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Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Niko Kovac, Bayern players praise “first-rate performance” at Anfield against Liverpool

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The bosses and players were all pleased with the determined effort put forth against Liverpool.

Liverpool v FC Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 19: Bayern players pose for a team group photo before the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Liverpool and FC Bayern Muenchen at Anfield on February 19, 2019 in Liverpool, England.
Liverpool v FC Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 19: Bayern players pose for a team group photo before the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Liverpool and FC Bayern Muenchen at Anfield on February 19, 2019 in Liverpool, England.
(Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images)

The 0-0 draw between Bayern Munich and Liverpool showcased two sides that had clearly done their proper homework and come prepared for one another. Bayern put on a defensive masterclass, particularly in the second half, keeping Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino off the score sheet. It was especially refreshing given how fragile Bayern have looked in defense at times this season, and club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was very pleased with the effort his side put forth, knowing that there’s still work to be done in the return leg in Munich (via FCBayern.com):

There was no party atmosphere in the locker room. I liked that. The team knows that a difficult game awaits us in Munich. We’ve pushed the door open a bit for the second leg with the result (today), but now we have to see to it that we advance in three weeks. I can only give the team my compliments. The coach’s setup for the team was first-rate; they implemented it well and earned this truly good result.

Niko Kovac also praised the team for putting together a positive performance against a difficult opponent who has a near-perfect record at home and rarely fails to score:

We put in a really first-class performance today against a top opponent. There are not many clubs that have not lost or not conceded a goal here. The team managed to let virtually nothing get by. That shows that we played on a very high competitive level. [It was a] very good defensive performance by the entire team.

A telling testament to Bayern’s impressive defensive work, Manuel Neuer had to make a total of just 2 saves during the match. The Bayern captain was pleased to come away with a clean sheet even if the team failed to score an away goal:

It was clear that we really resolved not to concede a goal here. That was a fantastic signal. It was essentially a really good defensive performance. We all did a good job.

Mats Hummels was arguably up for the man of the match honors alongside Javi Martinez, and the center-back highlighted the fact that everyone defended as a unit for the entire match, showing excellent discipline against a deadly attack.

We were totally disciplined. It was important that we acted well as a unit, that we thought defensively at many positions. The primary goal was to neutralize the opponent’s strengths, and we successfully did so.

He also lamented the fact that both Joshua Kimmich and Thomas Müller will miss the return leg at the Allianz Arena. It’s all to play for in the second leg!