Berlin: Carlo Ancelotti was happy for illness-hit Bayern Munich to win ugly in Saturday’s 3-1 comeback victory against Ingolstadt as the Bundesliga giants finally conceded a goal this season.
Ancelotti replaced Pep Guardiola as Bayern’s head coach at the start of the season and the Bavarians scored 20 goals without reply in winning their first five competitive games.
Their 5-0 Champions League drubbing of Rostov on Tuesday meant Bayern enjoyed the best start to a season in the club’s history — bettering the start to each of Guardiola’s three seasons in Bavaria.
But a stomach bug to defenders Philipp Lahm, David Alaba and forward Thomas Mueller forced Ancelotti into some last-minute changes against Ingolstadt on Saturday.
The visitors took advantage of Bayern’s misfortune in the Bavarian derby by becoming the first team to score against Ancelotti’s team.
Paraguay striker Dario Lezcano scored after just eight minutes to silence the 75,000-strong crowd in Munich.
But a superb display from goalkeeper Manuel Neuer protected Bayern’s lead after Robert Lewandowski, Xabi Alonso and Rafinha netted to keep Munich top in Germany.
“Sometimes our defence shows that we have the best goalkeeper in the world. He was really good,” said Ancelotti with a grin.
“It was a difficult game, after the dropouts I had to reorganise the back four,” he added, having fielded a new-look defence of Rafinha, Germany’s Joshua Kimmich, Javi Martinez and Juan Bernat.
“Ingolstadt played well, they pressed us high up and played long balls in order to use their quality in the air.
“It is not always possible to play well, but we showed character.
“Then you have to show your other qualities, which is what the team did.
“We only made things clear after the lovely goal from Rafinha, but sometimes football is like that.”
There was good news for Ancelotti as Germany defender Jerome Boateng made his first appearance this season, off the bench for the last ten minutes, after injury.
“It is particularly important that he (Boateng) comes back in order to avoid the sort of problems we had today,” said Bayern’s Italian coach.
Despite having enjoyed nearly 70 per cent possession, Ingolstadt had the better goal chances, creating 13 to Bayern’s ten.
Australia forward Mathew Leckie was twice denied only by superb saves from Neuer.
“I’m not saying that we were insecure, but our passing game from the back had a few mistakes. Ingolstadt made life hard for us,” admitted Neuer.
“There was a new formation (in defence) and you could see things weren’t as 100 per cent smooth as they should have been.”
Ingolstadt’s captain, Cameroon international Marvin Matip, said his side had wasted a rare golden chance to win in Munich.
“There aren’t many days when you can beat Bayern at the Allianz Arena,” said Matip.
“At the back you could really see the quality of Bayern Munich,” he added after Neuer’s superb display.
Bayern are now the only team in Germany’s top flight with three wins from their opening three league games.
Hertha Berlin — Bayern’s next opponents in the Bundesliga on Wednesday — can join them with three wins from three if they beat Schalke in Germany’s capital.