In a tie that was more down than up for Bayern Munich, the Bavarians found themselves in the driver’s seat late in the second leg of the Champions League against Villarreal.
Leading 1-0 in the match, but tied 1-1 on aggregate, Bayern Munich was pouring the pressure on a worn down and withering Villarreal. The Spaniards had fought valiantly to withstand the relentless attack from Bayern Munich, but were completely on their heels.
In the 71st minute, Bayern Munich star Thomas Müller drifted away from the Villarreal backline and was in a perfect position to head home a cross from Leroy Sane to make it a 2-0 lead in the match — and a 2-1 lead on aggregate.
Unfortunately for the Bavarians, Müller sent his header attempt wide and left Bayern Munich clinging to a 1-0 advantage.
The effort was eerily reminiscent of Müller’s hooked miss against England in the European Championships last summer. Surely, Müller himself would acknowledge he has to make those opportunities. Manager Julian Nagelsmann was one person who also felt that way.
“Thomas has to score that, you don’t get many of those,” Nagelsmann told Amazon Prime (as captured by @iMiaSanMia).
Nagelsmann, who will probably come under fire for his tactics and his substitutions, felt like the Bavarians’ poor effort in the first leg put them in a bad spot for the second match.
“The first leg was key, we weren’t good enough there. Today was one of our best games of the last few weeks. We had a lot of intensity right from the start. It’s hard to create chances against such a deep block,” said the young manager. We pushed forward and left the space behind open. He didn’t even hit the ball properly. That was very bitter.”
Nagelsmann also explained his bizarre substitution at the end of the match in using Alphonso Davies as a center-back in place of Lucas Hernandez. Nagelsmann said that the Frenchman had picked up a knock.
“The substitution was not voluntary. Lucas got injured. I considered bringing in a fast player in Alphonso because they brought in a fast player (Samuel Chukwueze) down that side,” Nagelsmann remarked.
As for what he expects moving forward, Nagelsmann is not worried about his job or if this defeat would affect his status at the club.
“I’m not afraid. There are worse things in the world,” Nagelsmann said.
React with us on our postgame podcast: