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Thomas Tuchel demands response from Bayern Munich after Champions League setback

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 17 Feb 2024


Bayern Munich manager Thomas Tuchel has urged his team to turn things around following their disappointing Champions League defeat to Lazio.

Bayern were beaten 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday thanks to Ciro Immobile’s penalty after Dayot Upamecano was sent off for a late challenge on Gustav Isaksen.

The result came days after a disappointing 3-0 loss to Xabi Alonso’s high-flying Bayer Leverkusen and Tuchel insists his side are working to “turn around the mood”.

Reflecting on the Lazio game, he told a press conference: “It’s an unusual situation. The mood is obviously down because we expected a reaction from ourselves.

“The defeat is still only a first-leg defeat. We’re not out of the Champions League. Everyone wants to turn around the mood.

“From my experience, that only happens through work on the training ground, and we tried that yesterday. We’ll definitely give our all to bring the energy to turn things around.”

Leverkusen are five points clear of Bayern at the top of the Bundesliga going into this weekend’s action and up next for Tuchel’s side is a trip to Bochum.

Bayern utterly dominated in the reverse fixture at the Allianz Arena in September where England captain Harry Kane bagged a hat-trick as the Bavarian side emerged with a 7-0 victory.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Matthijs de Ligt, Leroy Sane and Mathys Tel were also on target as Bayern battered Bochum, but Tuchel expects a “hard-fought game” on Sunday.

“We need to get back that ease, that’s tough. I’m not expecting a walk in the park in Bochum,” he said.

“It’ll be a tough pitch, tough opponent who have got good results lately. A physical opponent.

“Bochum played very well against Stuttgart (a 1-0 win) and Augsburg (a 1-1 draw), I’m expecting a very hard-fought game. We’ve also adapted our training, but that’s normal.

“I’m not expecting a deep, tactically well-organised defensive block that just lets us have the ball, but one that gets at us high up the pitch, plays long balls, fights for the ball.

“It’s a completely new challenge, it doesn’t matter who it is. At Bayern it’s about always getting back up and putting your neck on the line.

“We’re still in second place. We don’t need to be ashamed of that. We don’t need any sympathy.”

Kane leads the goalscoring charts in the Bundesliga with 24 so far this season, but struggled to make an impact in the Lazio defeat and Tuchel admitted there has been a “discrepancy” between training and matches in providing chances for the England international.

“Harry takes care of himself. He doesn’t need me. He’s not happy with the connection in games – neither are we,” Tuchel said.

“I’ve rarely seen such a discrepancy between training and matches. The way he scores in training, the way he puts his chances away – it’s incredible. It’s world-class. But then we rarely find him in matches.

“He acts like a captain. Everything’s okay with him.”


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