Home Sports Pep Targets Tiki-Taka For Bayern’s Europe Assault

Pep Targets Tiki-Taka For Bayern’s Europe Assault

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As Bayern Munich steam towards an inevitable 25th German league title, Pep Guardiola wants a return to “tiki-taka” football in the Bavarian giants’ assault on the much-coveted Champions League title.
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“We’re not perfect, I know that. We have to improve,” said Bayern’s perfectionist Spanish coach after Saturday’s routine 2-0 league win at bottom side VfB Stuttgart.
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Under Guardiola, Barcelona dominated Spanish football by winning 14 titles from 2008 until 2012, with their fast-paced passing, dubbed “tiki-taka”, to keep the ball away from the opposition.
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Bayern are used to enjoying around 70 percent possession under Guardiola, are eight points clear in the Bundesliga and on course for a third straight league title.
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But after three below-par domestic performances so far in 2015 by Bayern’s own lofty standards, the Spaniard will use this week for some fine-tuning before their European assault recommences.
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The 2013 Champions League winners travel to Lviv on February 17 to face Shakhtar Donetsk, due to the political situation in Ukraine, in their last 16 first leg clash.
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Hamburg are Bayern’s next domestic opponent in Munich on Saturday in their final warm-up, but Guardiola wants to show the north Germans no love on Valentine’s day.
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“We have to find our game, that is our goal for the next few games,” said Guardiola.
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“The key is less running and more play, make the pass as quickly as possible.”
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An Arjen Robben first-half goal and a wonderful free kick from defender David Alaba gave Bayern three more league points in Stuttgart, but Guardiola wants more.
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“The win was important for the psyche, but also for (our place in) the table,” said Guardiola.
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“The result was important for our preparations against Hamburg and Donetsk, but we have to improve to reach our level.”
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There has been a nervous energy to Guardiola since Bayern were thrashed 4-1 at second-placed Wolfsburg on their return from the winter break at the end of January.
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Guardiola sailed close to the wind in the 1-1 draw at home to Schalke last Tuesday by storming out of his technical area to remonstrate with assistant referee Markus Hacker after a Robert Lewandowski goal was disallowed.