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Neuer calls for Bayern improvement

Despite a fourth straight Group D success that stretched their run of UEFA Champions League victories to nine, Manuel Neuer admits FC Bayern München have more to offer.

Plzeň's Stanislav Tecl (right) attempts to get the better of Daniel Van Buyten in the air
Plzeň's Stanislav Tecl (right) attempts to get the better of Daniel Van Buyten in the air ©AFP/Getty Images

Manuel Neuer admitted FC Bayern München "have some problems" to iron out after the reigning European champions stuttered to victory at FC Viktoria Plzeň.

Despite enjoying 65% possession and threatening on many occasions to break down their hosts, Bayern had only Mario Mandžukić's 65th-minute header to show for their efforts in western Czech Republic. The Croatia striker's goal nonetheless brought the Bundesliga side a place in the knockout stage and a record-equalling ninth successive win in the competition.

Plzeň duo Matúš Kozáčik and Václav Procházka both harboured regrets that the Czech champions' spirited display had not earned a point, though having been beaten 5-0 by Bayern in the teams' previous encounter, the latter told UEFA.com the improved performance augured well for his club's remaining Group D fixtures.

Manuel Neuer, Bayern goalkeeper
We didn't get going in the first quarter of an hour and they started well. But in the end we have the three points, we've equalled the Champions League record for successive wins and we're through to the next round. We'll settle for that, and of course we're happy.

It was important for us to keep a clean sheet today. We didn't give them a lot, I think we only gave Plzeň three shots on goal, which was good. We have struggled in the first halves of games, but even though other teams might not have the same technical qualities, other aspects come into it. When teams try to play against us, we've often put in some great performances. But we have some problems with that at the moment. We always want to improve, we're professionals, and we'll try to do that.

Daniel Van Buyten, Bayern defender
It was a difficult game, but we're happy to have won and to have picked up three points. Playing at home, our opponents were very, very aggressive, so that made it a tough match for us. We now have 12 points from four games and we're through to the last 16. We have to look forward as we have some difficult games coming up.

Matúš Kozáčik, Plzeň goalkeeper
We played a very good game today and the only thing we are sorry about is that we did not get a point. That would have been a fantastic result.

We had chances to score, especially in the second half. I remember the situation when Stanislav Tecl needed just a few more centimetres to knock a cross in and Daniel Kolář was also running in behind him. I thought that it would end up in the net. I thought we could do it right up to the final whistle.

It was a totally different game from the one in Munich as we created chances and even put Bayern under pressure. I wouldn't say it was an easier game for me than the last one, the only difference is that I conceded just the one goal. It's a good achievement but it would have been much better if I'd kept a clean sheet.

Václav Procházka, Plzeň defender
We're really glad to have proved to ourselves that it's possible to play well against such a strong opponent, even though I wouldn't call it an evenly balanced game. Two weeks ago, we didn't even get into scoring positions, but with the help of our fans we created some promising situations.

In the opening minutes we saw that we could be successful and could perhaps surprise Bayern with our high tempo, so we continued doing that. But in the second half, when we slowed down a bit, Bayern took control of the ball and created chances. It's a pity that Bayern scored from a cross – it wasn't a clear-cut chance, though they did create some – and it's a shame we didn't manage to get the equaliser that all of us wanted. We've now got two games left and I think we can take inspiration from our performance today in our quest to finish third in the group.