FC Bayern München captain Mark van Bommel was proud of his team's last-gasp defeat of Manchester United FC in a breathless first-leg tie but nevertheless believes the English club "are still favourites" to reach the semi-finals.
Despite falling behind to Wayne Rooney's second-minute strike, Bayern handed United a first away defeat in this UEFA Champions League campaign through second-half goals from Franck Ribéry and Ivica Olić. The Croatia forward found the net with virtually the last kick to tip the scales slightly in Bayern's favour ahead of next week's trip to Old Trafford, yet Van Bommel knows that the tie is far from over.
"We're confident, but I think Manchester United are still the favourites because they're playing at home. They usually manage to score. We're going to try and stop them doing that but it won't be easy," said the Dutchman, who was impressed with how his team bounced back from the blow of Rooney's early opener at the Fußball Arena München.
"We controlled the game. It was tough because we were 1-0 down from very early on. After falling behind, though, we kept on going and were confident we were going to score, even if we were lucky we won the game right at the end."
A large slice of fortune came with a helpful deflection to a Ribéry free-kick, ironically off Rooney, which wrong-footed Edwin van der Sar in the United goal and brought Bayern level with 13 minutes remaining. "It was unfortunate for Rooney because he helped me a lot with my goal," conceded Ribéry, who was featuring in only his fifth European game of an injury-plagued campaign.
"It was important for me because it gives me more confidence. This season has been a little harder for me. I don't think I've been able to play in three consecutive matches all season, and in 90 minutes against Manchester United I was able to try a lot of things. Some worked, some didn't, but it was important for me to be able to do that."
Ribéry's lively display was especially welcome given the injury-enforced absence of Arjen Robben. The ex-Chelsea FC winger has been a key figure for Bayern this season and is expected to be fit for the return leg, which is sandwiched between two potentially decisive Bundesliga encounters against title rivals FC Schalke 04 and Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
"There are some key games coming up," said Ribéry. "Taking three points against Schalke would do us a lot of good ahead of going to Manchester. I think we're going there in a good position. It was important to get the win here, even though it's not going to be easy at Old Trafford."
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