Hansi Flick hailed Leon Goretzka’s “excellent” three-assist display against Cologne but admitted he was not entirely pleased with Bayern Munich’s overall performance in Saturday’s 5-1 win.
Bayern put an end to their two-game winless streak in the Bundesliga with a routine victory against their relegation-battling opponents at Allianz Arena to retain a two-point lead on RB Leipzig at the summit.
Goretzka set up goals for Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry, making it four assists in his last two outings after also teeing up Jamal Musiala’s goal in the 4-1 Champions League win at Lazio in midweek.
The Germany international was singled out for praise by Flick after the win against Cologne, but the Bayern boss acknowledged there is still room for improvement from his side after conceding for the fourth game in a row thanks to Ellyes Skhiri’s strike.
“Leon did an excellent job in assisting the goals. That’s why he was Man of the Match for me today,” Flick said. “We will analyse the game and show it to the team. There were one or two things I didn’t like.
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“But we’ll go from game to game. That approach worked well last year. What comes out in the end is up to us. If we put in the performances and pick up wins, we can finish top of the league.”
Gnabry marked his return from a thigh injury lay-off by scoring twice from his 14 touches of the ball as a second-half substitute, adding to Lewandowski’s brace and Choupo-Moting’s opener.
Thomas Muller also appeared for the first time since being struck down by coronavirus at the Club World Cup earlier this month and Flick is delighted to have both players fit and available.
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“Serge and Thomas were very important to us as substitutes today,” he said. “Thomas assisted Lewy [Lewandowski] with his first touch of the game and brought some certainty to our game, which we needed at that point.
“Serge has scored two goals. Both will be valuable for us in the next games and I’m happy they’re back. It’s important to be satisfied with the 5-1 scoreline. We deserved the victory even by that margin.”
Bayern let Cologne into the game early in the second half before pulling clear with three goals in the final 25 minutes in what was the 100th competitive meeting between the sides.
With his double on Saturday, Gnabry has now scored nine Bundesliga goals against Cologne – more than against any other side in his career – but the attacker agreed with Flick’s assessment that Bayern are not quite at 100 per cent.
“When Thomas and I came on, it was a bit tricky for us,” he said. “We hadn’t been very sharp or dominant. We tried to lift the tempo and immediately made it 3-1. Then it became easier.
“In the future, we have to make sure we don’t have these shaky phases in the game and we come out of the blocks quicker. Of course, opponents will always have a chance, but we have to reduce these spells, then we’ll be stronger again.”