Thomas Tuchel has called on Bayern Munich to ignite the “spark” required to give them hope of a stunning Champions League comeback against Manchester City.
Bayern were beaten 3-0 at City in their quarter-final first leg, leaving Tuchel’s side a mountain to climb in Wednesday’s return match.
City were imperious at the Etihad Stadium, dominating Bayern despite the visiting coach’s claims his team had performed well.
There is understandable talk of the need for “a miracle” in the German media, with only four teams in Champions League history having overturned a three-goal deficit in a two-legged knockout tie.
But Tuchel knows Bayern will have to go out and grasp the game – and the attention of the Allianz Arena crowd – to have any chance.
“We can’t conjure up a miracle. Therefore, of course, the approach is different,” he said. “At 1-1, everyone believes. At 3-0, it’s all about finding a realistic level.
“Our game on Saturday [a 1-1 draw with Hoffenheim] certainly didn’t contribute to that.
“We believe in ourselves and in winning both halves. Anything is possible in football, so small moments are part of it. It’s about finding faith and having faith.
“At the same time, believing does not mean dreaming. We are responsible for ensuring that the spark is ignited and that we take the crowd with us.”
Tuchel acknowledged that “spark” was missing against Hoffenheim, making their task more difficult against a City team in top form on a 10-match winless run.
Final training before #FCBMCI #MiaSanMia #UCL pic.twitter.com/r4SXOLiqUa
— FC Bayern Munich (@FCBayernEN) April 18, 2023
Describing “an absolute challenge”, Tuchel said City have “been in top form for weeks” while Bayern are “missing a bit right now”.
There is particular focus on two individuals following the events of the first leg.
Sadio Mane was suspended for the Hoffenheim game and fined following a confrontation with Leroy Sane in the Etihad Stadium dressing room, but he will be back in the squad, Tuchel said.
Meanwhile, Dayot Upamecano’s form has been questioned after he endured a difficult first leg, making a costly error for the second goal as Erling Haaland teed up Bernardo Silva.
“I don’t think the duel with Erling Haaland was problematic,” Tuchel said of the centre-back. “It was that one decision and the risk he took. He knows he needs to improve.
“There is no point in pointing the finger at individuals. We have been brutally punished. But we stand by him, he’s still young and has great potential.”
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