Domain Registration

Bayern Munich stumble again ahead of Manchester City second leg

  • April 17, 2023

Thomas Müller is under no illusions about the difficulty of the task facing him and his teammates on Wednesday, as Bayern Munich attempt to somehow overturn a 3-0 first-leg defeat against Manchester City. But he knows a lot has to go their way.

“Of course, we believe we still have a chance,” he insisted on Saturday after an underwhelming 1-1 draw at home to Hoffenheim.

“But we have to start the first half well, be in the game and maybe even lead 1-0 by half-time. We don’t need to score all three in the first ten mins, just get the first and keep plugging away, even if the second only arrives in the 80th minute. Then we’ll have a quarter of an hour and, with a bit of luck, it’s possible.”

The plan sounds straight forward enough, but the first part of it has already gone wrong for Bayern, who would have been hoping to tackle their toughest challenge of the season on the back of a positive result and performance in the Bundesliga.

Tuchel: ‘Too slow, too emotionless, too lackadaisical’

But Andrej Kramaric’s second-half free-kick for bottom-half Hoffenheim canceled out Benjamin Pavard’s early opener as Bayern were held to a draw.

“This was the moment to make a statement, to deliver a powerful victory, unleash some energy, some fire, some confidence,” said head coach Thomas Tuchel. “It’s a very tough task [against City] and it’s not got any easier. We’ve missed a huge chance to get ourselves and the fans into a mood where we can believe.”

With the result tempered somewhat by Borussia Dortmund’s simultaneous collapse away at Stuttgart, meaning Bayern remain two points clear at the top, Tuchel was more frustrated with his team’s listless performance.

“I’m astounded and surprised because I thought we were well prepared in terms of performances after the win away at Freiburg and the first 70 minutes in Manchester,” he said.

“Too slow, too emotionless, not dogged enough. We’ve thrown away a cup game here [against Freiburg] and we lost an entire half here today. It’s all too lackadaisical. It’s about time we started showing some determination and a different spirit.”

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Yann Sommer got a hand to Andrej Kramaric's free-kick but couldn't keep it out.
Bayern Munich goalkeeper Yann Sommer got a hand to Andrej Kramaric’s free-kick but couldn’t keep it out.Image: Philippe Ruiz/IMAGO

Wasteful up front, uncertain at the back

They’ll have to take any chance they get against City as well, and not repeat the profligacy shown on the counterattack shown by Jamal Musiala and Leroy Sané in Manchester, and by Serge Gnabry who failed to convert a string of decent chances against his former club on Saturday.

“Maybe we need to be more clinical, or maybe it’s just a question of quality,” admitted Müller. “But we still had the chance to score three or four today, despite the performance. When you do that, you can afford the odd bad game.”

You can afford the odd slip-up at the back, too. While there were no defensive errors on the scale of the City game against Hoffenheim, goalkeeper Yann Sommer, deputizing for Manuel Neuer, was again unconvincing.

When he punched a cross straight into the path of Angelo Stiller early in the second half, he was fortunate that the Hoffenheim midfielder couldn’t direct his header on target. Harsher critics may suggest he could have done better with Kramaric’s free-kick as well, after getting a hand to the ball.

“We defended carelessly, conceded chances and were punished by the free-kick,” said Tuchel, telling ESPN that “it feels like a loss, worse than Tuesday [in Manchester],” but insisting to SKY that “Wednesday’s game will be completely different, in a completely different context.”

Sadio Mané back after Leroy Sané dispute

One thing which is certain is that Sadio Mané will be back in the squad following his internal suspension for reportedly hitting Sané after the defeat to City. Having apologized to Sané, the Senegalese striker was back in training on Sunday, with Tuchel saying the issue has now been dealt with.

“There’s always something, isn’t there?” laughed Müller when asked if the dispute had had any bearing on Saturday’s performance. “If it hadn’t been that, it would’ve been something else. We certainly offer enough, don’t we?”

If his plan comes to fruition on Wednesday, there will be much more positive things to talk about.

Article source:

Related News


Get best offer
%d bloggers like this: