Bayern Munich winger Serge Gnabry hailed the character of his team-mates after they reduced the gap to Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund to five points with a 3-1 win over Schalke.
Bayern went into the game knowing Dortmund had blown their chance to maintain their lead after letting slip a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 at home to Hoffenheim.
But they responded well to the pressure with Gnabry’s 57th minute strike rounding off an entertaining win over the visitors, who had briefly levelled through Ahmed Kutucu in the first half.
Gnabry told Bayern’s official website: “We knew what was at stake because we played later and we knew Dortmund’s result.
“We must win every match, regardless of Dortmund’s results, to keep our chances alive. So we do our best and try to catch up with them match after match.”
Bayern coach Niko Kovac was also pleased with the way his side bounced back from last week’s costly defeat to Bayer Leverkusen and showed few ill effects from Wednesday’s extra-time DFB-Pokal win over Hertha Berlin.
Kovac said: “We did a really good in the first half and temporarily in the second, but the 120-minute cup match was noticeable, in Dortmund too.
“You mustn’t allow that when you are three up after 75 minutes and that was a warning. But I think it was a deserved win and the right margin of victory.”
Schalke boss Domenico Tedesco admitted his side got what they deserved after failing to take enough risks to upset the home favourites.
The visitors had a number of chances to pull level for a second time in the match, but ultimately fell away to a defeat which leaves them stranded in 13th place in the table.
Tedesco told a press conference: “Taken together it was a deserved defeat. We were a bit too passive. We tried to put up a fight after half-time but conceded the third in the middle of our best spell.
“Unfortunately we were too timid. If you want to take something away from Munich you have to defend by going on the attack, and we failed to do that.”
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