Tuesday, July 17, 2018

James: Ulreich shouldn´t be blamed for Champions League exit

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 2 May 2018

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James Rodriguez said Sven Ulreich should not be blamed for Bayern Munich’s Champions League semi-final defeat to Real Madrid following his costly error.

Bayern played out an entertaining 2-2 draw away to two-time reigning champions Madrid, who reached the final 4-3 on aggregate – a result highlighted by Ulreich’s goalkeeping howler.

Ulreich gifted Karim Benzema – who cancelled out Joshua Kimmich’s early opener within eight minutes – his second goal of the night after misjudging a back-pass from Corentin Tolisso just 21 seconds into the second half at the Santiago Bernabeu.

James – on a two-year loan deal from Madrid – equalised after the hour-mark but Bayern were unable to overhaul the Spanish giants, though the Colombia international was unwilling to point the finger at Ulreich.

“You don’t have to blame the goalkeeper, he has saved us a lot. We have made costly errors in the first leg as well as here,” James said via AS.

“I think we had a good game, this time it didn’t come off. If Madrid went through it’s because they did good things.

“We have to be calm and think about the German Cup final.”

Bayern controlled proceedings in the Spanish capital, however, the visitors could not make their dominance count on the scoreboard.

It marked Bayern’s fourth semi-final exit in five seasons, having lifted the Champions League trophy in 2013.

Bayern forward Thomas Muller told Zdf: “We played better than in Munich but we gave them a goal again. And you can’t afford to do that over the two games.

“It was a crazy game and we invested everything into it. But in the end we were a little unlucky. Their goalkeeper [Keylor] Navas had a great game.

“Luck and misfortune are closely intertwined. This hurts a great deal, but we shouldn’t be ashamed.”

“A lot more was possible,” Muller added. “We had a super chance to progress but we missed out again.

“We have so much quality in our squad, but we have to ask ourselves why we have missed out a lot, why we keep making these mistakes in the semi-finals.”

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