Bayern Munich’s aggregate loss over two legs to Villarreal in the Champions League quarter-finals is bitter at the very least, hampering what’s already been a turbulent season full of twists and turns for the Rekordmeister in Julian Nagelsmann’s maiden season in charge. There’s no sugarcoating it, Bayern simply wasn’t good enough over two legs to progress to the semi-finals.
After the 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday, Nagelsmann stressed that it was ultimately the lackluster performance in Villarreal the week prior that was more responsible for their ultimate fate. The first leg “was the key, we lost the duel,” he said to Amazon Prime Video (via Abendzeitung). “(Tuesday) we did very well, it was one of the best games of the last few months,” he continued.
It’s no secret that Nagelsmann has faced his fair share of challenges in his debut season in charge of Bayern Munich, which has caused a great deal of external speculation from pundits and fans alike, questioning if he is the right man for Bayern long-term. There’s five Bundesliga matches left for Bayern to clinch their tenth consecutive Meisterschale, but even lifting the league title won’t be enough by Bayern’s routinely high standards.
Even Nagelsmann himself doesn’t know what his future has in store for him, but he’s not going to treat the Champions League elimination as the worst defeat in the world. He had taken RB Leipzig to the semi-finals in the 2019/20 season, when Bayern had gone on to win the title against Paris Saint-Germain. “I don’t know what’s in store for me, Bundesliga, Bielefeld,” Nagelsmann said, making reference to Bayern’s next league encounter against DSC Arminia Bielefeld on Easter Sunday. “If you lose and are eliminated, that’s how it is.”