangio, whose team has been outscored 96-25 in three games against the Chiefs.
Edwards-Hilaire carved his way through a wall of Denver defenders to open the scoring on a snowy, freezing afternoon.
Running up the middle, the rookie plowed through linebacker Alexander Johnson and defensive backs Kareem Jackson, Bryce Callahan, Justin Simmons and Michael Ojemudia like a bowling ball knocking down pins.
The Broncos responded with Lock’s first career touchdown run, from 2 yards, but Brandon McManus missed the extra point, leaving Kansas City ahead 7-6, and the Chiefs would never trail.