Flick worry over Bayern’s Neuer reliance ahead of Stuttgart clash

BERLIN (AFP) – Hansi Flick is concerned Bayern Munich are currently too reliant on Manuel Neuer as the European champions prepare to defend their slim Bundesliga lead at Stuttgart today (10.30pm Brunei time).

Having produced two reflex saves in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Werder Bremen, Neuer was again superb on Wednesday in a 3-1 home win against Salzburg which secured them a spot in the Champions League last 16.

“It’s sensational how he parries big chances and saves us from conceding goals. He had a few things to do – too much for me,” said Flick.

The 34-year-old Neuer brushed off the praise after making 10 saves against Salzburg, saying that “the most important thing is to support the team”.

Yet his form has landed Neuer on the FIFA short-list for best male goalkeepers.

“He’s in the shape of his life,” added Flick, whose team qualified for the Champions League knockouts as guaranteed group winners on Wednesday after their 15th straight win in Europe.

“When opposing forwards approach him, the goal gets smaller and smaller for them. He has amazing reflexes. We have a world-class goalkeeper between the posts.”

However, Bayern are guilty of giving possession away too cheaply, like when a Leroy Sane mistake resulted in Salzburg’s consolation goal.