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Bayern fail to emulate Real Madrid, says Lizarazu

© Reuters 2002

PARIS, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Bayern Munich's problems are the result of a failed attempt to imitate Real Madrid's flamboyant brand of football, according to defender Bixente Lizarazu.

Bayern have gone four matches without a win and are certain to finish bottom of Champions League Group G, a humiliation for a team who won the competition in 2001.

Lizarazu, France's first choice at left wingback, told L'Equipe on Tuesday: "Bayern have gone for a new system of play this season. They were hoping to play with a bit of flair, they were dreaming of imitating Real Madrid.

"They dreamed of being flamboyant and of giving the fans a real treat. "Everything has been geared to being an attacking side, to entertaining the crowd.

"But Bayern have got it wrong. There is only one Real Madrid, and even then, that approach sometimes has its limits."

Lizarazu, who denounced the "lynch-mob" attitude of the German press, said things started to go wrong for the Bundesliga giants in their very first Champions League game this season.

"We lost at home to (Deportivo) Coruna, then we drew at Lens, and our confidence just went." As for the solution to Bayern's woes, the Frenchman said: "Bayern need to rediscover their traditional strengths.

"Bayern are a machine that ought to inspire fear in their opponents and stop them from playing.

"It's all very well being dangerous up front and creating scoring chances, but you mustn't forget to keep things tight at the back. "We've got to get back to the basics, and stop conceding goals. When a team play against us, they should get the impression they're playing against an impenetrable wall.

"That's been our strength, that's what has enabled us to be top." Despite the problems, Lizarazu defended the champions' coach Ottmar Hitzfeld.

"He's brought a lot to the club over the past five years. Under him, Bayern have won everything. We're behind him.

"We're the ones who are responsible for what has happened. It's time the players assumed that responsibility."
(C) Reuters Limited 2002.

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