Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovač has insisted that the Bavarians' patient approach was pivotal to their 1-0 victory against RB Leipzig, in what was Die Roten's final Bundesliga fixture of the calendar year at the Allianz Arena.
Franck Ribéry's 83rd-minute strike proved to be the difference between the two sides, who were both reduced to ten men in injury-time, with Stefan Ilsanker and Renato Sanches sent off, as the holders moved within six points of league leaders and rivals Borussia Dortmund.
Kovač's men found it difficult to breach the Leipzig defence, who were relatively untroubled for the majority of the game, and were denied by the woodwork as Robert Lewandowski had an effort tipped onto the post by Peter Gulácsi.
The Bavarians were, however, fortunate to not have gone into the interval behind as Dayot Upamecano saw his header cannon off the bar, following a corner.
Despite, the few nervy moments, the Croat believed that his side needed to be 'patient' in order to reap the rewards of the victory, which Kovač thought his side merited.
As quoted by Bayern's official website, Kovač said: "We saw today that we met a very, very strong opponent. They did a good defensive job and waited for our mistakes.
"We had to play patiently and we knew that a goal from either side could decide the game. That's how we wanted it to go, we had the better chances and I think we are the deserved winners."
The hosts were sloppy in possession and were guilty of giving the ball away deep in their own-half on numerous occasions, which allowed Die Roten Bullen to hit the Bavarians on the counter.
The home side also lacked tempo in their passing, as the contest became tedious and scrappy in the heart of midfield. However, the Croat believed that despite the uninspired nature of the game, his side showed great character, and mentioned how Dortmund's defeat on Tuesday served as a deterrent.
"It was not a pleasant game, nor a spectacular one, but my team showed great determination today. Yesterday we received an example, [which we wanted to avoid]. We had to realise it. We have what we wanted. That's why compliment."
Ribéry came off the bench to replace Serge Gnabry, who went off prematurely in the first-half. The German is a doubt for Bayern's final fixture of 2018 against Eintracht Frankfurt, but his manager was hopeful of the former Arsenal forward's involvement.
As quoted by Bayern's official Twitter account, Kovač said: "We'll wait and see what the tests say. I hope that he will be available to play on Saturday."