Bayern Munich's Ancelotti baffled by reported Arjen Robben discontent
MUNICH -- Carlo Ancelotti says he does not know why Arjen Robben would be angry after the Bayern Munich winger reportedly left the club's Bundesliga opener against Leverkusen in a huff after the game.
Robben, 33, missed the Bundesliga champions' tour of China and Singapore last month, opting to remain in Munich during the 12-day tour of Asia to continue his recovery from a calf injury he picked up playing tennis while on holiday.
He made his comeback in Chemnitz as a 70th-minute substitute in Bayern's 5-0 German Cup win last weekend, and replaced captain Thomas Muller after the hour mark on Friday against Leverkusen. The German champions were already leading 3-0, before eventually running out 3-1 victors on their return to Bundesliga action.
However, Robben reportedly cut a frustrated figure when leaving the stadium, refusing to answer questions.
"I don't know why he was not happy," Ancelotti said at his news conference.
"We agreed together that he wouldn't start this game. He is coming back from an injury, he played 20 minutes in the cup and today he had 30. This was the plan. I don't know the reason why he was angry."
Chasing an unprecedented sixth consecutive league title, Bayern overcame Leverkusen, courtesy of two first-half headers from Bundesliga debutants Niklas Sule and Corentin Tolisso, and a Robert Lewandowski penalty on 52 minutes.
The action was interrupted for over 30 minutes at half-time, with an extended break due to a violent storm passing over the Allianz Arena. Admir Mehmedi grabbed a deserved consolation with 25 minutes remaining but it was too little too late for the visitors.
However, Ancelotti acknowledged his side need to defend better after allowing the visitors 19 shots on goal, while the champions could only muster 13.
"It was a difficult game, despite us scoring quickly in the first half," he said.
"It's true that we didn't defend so well, we left space between the lines and we had more problems in the second half. This can happen in this period but we have to improve there as we conceded a lot of opportunities and usually when you win by two goals, you need to stay more compact.
"Of course, we have to improve and defend better and quickly. I'm not worried though -- it's the start of the season. We also have to consider that we have another week now to train and improve our physical condition. Because when you are not at 100 percent, you cannot press nor defend, as you want. But 19 shots are too many."
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.