Bayern Munich missed their Champions League quarter-final first leg at Villareal (1-0 defeat) but is preparing on Tuesday to “punish” their opponent for having “left him alive,” warned Bavarian coach Julian Nagelsmann on Monday.
The stage is set. “We made a lot of mistakes in the first leg. They made one: leave us alive. And we have to punish them for that,” said the young technician, in an allusion to the scenario of the first leg last Wednesday, where the Spanish team could have scored three or even four goals without crying scandal.
Asked why he believed it, captain Manuel Neuer spoke in a pre-match press conference about Bayern’s “will.” “We have a character in this team, a lot of pride,” he said, “when we lost the first leg, we should not joke with us.”
“In the first leg, we were even more dissatisfied with our performance than the result. The best news is that we only lost 1-0,” he added.
How to turn the situation around? “We will have to put a lot more intensity,” assured Nagelsmann, who intends to start as a priority “players who already know this type of situation well and who have (…) a ‘Bayern identity,’ because they have been at the club for a long time.”
“The stakes are high, and we have to invest a lot,” he said, implicitly admitting that a quarter-final elimination against a presumed weaker opponent would be a failure in his first season at the club.
Bayern executives are almost all present
While his team remains on several disappointing matches, Nagelsmann acknowledged that “not everyone is at their best.” “But it’s normal in the course of a season,” he added, “we will have to mobilize some German virtues in this game.”
Almost all the executives of the team will be available. Only the center-back Niklas Süle, a victim of the flu, Corentin Tolisso (muscle tear), Eric Maxime Choupo-Moting (resumption of training after injury), and Bouna Sarr (patellar tendon) will be missing.