Bayern Munich’s 3-0 Champions League defeat by Manchester City on Tuesday has put them firmly on the backfoot ahead of next week’s quarterfinal return leg but coach Thomas Tuchel said he had “a crush” on his team with their commitment.
The former Chelsea manager, who took over on March 24, has had a rocky start, with Bayern crashing out of the German Cup with a home loss to Freiburg last week to miss out on one title this season.
With its Champions League campaign now hanging by a thread, it could be that next Wednesday Bayern and Tuchel suffer their second elimination in as many weeks.
“Everyone saw we were trying to pull the game to our side,” the 49-year-old Tuchel said. “I saw so many good things that I refuse to put the result in focus today. I was very proud of how we played. We were courageous. I kind of have a crush on this team.
“It is going to be a big task to turn this tie around but we are not giving up. Obviously everyone is disappointed because it did not feel like a 3-0. But a home game in Germany is a home game in Germany. It is not over until we are under the showers. We won’t give away anything.”
While Tuchel has sufficient quality in the squad, he must somehow help end their many errors on the pitch, as was the case with defender Dayot Upamecano whose mistake led to City’s second goal.
“We were badly punished there,” Tuchel said. “That goal came out of nothing.
“Looking isolated at the result then it looks impossible (to turn around). But it is football and anything can happen. We won’t give it away. It is far too important.”
While Tuchel’s own analysis of his team’s performance may differ somewhat to many in the German media, Bayern’s club bosses tried to shift the focus on the one title they have the highest chances of winning: the Bundesliga.
Bayern, who hosts Hoffenheim on Saturday, is in top spot in the league, two points in front of second-placed Borussia Dortmund with seven games remaining.
“There is no point now in complaining and being negative,” said Bayern CEO Oliver Khan in his midnight address during the team dinner.
“We have the big chance of becoming German champions. It is a tight race which means we cannot allow ourselves to sink into deep thought. We have to bounce back on Saturday.”
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