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Thursday, September 20, 2012
Schweinsteiger looking forward after win

Stephan Uersfeld, Germany Correspondent

Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger said last season's Champions League final defeat was "a thing of the past" after scoring in his side's 2-1 victory over Valencia in their opening match of the new European campaign.

• Bayern Munich 2-1 Valencia • Blog: Reaction to Valencia win

Schweinsteiger netted the opening goal at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night in Bayern's first continental outing since their heartbreaking penalty shootout defeat to Chelsea.

It would have been particularly satisfying for the Germany international after he missed the crucial spot-kick against the Blues in May, but he preferred to look ahead to this season's Champions League rather than reflecting on previous disappointment.

"It was an ordinary Champions League opening for me," Schweinsteiger said after the game. "I will still talk about Chelsea in ten years time and will never forget that night.

"[But] Chelsea is a thing of the past. It does not help me to think about what happened."

Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes sprung a few surprises for the game, benching in-form players Thomas Muller and Mario Mandzukic - who have already netted six goals in the Bundesliga between them - and fielding Claudio Pizarro and Dutch winger Arjen Robben instead.

Schweinsteiger broke the deadlock in the 38th minute after latching onto a Robben pass, with Toni Kroos's stunning strike doubling the lead in the second half before a late headed consolation from former Werder Bremen and Borussia Dortmund forward Nelson Valdez.

Heynckes was satisfied to take all three points but urged his players to stay fully focused for 90 minutes in the future.

"It was important to start the new Champions League campaign with a win," Heynckes said. "Especially in the first half, we had to be very patient, because Valencia were well organised in defence. We shouldn't become careless just because we're 2-0 up."

Schweinsteiger echoed his coach's sentiment, saying: "After we went a goal up, Valencia had chances to equalise. You always have to watch yourself."

Relief was the prevailing feeling at the Allianz Arena, with Captain Philipp Lahm describing the victory as "a nice start against our strongest rivals in the group", while Robben added: "The new Champions League season is a new chance, and we start from scratch.

"We're all extremely motivated and hungry. The 2-1 victory gives us something to build on."

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