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Dinamo Zagreb v Bayern Munich: Ribery calls for Gladbach response

Franck Ribery has stressed the importance of not dwelling on the surprise 3-1 defeat at Borussia Monchengladbach as Bayern Munich look to finish their Champions League group-stage campaign with a flourish against Dinamo Zagreb.

There is little to play for in Wednesday’s Group F clash at the Stadion Maksimir with Bundesliga champions Bayern guaranteed top spot, while Dinamo are consigned to a fourth-placed finish and elimination from Europe for this season.

However, Bayern will be keen to make an impression after finding themselves in the unfamiliar position of having to bounce back from defeat following an abject showing at Borussia Park on Saturday.

It was the first time Bayern had been beaten in the league before the mid-season break since the 2012-13 campaign and the reverse allowed Borussia Dortmund to cut the gap at the top of the table to five points.

However, there was some good to come from the match with winger Ribery coming off the bench to make his first appearance in nine months following an ankle injury.

Ribery took just six minutes to make an impact as he scored a consolation for Bayern, and the Frenchman is now focusing on returning to full fitness.

“It feels good to be sent on if you’ve been sidelined for so long,” he told Bayern’s official website. “I’m back and that’s good.

“I still need time, I need to find my rhythm, and have good training. We need to quickly forget [the Gladbach loss] and focus on the next match.”

Captain Philipp Lahm believes the nature of the Gladbach defeat shows Bayern – who are without the suspended Holger Badstuber for the trip to Zagreb – have plenty of room for improvement.

“We’re no longer used to falling behind,” he said. “We have to analyse the defeat. We never said we were unbeatable. We wanted to keep our run going for as long as possible but it’s ended.”

Dinamo’s European venture for the season came to an end following a limp 3-0 defeat at Arsenal last time out and there is little motivation for the Croatian champions other than to avenge a 5-0 battering in the reverse fixture in September.

The hosts may be unfancied against Bayern but Zoran Mamic’s side head into the fixture buoyed by a last-gasp 2-1 win over Hajduk Split in the Eternal Derby on Saturday, with Hilal El Arbi Soudani scoring a 94th-minute winner.

“We deserved to win. We had hoped to return to first place and I hope we can continue like this in the future,” Dinamo captain Domagoj Antolic told the club’s official website. 

“There were songs and joy in the locker room but our thoughts immediately turn to preparations for the Bayern match.”

Mon 7 Dec, 2015
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