Only two weeks ago the FC Bayern München camp was a disconsolate one, a 2-0 defeat at Bayer 04 Leverkusen leaving them seven points behind Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund. Now, though, there is renewed optimism thanks to three straight victories with 20 goals scored.
Wins in Munich against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (7-1) and FC Basel 1893 (7-0) and, in the Germany capital on Saturday, against Hertha BSC Berlin (6-0) have ensured a memorable eight days for Jupp Heynckes' team. "I have never had a week like that before, I am really enjoying it," said Arjen Robben, whose individual tally from those three matches was seven goals.
The Netherlands winger insists Bayern's belief never wavered despite the flak that followed their defeat in Leverkusen on 3 March. "We didn't get confused by the talk and simply carried on," Robben said. "You could notice the upward trend in training and we established a closer dialogue. That was very important. Then along came Hoffenheim."
Now, it seems, Bayern are back on track, preparing for a UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Olympique de Marseille and only five points adrift of Dortmund, in second place. "The last week was outstanding," added Robben. "We are having fun again after a difficult time, so everybody can celebrate a little. But we have to carry on, everybody knows that."
Indeed, the treble is still very much on. On Wednesday Bayern will look to build on recent momentum in the German Cup semi-finals against VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach, whom they have lost to twice in the league this term. "Gladbach are a really good counterattacking side," warned Robben.
"We mustn't give away goals like we did in our 3-1 defeat in the first game after the winter break. They have real quality in attack. We definitely won't win 6-0 or 7-0. We have to be very clinical again and have to be focused in defence."
Nor has Robben given up hope of catching Dortmund in the league. "We don't have it in our hands," continued the 28-year-old. "But I still believe in the championship. If we carry on like this, we can achieve a lot. In any event, we have to win in Dortmund [on 11 April]."
On the European front, Robben is reluctant to look ahead to a potential semi-final against Real Madrid CF. "Everybody is talking about the semis but I am wary of Marseille," he said. "They are a really good opponent, they can make life difficult for us. They are a physically strong team with a really good coach. We have to lay the foundations away from home."
The tie gets under way in Marseille on 28 March before the second leg in Bavaria on 3 April.
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